BlocKit: A Kit to Bring Blockchain into the Physical World

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According to a news released on July 10, 2019, scientists from Lancaster University teamed up with Malaysian scholars to develop a physical representation of the blockchain to help people comprehend how the technology works and discover new potential applications.

Blockchain Made Easy

A team of computer scientists from Lancaster University, the University of Edinburgh in the UK, and the Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia, has created a tool kit that aims to help people understand how blockchains work.

BlocKit will contain many different tools such as plastic tubs, clay discs, padlocks, envelopes, sticky notes and battery-powered candles that should represent 11 key aspects of blockchain infrastructure.

(Source: Lancaster University)

BlocKit has been developed to help people understand a complex technology like blockchain which, despite being currently adopted in diverse sectors, it is still far from being fully comprehended. Professor Corina Sas of Lancaster University’s School of Computing and Communications stated:

“Despite growing interest in its potential, the blockchain is so novel, disruptive and complex, it is hard for most people to understand how these systems work.” 

She then added “We have created a prototype kit consisting of physical objects that fulfill the roles of different parts of the blockchain. The kit really helps people visualize the different component parts of the blockchain, and how they interact.”

Alongside Corina Sas, the Kit has been presented by Irni Eliana Khairuddin, of Universiti Teknologi MARA, and Chris Speed of the University of Edinburgh in a paper entitled “BlocKit: a Physical Kit for Materializing and Designing for Blockchain Infrastructure” which was presented at the 2019 Designing Interactive Systems Conference of San Diego.

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Scientists also relied on 15 experienced Bitcoin users to develop the kit prototype. According to the team, the project received very good feedback from the people who have actually tested it. BlocKit appears to allow people to concretely understand how blockchain works. The team also found that BlocKit can be a very helpful tool for designers looking to develop new products or services based around blockchain technology.

Not the First Non-Classical Tool for Blockchain

This is not the first time a team of experts has undertaken steps to allow the blockchain to escape its natural habitat, the Internet.

In 2017, the leading provider of blockchain technologies Blockstream launched Blockstream Satellite which broadcasts real-time Bitcoin blockchain data from a satellite in space to almost everyone on the planet even without an internet connection.

With Blockstream Satellite, in fact, only one person in a community needs to have access to the blockchain data through the satellite. Once accessed, they can allow for the distribution of that data to other people locally.

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