Leading up to the debut of the London Blockchain Conference (LBC) at the QE II Center on May 31 – June 2, local media were invited to a pre-LBC dining experience at Searcy’s at the Gherkin on May 17.
The purpose of this invite-only dinner was to showcase a real-world solution using blockchain technology. In this case, the solution was capturing the provenance, traceability, and proof of the quality of a menu’s ingredients on the blockchain via the Trace platform.
In partnership with IBM, Gate2Chain’s Trace solution and Michelin Star Chef Ollie Dabbous’s bespoke menu were the stars of the evening, enjoyed by 100 guests including media, influencers, and blockchain professionals.
The evening kicked off with a star-studded networking champagne reception overlooking the London skyline before guests were ushered to the dining area. Once seated, Ayre Group and CoinGeek Founder Calvin Ayre welcomed guests, highlighting how scalable blockchain technology has actual real-world utility, solving big data management and valuation challenges lawfully.
“What I like with what the team has done here is that they’ve taken a very, very easy-to-understand application of this technology, and they’re not being slammed with a whole bunch of things, they’re getting one and they’re being immersed in it,” Ayre shared.
“They’re going to be able to actually have it explained, how you are going to be able to track all the food that’s on the table from local sources and you’ll be able to confirm whether or not the product came from someplace that’s organic, whether that fish was farmed,” he said.
“I’m excited about it because I think this is going to be the start of us really starting to educate mainstream media,” Ayre noted.
Metro Tech Editor, BBC Travel Show presenter, and London Blockchain Conference Business Stage host Lucy Hedges was in attendance, excited about blockchain’s role in transparency across many industries.
“I think the one thing that blockchain really hammers home is transparency, and we want all the information, all the data on the product. It could be food, a watch, it could be a handbag, it could be clothing, it could be so many things—art, wine—just that stranglehold of the information,” Hedges said.
“So it could be about authenticity, the origin, product handling, these kinds of things, all those key significant bits of information that people need to know that product that they’re eating, using, wearing is original. People want to know the origins of that product, and that’s where blockchain comes in,” she added.
Jessica Jaume, Operations and Business Development Manager of Gate2Chain, delivered a short speech on Trace and explained how the platform would tie into the meal guests were about to enjoy.
“Trace is a blockchain-powered platform that has been created in partnership with IBM and helps to show authenticity, provenance, ownership, and traceability and register events through time, so it’s like the certificate of authenticity and where certifications—any type of information—can be added and its aimed to the manufacturing industry,” she explained.
“Tonight we have showcased the usage of this platform with tonight’s menu made by Oliver Dabbous so people can see the traceability of the star ingredients,” Jaume said.
Dabbous’s special menu included jersey royal, wild garlic and virgin rapeseed oil focaccia, followed by a first course of steamed tulips with West London ricotta, Norfolk marigold and chilled pea broth, a second course of chalkstream trout with gooseberries, Why Valley asparagus and pine, a main course of pearl barley with flaked Goosnargh chicken, pickled courgettes and foraged mushrooms and topped off with a tartlet of strawberries, whipped Devon clotted cream and spring blossoms.
When asked how blockchain technology plays a role in the quality of his ingredients in this special menu, to emphasize the importance of quality, Dabbous said that for a chef, you’re only as good as the ingredients that come into your kitchen.
“You always want to get the best possible products from the best suppliers, and it’s one thing saying it, another thing doing it and also being able to prove it,” Dabbous pointed out.
“It’s the first time as a chef I’ve been able to harness any sort of ample technology that can showcase the lineage of where you got it from and not just the traceability, but also doing that inherently shines a light onto the supplier. And again, they work hard to create amazing ingredients. It’s a labor of love. So yeah, it’s a win-win,” he said.
Dr. Craig Wright, Chief Scientist of nChain and notorious food connoisseur, was happy to see guests introduced to a platform that can help them identify the origin of Michelin star-level ingredients and other goods. Dr. Wright often speaks about Bitcoin’s role in supply chain management and tracing, the exact subject of his most recent The Bitcoin Masterclasses, in fact.
“So this is part of what we’ve been talking about with traceability. You will know every bit of what has been in the ingredient if you want to. You know that it came from India or China or Malaysia or somewhere in Africa or somewhere in Europe or England. You’ll have that information available to know,” he said.
In addition to introducing media to a tangible use case of blockchain-powered tech, the event was also a taster of the upcoming London Blockchain Conference—an event that will dive much deeper into the utility of a scalable blockchain and what the future has in store for this technology.
“The conference at the end of this month is going to be something very special,” revealed Stefan Matthews, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of the nChain Group.
“I’ve been involved with all the other conferences we’ve had in [the] past, but this one is bigger, more exciting than anything I’ve seen before. I’ve got the privileged inside position of knowing some of the speeches that haven’t been announced yet, and to think about those people and knowing the types of presentations they’re going to be giving as keynotes; I can’t wait for Day 1. I really can’t wait for Day 1,” he said.
“And this event tonight, bringing this group together as a pro forma to the conference, just amazing,” Matthews added.
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