Meeting Notes – Blockchain

Rob Garbee introducing the April meeting

We had a great turnout and some insightful discussion for our April meeting covering Blockchain. While the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto remains a secret, Rob Perry enlightened the crowd with an overview of Blockchain and his insights on suitable and not-so-suitable applications.

Rob began with an introduction to Blockchain technology, both explaining the basics and emphasizing that some of the concepts are not new to the field of IT. He also included a link to a series of infographics from Reuters that illustrate the general concepts.

Rob Perry presenting Blockchain to RISE

Rob Perry sharing his thoughts on applications of Blockchain

While most people are familiar with Blockchain relative to the digital currency Bitcoin, Blockchain has applications outside of digital currencies. Rob listed a few of these applications and graded Blockchain on it’s suitability for each. The technology provides many benefits including anonymity of transactions and a transaction log that is very difficult to falsify.

But the technology does have limitations that render it less suitable for some applications:

  • Energy use – the calculations can be very expensive requiring a large amount of energy
  • Traceability – When a ‘wallet’ is attributed to a person, all transactions by that wallet are available in the chain
  • Not modifiable – Some applications require a database that can be modified or data removed (GDPR)
RISE attendees at April 2019 meeting

Great attendee participation at the Blockchain event

Attendees engaged in discussion around the uses and potential weaknesses of the technology. Given the amount and depth of discussion that ensued it is safe to say that the technology is of great interest in the community.

RISE would like to thank the following for their support of this event:

  • Rob Perry, CISO of Carilion Clinic, for presesenting and answering numerous tough questions
  • Carilion Clinic for hosting the meeting
  • Roanoke Linux Users Group for cross-posting this event to their  membership and attending

Want to learn more about contemporary InfoSec topics? Email us at roanokeinfosec@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list. Keep an eye on the RISE blog for upcoming meetings, and consider contacting us to give a presentation on a technology that interests you!

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