Blockpass London Meet Up: The Successful Second Album

March 2019
On the 6th of March, in Aldgate, London, Blockpass held the second of its London Meet Ups. The free event saw people from various industries and backgrounds come together to discuss the issue of data breaches and the huge impact and implications they have in both the traditional and blockchain space, drawn by both the prospect of intellectual discourse with experts and the offer of free pizza and drinks. The event took place between 6 and 9pm, with time for networking before and after the presentations from the guest speakers.

Following an introduction from Blockpass’ Guy Davies and a brief overview of recent data breach events by Matthew Warner, the guest speakers took it in turns to present various different aspects of data breach issues.

First up, Electra Japonis, Founder and CEO of The Law Boutique, gave a talk focussed around GDPR, its impact on companies and how rules around data protection are being applied. Japonis covered a number of points, including an in-depth look at the intersection of GDPR and blockchain. She also covered the issues that had led to the rise of these new regulations, with companies misusing data and the dangers of false digital representations of individuals being taken as accurate. Japonis finished off by describing essential steps for companies to implement with good practices to follow which would ensure compliance with the regulations.

Next to speak was Fernando Martinho, CTO & Co-Founder of Naoris, who spoke on blockchain-based cybersecurity and what Naoris is doing to combat the threats of hacks and data breaches. Providing an insight into the methods by which hackers gain access to networks and pointing out notable cases, Martinho explained the type of threats that are being faced currently and what a malicious actor can do when gaining control of a system. Martinho spoke on the failings of centralised security models and the impossibility of securing these traditional systems, with some terrifying statistics regarding hackers, detectability, data loss and the sheer amount of money that is being thrown futilely at an issue which needs to be tackled in a completely different way. Fortunately, Martinho explained, blockchain-based cyber security (as is being developed and used by Naoris), has the potential to blunt these kinds of threats in a way that has not been possible before.

Liam Bell, Research Lead at the Blockpass Identity Lab, and Research Fellow within the Center for Distributed Computing, Networking and Security at Edinburgh Napier University, presented to the meet up on the topic of zero knowledge proofs (as well as highlighting a few related areas) and how they can be used to ensure data privacy and stand poised to revolutionise verification methods. Bell brought the mathematically-intensive subject down to a level where all could understand (most of) the discussion and made the benefits of a future with zero knowledge proofs abundantly clear.

Rounding off the talks was a fireside chat with Digax CEO Ben Morley, who spoke about Digax and its relationship with Blockpass, before answering a number of questions around the cryptocurrency and regulatory space. Questions included both general and more targeted topics, such as the viability of a self-sovereign identity in the cryptocurrency space, competition between centralised and decentralised exchanges, and the Coinbase neutrino acquisition.

The meet up continued with the room breaking down into smaller groups to network and discuss what had been said in the talks. The topic proved popular, with many guests staying far beyond the official end of the event and continuing the discussions in nearby drinking establishments. Such enthusiasm and in-depth discourse is the goal of the meet ups and we would love to see you at future events. Please contact Blockpass with topics or themes you would like to see for these meet ups and keep an eye on the Blockpass website, eventbrite and our social media pages for more information about future events.