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Emerging technologies: what are they & what do I need to know

The G8 Ladies in July had an incredible session with Sonja Bernhardt OAM, she shared with us her knowledge on Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, Quantum Computing, Augmented reality, Virtual reality and mixed reality. Her workshops and practical approach took all the jargon, complexity and fear out of these topics. These are my notes on Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, Quantum Computing.


The mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper in 2008 “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" is conceptualised blockchain and explained bitcoin as the first cryptocurrency.

So, what is blockchain? It is simply a ledger. Do you remember your bank books when you wrote your ledgers and when you got to the end of page you carried forward the balance to the next page? this means that you always know how the balance has come into being and as the line items could not be changed (the blocks) they could be trusted as accurate, when you linked them all together they create many pages of ledgers (chains) then you had many series of transactions which could be traced and trusted and not changed.

The pages (chain) of ledgers (blocks) are shared for ‘Miners’ (who are individuals or groups) to constantly check and verify accuracy and truth in the blockchain knowing that they would be paid in cryptocurrency by being the first to confirm accuracy.

The other miners follow suit to confirm the accuracy of the blockchain, they will also check that the payer (block chain owner) has the money to pay, and the recipient can receive the money. Once these are confirmed then crypto currency is transferred and the miners will be paid too.

Why is blockchain so much in focus? because it is absolutely right, and it cannot get changed. The trusted network (miners) are watching it so it is used to prevent fraud.

Where is it being used: It is currently being used in war zone refugee camps; crypto wallets are assigned to people and accessed by iris scan, the benefits of this is that it cuts out corrupt governments and bank transaction fees and their prehistoric timeframes.

Finland and Estonia: In Finland all people have blockchain IDs, Estonia re-established itself after splitting from USSR as the centre of block chain.

Quantum computing

Moore’s law states that processor speeds, or overall processing power for computers will double every two years.

The available space for storing processing power has reached its limit, therefore the need to move to another type of computing, consider Schrödinger’s cat, this scenario presents a cat that may be simultaneously both alive and dead, a state known as a quantum superposition. Enter Quantum computing which has many states at the same time, as of 2018, the development of actual quantum computers is still in its infancy, but experiments have been carried out in which quantum computational operations were executed on a very small number of quantum bits.

IBM have announced that they have developed a quantum computer already Gartner reckon that it'll be in use in around 10 yrs.

DNA storage

I strand of DNA is 1 billion terabytes, how can we use DNA for data storage? As we have DNA in our skin cells and hair is it possible to have our DNA stolen without anyone even touching us? This leads us to ethics and some technologies have been slowed down on purpose until DNA storage and its management is properly understood.


It's a payment system.

We used to trade pebbles and barter, then money as we know it emerged which was backed up by gold, our perception is that unless money isn’t backed up by gold it is worthless, however, recently that has not been the case. Cryptocurrencies are also not backed up by gold. There are more than 1000 cryptocurrencies at the moment.

To start trading in Crypto currencies, like any trading – find a tracer who you trust, use your own due diligence and also look for a certified trader. NEVER share your private key, that’s the only way to have your funds stolen and not be traceable.


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