Hot Topic Session 6th HLF

Blockchain and distributed ledgers

Illuminating how distributed ledgers work and exploring their potential


The Hot Topic was coordinated and moderated by Eva Wolfangel, a science journalist with over 15 years of experience covering a range of scientific issues and technological developments and highlighting their significance for the public.


Many of the primary privacy risks prevalent today are due to an increasing centralization of information. A decentralized network is potentially more secure but not without its vulnerabilities. During the Hot Topic session at the 6th HLF, a panel of experts illuminated how distributed ledgers work, discussed their potential and explored how the world of finance and other application areas could be reshaped.
A better comprehension of the technology is increasingly vital due to its potential ramifications in finance and regarding privacy. Distributed ledgers could conceivably reshape finance through cryptocurrencies and smart contracts, cure data protections issues with social media and re-decentralize the internet. Simultaneously, the very aspects that make distributed ledgers so promising are the same that make it vulnerable. Though replicability, immutability and being append-only are enormous strengths, they are equally large burdens when used maliciously.


  • Mihai Alisie is the Co-Founder of Ethereum and Founder of Akasha, a Social Network based on the Ethereum-Blockchain and the InterPlanetary Files System.
  • Demelza Hays is researching the role of cryptocurrency in asset management in the Business Economics program at the University of Liechtenstein.
  • Dexter Hadley, University of California, holds expertise is in translating big data into precision medicine and digital health. His background is in genomics and computational biology and he has training in clinical pathology.
  • Donald Kossmann, Head of Microsoft Research Redmond.
  • Roman Matzutt/Martin Henze, RWTH Aachen.
  • Silvio Micali, ACM A.M. Turing Award laureate, has been on the MIT faculty since 1983 in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department where he is Ford Professor of Engineering.
  • C. Mohan, IBM Fellow and Former IBM India Chief Scientist, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, US NAE Member, INAE Foreign Fellow, ACM and IEEE Fellow.

Hot Topic: Blockchain and distributed ledgers


Presentations "Applications"

Hot Topic: Blockchain and distributed ledgers


Presentations "Technology"

Hot Topic: Blockchain and distributed ledgers


Panel Discussion "Applications"

Hot Topic: Blockchain and distributed ledgers


Panel Discussion "Technology"