Thursday, 14 April 2016

Shukatsu Updates + Blockchain Economics Research Lab

I really, really should be posting the last of the sakura pictures of the year (all the sakura around here have fallen), but... I've got something else!

Ok, first up, shukatsu updates. If you remember, I went for the Huis ten Bosch interview exactly a week ago. And guess what? I passed! Somehow.

This means I get to go to the next stage, which is yet another interview. So, I'll be making my way back to Huis ten Bosch next week for that.

I also attended another interview for a venture company at the start of the week, and apparently, I've passed that too! So it's another interview for me next week. Well... next week is going to be really busy.

That's all for the shukatsu stuff. Now, on to the next thing - the Blockchain Economics Research Lab in Tokyo! (Which is also the reason why I missed the first day of school)

The fun actually started in Fukuoka Airport, when I came across this:


If you have me on Google+, you might have seen this because I immediately snapped a picture and then shared it. After a while, they finished and the ceremony started, and because I'm a nosy person, I went up to one of the ANA workers and asked her what it was about.


Basically, they're going to send wakame (seaweed) to the imperial court, and this is the sending-off ceremony. According to Wikipedia, this offering of wakame from each prefecture to the imperial court is a pretty old tradition.


A close look at the seaweed.


And for some reason, they were giving out stuffed toys to the passengers! (The seaweed was travelling on my plane, apparently). The toy turned out to be a monkey, and it lived in my bag for the plane ride.


Ok, after we landed, I had about an hour, and since I hadn't had lunch, I went to eat a cookie shot.

Cookie cup + chocolate lining+ milk = happy stomach
Ok, now on to the actual meeting.

The meeting/study session was super interesting and filled with super smart people. I think I was the dumbest in the room! I was certainly the one with the least knowledge. Everyone was from a bank, or the government, or the CEO of his own startup, or university teachers, and clearly knew more about this than me.

Towards the end, when Black Zemi teacher was talking, I couldn't understand a thing! I had to go ask him what he was talking about during the break ><

But I definitely have a better understand of the Blockchain technology now! It's very decentralised, yet solves the double-spending problem, which makes it very suitable for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. But like Black Zemi Sensei pointed out, how much cost savings can it have for financially advanced countries?

It's also said to have wide-ranging applications, and I really need to study up on that!

Blockchain 2.0 is supposed to be about Smart Contracts and Smart Properties, eventually leading to the adoption of the Ethereum. But, smart properties reminds me a lot of the Cyber Physical System, and by extension the Internet of Things. So I wonder how much it will overlap with Predix (by GE)?

And for startups, are the advantages of adopting Blockchain significantly greater than using the cloud?

It's definitely a race to set standards, and now I know which white papers to read!

After it was over, I went for dinner with the next youngest person in the room - who happens to be creating his own cryptocurrency. Super interesting talk, and I think whoever advocated surrounding yourself with smarter people spoke truly. I really learnt a lot.

That's it for now, and with any luck, the next post will be about sakura and not about shukatsu :p

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