Distributed Trade Hackathon and Blockchain Conference

Fluent, Thomson Reuters, SixThirty and BTC Media recently hosted and sponsored Distributed: Trade, a blockchain conference focused on optimizing trade & financial networks, at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.

The conference brought together industry leading blockchain technology companies and major enterprises to address how the new technology will disrupt and optimize capital markets, financial services, payment settlements and supply chain management. Conference sessions were divided into two tracks: one focusing on financial services and the other on supply chains, with a focus on real world use-cases.

Before the conference, a Distribute Trade Hackathon was held, sponsored by Thomson Reuters, RGAx and State Farm, with $25k in prize money. Hosted at the TREX co-working space in downtown St. Louis, teams collaborated to build government compliant digital identity tools (DIID), eliminate the black market blood trade (BloodChain), and create various smart contract applications on the Ethereum platform.

Fluent and the Thomson Reuters team designed for a future for ridesharing and crowdfunding to foster financial inclusion in local communities. ‘BotVest’ would allow anyone to buy shares in autonomous taxi or uber vehicles which would send out programmatic dividends after each successful ride. Patrons could pay in cryptocurrency for their ride and the vehicles would hold enough value in reserve to pay for gas and repairs, releasing excess funds to the ‘shareholders’. The vehicles could even self-recycle at the end of their lifecycle, dispersing the resell value to each investor. Fluent designed a vision where anyone could invest as little as $100 into a low risk investment with consistent returns that could benefit a community and each member in it. By lowering the barriers of entry it would be possible to provide financial empowerment to the people who need it most. Additionally, keeping profits and investment dollars locally could help a small community sustain itself, even with workforce consolidation that occurs with new technology.

Participants in the conference and hackathon included Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director of the Hyperledger Project, Gurvinder Ahluwalia CTO of Cloud Technical Solutions at IBM, Jeff Garzik, Bitcoin Core Developer and Cofounder of Bloq, and corporate sponsors like RGAx, State Farm, EY and Thomson Reuters.

Based near Windsor, England, Matthew Warner is an enthusiast for innovative, cutting edge technologies. He is a B.Eng. graduate in engineering with honors from the University of Warwick and also holds an PGCE in education degree. Matthew is a member of Mensa.
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