THE HUS.hackathon 2017 - Recap

Vaduz, 23. / 24. November 2017

On 23 and 24 November 2017, we hosted a Hackathon at THE HUS.institute’s headquarters in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. We had the honour of featuring Lykke Corp. and Blockchain Büro Liechtenstein as event partners, as well as a delegation of Holochain. 

A Hackathon on Digital Citizenship

Reflecting on the central paradigm shifts within the transition from the Gutenberg to the Digital Modern era, THE HUS.institute’s co-founder and CEO Christopher Peterka came up with the thesis that “the world becomes liquid” as early on as 2011. He not only pointed to the demise of privacy in terms of liquifiying formerly enclosed and monolithically designed information containers, such as corporations or governments – but literally borders as well. Based on Christopher’s assumptions and our collective observation, we trust that this subject is an important emerging challenge for all kinds of societies – including existing nations – in the Digital Modern era. Subsequently, for our think tank we feel it’s mandatory to embrace this challenge to re-think the idea of the nation through a contribution to research and the clarification of potential solutions. 

As Kaspar Korjus, CEO of the digital citizenship programme of Estonia, recently stated in an article: “Our nations are now undergoing a digital revolution, which will radically reshape them once again — this time into borderless online communities with services that can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection”. We’ve been determining the different aspects of the existing programme in Estonia and came up with entirely new prospects and ideas around the topic.

As we kicked off our event by introducing ourselves and learning about “Liechtenstein in a nutshell” courtesy of our co-founder, Rudi, we had the pleasure of listening to Arthur Brock, co-founder of Holochain. He explained how “Holochain takes on a different approach to ensure data integrity. It doesn’t build on top of cryptographic tokens but instead is organised around cryptographic validation of users validated against a cryptographic chain of those users actions. This allows the user to handle data integrity beyond a massive overhead of computing consensus on a global ledger”. Holochain’s technology allows us to actually have fully decentralised social, digital networks, even without the bottlenecks of the blockchain and without a central entity that controls all our data.

Our participants were mapped into interest groups such as “E-Residence in a circular society of responsible optimists”. As you can imagine, we first had to clarify some very philosophical questions, like “Is there an identity beyond geophysical factors and if yes, which factors could make it up?”. The answer we came up with is definitely: Yes, there are a lot of factors that can define the individual’s identity beyond country of origin. Factors such as interests, for example. And as we are already gathering in Facebook groups like “New Real Estate Agents” or “Parents united”, we can sense that in the future, online-communities of all kinds will emerge and define citizenship in a radical new way. But we can also see that blockchain and Holochain will definitely transform how we’ll interact in these communities. Because as we see it, the necessity of a central enterprise managing our data and functioning as the “middle man”, won’t be necessary nor will it be wished for. The era of decentralisation has come.

On the morning of our second day, another honour was granted to us: we could welcome Jutta Kleinschmidt, physicist and one of the most successful women in the global sport of rallying. She presented her startup “Green Energy Wallet” at THE HUS.institute with interested guests from Liechtenstein and transformers from THE HUS.institute. We’re supporting her on getting her prototype launched as soon as possible in the most appropriate place for her daring initiative.

At 11:30 am on 24 November, we got everyone gathered around our central office room for our participant and guest pitches. Several teams had designed solutions leveraging the agent-centric Holochain architecture for real-time media placement, self-insuring and shared risk-pooling, e-voting and governance methods, citizen reputation, and identity management. For example, Anders Aamodt of Holochain presented the idea of a decentralised meta-platform that will define the future space of pluralistic, cosmopolitan planetary citizenships. The “Digital Citizenship Services Basket”, provided by a nation-neutral, de-territorial organisation that would, for example, offer different kinds of available citizenships, organise a global rescue team if needed for peers, or offer a “disaster relief insurance” to its users. José presented his idea of a decentralised notary system through which peers can authorise and independently verify each other’s documents such as certificates or contracts.

As all of the topics and initiatives mentioned require more resources to be realised, we take our hackathon 2017 as only a first small step into the future of the decentralised world. We’re eager to see the projects be developed by our fellow transformers, partners, friends, and guests at, and with, THE HUS.institute.