The Blockchain and Us is now streaming online!
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What is the Blockchain?
blockchain, NOUN /ˈblɒktʃeɪn/
A digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly.
A mysterious white paper (Nakamoto, Satoshi, 2008, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”) introduced the Bitcoin blockchain, a combination of existing technologies that ensures the integrity of data without a trusted party. It consists of a ledger that can’t be changed and a consensus algorithm—a way for groups to agree. Unlike existing databases in banks and other institutions, a network of users updates and supports the blockchain—a system somewhat similar to Wikipedia, which users around the globe maintain and double-check. The cryptocurrency Bitcoin is the first use case of the blockchain, but much more seems to be possible.
The Next Generation of the Internet
The first 40 years of the Internet brought e-mail, social media, mobile applications, online shopping, Big Data, Open Data, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things. Information technology is at the heart of everything today—good and bad. Despite advances in privacy, security, and inclusion, one thing is still missing from the Internet: Trust. Enter the blockchain.
The Blockchain and Us: The Project
When the Wright brothers invented the airplane in 1903, it was hard to imagine there would be over 500,000 people traveling in the air at any point in time today. In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto invented Bitcoin and the blockchain. For the first time in history, his invention made it possible to send money around the globe without banks, governments or any other intermediaries. Satoshi is a mystery character, and just like the Wright brothers, he solved an unsolvable problem. The concept of the blockchain isn’t very intuitive. But still, many people believe it is a game changer. Despite its mysterious beginnings, the blockchain might be the airplane of our time.
Economist and filmmaker Manuel Stagars portrays this exciting technology in interviews with software developers, cryptologists, researchers, entrepreneurs, consultants, VCs, authors, politicians, and futurists from the United States, Canada, Switzerland, the UK, and Australia.
How can the blockchain benefit the economies of nations? How will it change society? What does this mean for each of us? The Blockchain and Us is no explainer video of the technology. It gives a view on the topic, makes it accessible and starts a conversation about its potential wider implications in a non-technical way. The film deliberately poses more questions than it answers. For a deep dive, see all full-length interviews from the film here. Additional information about the project is in the Q&A and Disclaimer.
A Film by Manuel Stagars
Born and raised in Zurich/Switzerland, Manuel Stagars is a Swiss film director, whose current film projects focus on the potential of technology for the economies of nations, societies, and the lives of people around the world.
Digital Transformation: Visions of Nations, Companies, and People (2017/2018) explores the role of artificial intelligence in the lives of humans moving forward. Manuel speaks with scientists, entrepreneurs, corporate decision makers, politicians, artists and others in Switzerland, the UK, the United States, China, and Japan about their views and hopes for the digital future.
The Blockchain And Us (2017) How can the blockchain—the technology underlying Bitcoin—benefit the economies of nations? How will it change society? What does this mean for each of us? Twenty conversations with experts in the nascent global blockchain scene make the discussion about potential impacts of this technology accessible.
FinTech Made in Switzerland (2016) is the first documentary film about Swiss FinTech. In forty-one interviews with heads of digital banking from major banks, politicians, investors and Swiss FinTech startups in roboadvisory, lending, cryptocurrencies, insurtech, the film gives a glimpse into how a traditional bankers’ nation is coming to terms with technological change.
Manuel has lived and worked in Europe, America, and Asia. His films have screened internationally, including in Melbourne at the Transitions Film Festival, in Amsterdam at the Fraude Film Festival, in London at the Everyman Theatre, in Minneapolis at the Analytics and Financial Innovation Conference (AXFI), in Zurich at Tech Tuesday, in Shanghai at the Future of Money Conference, or in Tokyo at the Swiss Chamber of Commerce an Industry in Japan (SCCIJ). They have been translated in Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese.
As a filmmaker, Manuel draws on his experience as a music composer, author, researcher, economist, and startup entrepreneur. He has published books and scientific articles on startups, marketplace lending, impact investing, data quality, and Open Data. Manuel has a degree in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and several financial certifications (CFA, CAIA, ERP).
Personal website: www.manuelstagars.com
Clips and Full-length Interviews from the Documentary
During the course of the project, interviews took place with software developers, cryptologists, researchers, entrepreneurs, consultants, VCs, authors, politicians, and futurists from the United States, Canada, Switzerland, the UK, and Australia.
Additional Conversations and Special Thanks
Many people and organizations helped to make this project happen by contributing their ideas, advice, time and access to their networks. Special thanks to all of you (list in alphabetical order of last names).
- Avalbit.org team, www.avalbit.org
- Iris Belle, Tongji University, www.iris-belle.com
- Kenneth Berthelsen, www.linkedin.com/in/kennethb
- Ben Bledsoe, www.linkedin.com/in/benjaminbledsoe
- Thomas Bromehead, www.berigaudvehiculesanciens.fr
- Richard Cheng
- Jose Felip Daras, www.linkedin.com/in/josefelip
- Dario Duran, www.utxo.ch
- Marie Farrar Knowles, Chamber of Digital Commerce, www.digitalchamber.org
- Olga Feldmeier, Verto Advisory, www.linkedin.com/in/olga-feldmeier-0a4a7a2
- Sonya Fricker, www.iso-20022.ch
- Daniel Gasteiger, nexussquared, www.nexussquared.co
- Daniel Grassinger, nexussquared, www.nexussquared.co
- Johs. Hoehener, Swisscom Digital Business, www.swisscom.ch
- Caio Rearte, www.linkedin.com/in/caiorearte/
- Rein Jonkman, www.linkedin.com/in/plutone
- Richard Kastelein, Blockchain News, www.the-blockchain.com
- Leanne Kemp, Everledger, www.everledger.io
- Thomas Kern, Swiss ICT Investor Club (SICTIC), www.sictic.ch/fintech
- Francine Klopfenstein, Zurich Airport, www.flughafen-zuerich.ch
- Miriam Kozak, Future Matters, www.future-matters.com
- Veronica Lange, UBS, www.ubs.ch
- Adriano B. Lucatelli, Descartes Finance, www.descartes-finance.com
- Christian Mäder, Bitlake, www.bitlake.net, www.bitcoinnews.ch
- Ruedi Maeder, www.iso-20022.ch
- Luzius Meisser, Meisser Economics, www.meissereconomics.com
- Michael Monceaux, www.linkedin.com/in/mcmonceaux
- Martin Mueller, UX/UI & Interaction Design, www.martinxd.com
- Mia Mutic, Deloitte, www.deloitte.com
- Ian Petchenik, Flightradar24, www.flightradar24.com
- Nathaniel Popper, www.nathanielpopper.com
- Ramon Quesada, www.linkedin.com/in/ramonbitcoin
- Kamesh Raghavendra, The Hive, www.hivedata.com
- Brian Rogers, Swiss Re, www.swissre.com
- Jouko Salonen, www.linkedin.com/in/joukosalonen
- Sergey Sevantsyan, www.linkedin.com/in/sergey-sevantsyan
- Vadim Shamigulov, www.linkedin.com/in/vadim-shamigulov
- Raffaela Stelzer, Zurich Airport, www.flughafen-zuerich.ch
- Don Tapscott, www.dontapscott.com
- Elizabeth Wesson, Swiss Re, www.swissre.com
- Iwona Zdanowicz, Bloq, www.bloq.com