On July 22, 2019, an international workshop on “Blockchain: When Theory Meets Practice” took place at the ITM in Münster. It brought together lawyers and mathematicians from science and practice from Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and the USA. From the ITM, Prof. Dr. Thomas Hoeren, Assistant Professor Dr. Nikolas Guggenberger as well as the research assistants Johannes Baur and Lukas Willecke and the research assistant Toshihiro Wada participated.
Blockchain technology and the use of Smart Contracts are already being discussed worldwide and offer immense application potential. The workshop explored how the technology can help to solve economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems.
The participants heard four introductory presentations by Erik P.M. Vermeulen (Senior Legal Counsel, Signify & Professor of Business and Financial Law, Tilburg University), Sandra van Heukelom (Partner, Pels Rijcken), Craig Calcaterra (Professor of Mathematics, Metropolitan State University) and Nikolas Guggenberger (ITM). They then deepened the discussion into legal and technical aspects of the block chain technology and its practical implementation; e.g. the importance of programming skills in legal education, the importance of the involvement of lawyers in the conception phase of block chain solutions, data protection challenges and the regulation of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
One of the topics of discussion was whether the decentralized structure of the block chain technology is up to the practical challenges, which at least a part of the participants considered possible. According to the participants, the technology not only had great economic potential, but could even create a basis for a new form of democracy. Other participants were somewhat more reserved about this euphoria.
The ITM thanks all participants for the meaningful and instructive discussion.
Last Thursday the Campuskickern 2019 took place in the basement of the ITM. Students of all disciplines were invited to indulge in the wild hustle and bustle around the white ball. Designers played against lawyers or musicians against architects. Thanks to Viking chess, flunky ball and nice conversations, no one who had to sit out at the table was bored.
The game was played in 2 groups. After the semi-final matches, the players played the individual positions until the grand final was played. Accompanied by Carls Orff’s “Oh Fortuna” and under the eyes of all the other participants, Marvin and Armin on the one hand and Carola and Johannes on the other were facing each other. While Carola and Johannes had to pay tribute to their exhausting games in the course of the tournament so far, Marvin and Armin turned up the heat and played themselves into a frenzy. But at the end of the rather one-sided final game, there were only winners. All players seemed to have had a lot of fun at the tournament and are already looking forward to next summer, when it’s back to: Welcome to Campuskickers!
The ITM would like to thank everyone who participated and would be happy to welcome you (and anyone else who feels like it) again next year.