Blockchain: a waste of resources, or the future of networking?

Brought to you by The Connected Devices Group

Blockchain is a technology gaining wide interest, yet is not without its controversies. So join us as we try to cut through the hype and debate this topical subject at this evening event.

Registration for this event is now closed.

About the event

From their cypherpunk origins in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, blockchains now provide generic distributed ledgers, smart contracts, registration of physical assets and peer-to-peer micropayments. This substantial industry had peak market capitalisation over $800 billion in January 2018 and 1,500 listed coins and tokens in April 2018.

It is not without its controversary, in particular the ethics of recent initial coin offerings (ICOs), high-profile exchange thefts, illegal uses, and the environmental cost of mining digital coins. Yet big names are investing in it, including Andreessen Horowitz, IBM, Microsoft and Sequoia Capital. Ericsson and others even propose its use in the Internet of Things (IoT).

At this event in Cambridge on the evening of Tuesday 5th June, CW will cut through the hype to consider what blockchain is good for, and if it’s any good at all.

You can follow @CambWireless on Twitter and tweet about this event using #CWCD.

Hosted by The Bradfield Centre

The Bradfield Centre is a collaborative entrepreneurial community of technology start-ups and scale-ups housed in a stunning building at the heart of the Cambridge Science Park. The new Centre is expected to become the gateway and focal point for Cambridge’s ever-expanding technology cluster. Designed to appeal to entrepreneurs, researchers and students, the Centre will become home to innovative high growth start-up and scale-up businesses. These will work alongside project teams from more mature, innovative businesses developing exciting new products. The Bradfield Centre was part-funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and is managed by workspace operators Central Working on behalf of Trinity College. The Centre is the largest of Central Working’s global network of rapidly expanding membership-based communities.

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Sponsored by Fetch.AI

The world’s first adaptive, self-organising ‘smart ledger’. Fetch is a next-generation protocol, invented by world-leading AI experts, that enables a digital world where Autonomous Economic Agents can perform proactive economic activity. With unrivalled performance and scalability, Fetch is the missing critical infrastructure for tomorrow’s digital economy.

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The information supplied below may be subject to change before the event.


Registration opens


Introduction to the event from Chair, Paul Green, Iotic Labs


Toby Simpson, - 'The first rule of blockchain club is....'

Decentralised ledger technology is more than you might think. Don’t let it sneak up on you by misunderstanding what it is, what it does, what it could do and how it will become a part of all of our future lives.


Antony Rix, Granta Innovation - 'Blockchain in context – is it any good?'

Antony will cut through the hype to discuss what blockchains are useful for, and what they are not, highlighting key factors that investors, developers and enterprises should consider before adopting the technology.


Open Forum chaired by Paul Green, Iotic Labs

Introduction from Amy Cameron, STL Partners.


Networking over pizza and refreshments


Event ends


Amy Cameron - Principal Analyst, STL Partners

Amy leads STL Partners’ research into telcos’ adoption of AI and automation, looking at how they should prioritise initiatives and organise themselves to make the most of these technologies. Other areas of interest include the intersection of blockchain and digital healthcare with telecoms. Before joining STL in 2017, Amy was Head of ICT Research at BMI Research, where she also covered telecoms markets in the Middle East and Africa. Amy speaks fluent French and intermediate level Mandarin and holds an MSc in Chinese Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Antony Rix - CEO & Founder, Granta Innovation

Antony Rix gained his PhD developing PESQ, a patented AI model of the human auditory system applied to predict the quality of phone calls. This formed the basis of his first startup, Psytechnics, which was acquired by Netscout in 2011. He spent 12 years working at TTP on innovative connected digital systems, software and medical devices, before founding industrial IoT startup 8power in 2016. Antony is a member of the IET and American Telemedicine Association. Antony set up Granta Innovation in early 2018 and focuses on developing and gaining clinical acceptance of tools to transform the diagnosis of cancer using AI and magnetic resonance imaging.

Toby Simpson - Co-founder and CTO, Fetch.AI

Toby is a pioneer in AI, autonomous agents and shared virtual world technology. He produced the cult hit Creatures series and was one of the initial team at DeepMind looking at nature’s contribution to Artificial General Intelligence. It was the investigation into P2P distributed ledger technology and blockchain which led to the realisation that the Fetch’s vision is within reach.

SIG Champions

Paul Green - Creative Director, Iotics

Paul originated Arkessa in 2006 - the business that provides remote internet services to multitudes of machines. He is currently creating the services Arkessa will offer in five year's time. His professional life combined engineering and science has taken him through a variety of roles, including design and production engineering, business planning, marketing and corporate sales, mainly in the telecommunications sector. Interestingly, the first product he introduced to manufacture is now is in the Science Museum in London. A passionate and committed Christian, Paul is as excited about materials science and quantum physics as he is interested in railways, walking, skiing and the natural world.

Nick Hunn - CTO, WiFore Consulting

For the past thirty years Nick has been closely involved with short range wireless and communications, designing technology that helps to bring mobility to products, particularly in the areas of telematics, M2M, IoT, wearables, smart energy and mobile health. He is closely involved with the Bluetooth SIG, the Continua Alliance and other medical and wireless standards bodies. He is the author of 'The Essentials of Short Range Wireless' - a book attempting to explain the application of wireless technology to product developers.

Tim Whittaker - Head of Professional Audio Visual, Wireless & Digital Services, Cambridge Consultants

Cambridge Consultants was started in 1960 to pioneer the delivery of independent design and development services in electronic, mechanical and product engineering: we are one of the founder companies of the high-technology Cambridge Phenomenon. Our history of world-class services is augmented by our development of intellectual property in areas including telecommunications, software, silicon, medical devices, machine learning, and by more than 20 successful spin-out ventures. Today Cambridge Consultants employs over 900 world-class engineers, scientists, project managers and technicians with offices in Cambridge UK, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Singapore and Tokyo; we provide the full range of services for excellent product design to a worldwide client base in the wireless, consumer, industrial, energy and medical markets. Tim Whittaker is a System Architect in the Wireless business unit, where he has taken the technical lead in projects using radio
standards like Bluetooth, ZigBee, DECT, and in the creation of specialist communications schemes for new applications, or to use new spectrum allocations.

Event Location

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Location info

Bradfield Centre, 184 Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Milton, Cambridge, CB4 0GA

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