Blockchain in Practice

Blockchain in Practice

What is currently possible with blockchain technology, and how easy is it to build smart contracts ?

14 December 2017 (14-21h)
Location: Parker Hotel (Diegem)
Presented in English by Sam Wouters, Thomas Marckx, Kevin Leyssens and Ronnie Dibbaut
Price: 720 EUR (excl. 21% VAT)
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 Learning Objectives

Why do we organise this seminar on blockchain technology ?

The technology that is most likely going to spur the most business disruption in the next decade is not social media, not big data, not the cloud, not artificial intelligence and not even machine learning. It is blockchain, the technology behind digital currencies like bitcoin, and behind global, decentralized, secure solutions for doing trusted transactions - not only money transfers, but any asset.

Blockchain technology is complex, but the idea is simple. Essentially, blockchain is a huge global distributed but shared ledger (database), running on millions of devices and open to anyone. Anything of value - money, music, houses, deeds, art, intellectual property, scientific discoveries, and even votes and identity information - can be stored, processed and transferred securely and privately.

In other words, blockchain is the first native digital medium for value, ownership and trust, just as the Internet was the first native digital medium for information and communication. Believe me, blockchain technology could have huge implications for business, government and the society. Blockchain technology may dramatically drop transaction costs for transferring all sorts of assets, while making these transactions much faster and more secure. While the first applications were in the financial services industry, there are now applications in many more industries. During this seminar, we'll show you how to prototype on the leading blockchain platform ethereum, and how to write distributed applications (DApps) and smart contracts, small applications that automate and support value transactions on the blockchain.

Blockchain is also ideal for both managing and maintaining digital identities, and will give a boost to the Internet of Things, one of the accelerators of Digital Transformation. The possibilities of blockchain technology are only as limited as our imagination. Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology will continue to grow in importance in our agile, global, digitally transformed and highly connected world. Be prepared by attending this in-depth seminar.

Who should attend ?

This workshop is aimed at anyone who wants to know more about blockchain technology, one of the most important innovations since the Internet. Blockchain is not just for the financial industry but can disrupt any industry. We organize this seminar to show you how blockchain technology can be applied in your industry, and will focus on the why, what and how.

This seminar answers these and many other questions:

  • What are Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum, Hyperledger, DApps, smart contracts, the DAO, ... ?
  • How does blockchain technology work and how you can use this ?
  • Why and how will this change businesses, government and the society ?
  • How do you start a blockchain project, and prototype a blockchain solution ?
  • Where do ethereum, smart contracts and distributed apps fit in ?
  • How do big companies like Microsoft and IBM look at (and try to influence) the blockchain evolution ?
  • What does the future of blockchain looks like ?

Interesting links:

 Full Programme

13.30h - 14.00h
Registration and Coffee/Tea
Introduction to Blockchain (Sam Wouters, Duval Union Consulting)

Sam will give you a broad introduction to Bitcoin and the blockchain, to help you understand why there are millions of people around the world that believe in it, despite the skepticism and misconceptions.

  • Why do Bitcoin and blockchain exist ?
  • How do they work ?
  • Debunking the skepticism and misconceptions
  • What can be done with blockchain technology ?
  • Some business use cases
How to Start a Blockchain Project? (Thomas Marckx and Kevin Leyssens, TheLedger)

We'll dive further into the different characteristics of a blockchain network. The 4 types of existing blockchains – public/private and permissioned/permissionless – will be discussed.

  • A decentralised network needs concensus mechanisms, which ones are currently used ?
  • When can a blockchain improve your business? How to differentiate a good use-case from a bad ?
  • Where does a blockchain fit in your current - or future - technology stack ?
  • What are the different competences needed in the team to start a project ?
Evolution of Blockchain technologies (Thomas Marckx and Kevin Leyssens, TheLedger)

Bitcoin is old blockchain technology. Currently there are much more capable technologies under development. We'll discuss the differences between Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric in detail, both so-called blockchain 2.0 technologies.

  • What is a smart contract and how can it benefit cross-industries ?
  • What you need to know about HyperLedger, Ethereum, BigchainDB and other solutions
  • How do big companies like Microsoft and IBM see the evolution and what are they investing in ?
Coffee/Tea Break and Networking
Finding a Business Case for Blockchains (Sam Wouters, Duval Union Consulting)

Let's think and discuss about what your company can do with this technology. This managed brainstorming session is mainly aimed at business managers, but we'll make it useful for all.

Case Study: P2P Energy Trading using a Private Blockchain (Ronnie Dibbaut, Ferranti Computer Systems)

MECOMS™ is Ferranti's flagship product that helps energy and utility companies serve their customers better. Their prospect-to-cash Meter Data Management (MDM) and Customer information system (CRM) is actually Microsoft's recommended solution for energy and utility companies across the globe.

This Belgian company now supports smart contracts using private blockchain technology (Ethereum) to allow peer-to-peer energy trading. By the way, their Mecoms product is also using Microsoft's latest cognitive solutions to revolutionise customer service via the MIA (Mecoms Interactive Agent) chatbot.

Dinner Buffet
Prototyping a Blockchain Network (Thomas Marckx, TheLedger)

We show you how to build a blockchain from scratch. We'll guide you through the different steps needed to set up a private ethereum blockchain network. This demonstration and presentation focuses on technology, tools and skills, and contains some technical details, do's and don'ts, and coding examples.

  • How to start with Ethereum ?
  • Schematic overview of the toolbox and setup
  • Beyond the prototype: how does it fit in my architecture ?
  • Where and how do you deploy it ?
  • Blockchain-ops
  • How does a blockchain team look like ?
Future of Blockchain Technology (Thomas Marckx and Kevin Leyssens, TheLedger)

Blockchain will undoubtedly have an enormous impact on our society. But how will the technology further evolve and what are the different visions ? How it will integrate on different levels of our daily lives? Will the Internet-of-Everything (IoT/IoE), smart cities and sharing economy be built on top of blockchains ?

We'll discuss how the blockchain in combination with other technologies can bring science fiction closer to reality.

Conclusions and Summary
End of this Seminar


Duval Union Consulting

Sam Wouters is a Consultant at Duval Union Consulting who specialises in Blockchains and Artificial Intelligence. He helps organisations understand the impact of digital on their business, what this means for their future and how they can take digital transformation in their own hands.

Sam helped write the Digital Transformation book which has been sold in over 50 countries.

Sam got into Bitcoin and the Blockchain in 2013 and has been learning about them every day since. As a speaker he helps people without any background understand these complex topics.

Thomas Marckx (

Following his studies, Thomas worked as an IT consultant in the financial industry for several years.

Since 2016, he works at the company TheLedger, a part of the Cronos group, where he is responsible for everything related to Blockchain.

Kevin Leyssens (

Kevin Leyssens is a Blockchain consultant at

Ferranti Computer Systems / MECOMS™

Ronnie Dibbaut has been active in the utility industry since 2004, first as Business Analyst and later on as Technology Expert working on global innovation for a major European utility company. Ronnie is now working as a Subject Matter Expert on innovation for the product department of Ferranti Computer Systems, an Antwerp-based company specialized in offering a MDM/CRM software solution for utility companies.

The latest developed product of Ferranti's product organization is MIA, the MECOMS™ Interactive Agent, a chatbot with cognitive capabilities.

At this seminar, Ronnie will talk about peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading, made possible via smart contracts and a private ethereum blockchain network.

Questions about this ? Interested but you can't attend ? Send us an email !