Sem­i­nar ex­plores blockchain uses

CNM, al­liance host Block­Fi­esta to­day


Lo­cal busi­ness­peo­ple, govern­ment of­fi­cials and more can learn about the ben­e­fits of fast-emerg­ing blockchain tech­nol­ogy at a con­fer­ence to­day at Cen­tral New Mex­ico Com­mu­nity Col­lege.

CNM In­ge­nu­ity, a non­profit that man­ages CNM’s com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties, and the New Mex­ico Blockchain Al­liance will host the one-day Block­Fi­esta to dis­cuss op­por­tu­ni­ties that blockchain can of­fer busi­nesses, govern­ment agen­cies and or­ga­ni­za­tions in manag­ing fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions and op­er­a­tions on­line, said Am­ber Ter­rasas, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer at FreeRange, a co-work­ing space and Blockchain Al­liance mem­ber.

“The blockchain tech­nol­ogy is im­por­tant for many in­dus­tries, in­clud­ing ev­ery­thing from health care and real es­tate to govern­ment en­ti­ties,” Ter­rasas said. “We want to ed­u­cate ev­ery­body about its ben­e­fits.”

Blockchain is the foun­da­tional plat­form tech­nol­ogy that en­ables use of cryp­tocur­ren­cies like Bit­coin. In essence, it pro­vides a se­cure on­line sys­tem to share ledgers on all trans­ac­tions that can’t be changed or cor­rupted. It fa­cil­i­tates the track­ing and ex­change of as­sets, re­duc­ing risk and cut­ting costs for all in­volved.

Trans­ac­tions are recorded as locked-in blocks of in­for­ma­tion that are avail­able for all net­work users to see. As new trans­ac­tions oc­cur, they’re added as blocks to the chain, al­low­ing users to track and ver­ify the his­tory and cur­rent sta­tus of ev­ery­thing re­lated to an as­set or in­ter­ac­tion.

Be­yond Bit­coin, the tech­nol­ogy can al­low busi­nesses, govern­ment and oth­ers to se­curely han­dle ev­ery­thing from sup­ply chain man­age­ment to fi­nan­cial con­tracts in real time on­line.

CNM, for ex­am­ple, says it be­came the first com­mu­nity col­lege in the coun­try to is­sue dig­i­tal diplo­mas in De­cem­ber to a small group of grad­u­ates. Start­ing this month, all CNM grad­u­ates will now have the op­por­tu­nity to man­age and share their diplo­mas with em­ploy­ers or oth­ers se­curely from their mo­bile de­vice through blockchain tech­nol­ogy, said CNM Chief In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer Feng Hou.

“We have suc­cess­fully im­ple­mented the blockchain so­lu­tion, and we’re now is­su­ing all CNM grad­u­ates blockchain diplo­mas in ad­di­tion to pa­per-form diplo­mas,” Hou said. “It’s se­cure, free, read­ily ver­i­fi­able and im­me­di­ately share­able...The tech­nol­ogy has be­come an en­abler in many in­dus­tries to trans­form busi­ness pro­cesses and im­prove cus­tomer ser­vices.”

CNM is de­vel­op­ing cour­ses on blockchain tech­nol­ogy, and will soon in­cor­po­rate train­ing for it into the col­lege’s Deep Dive Cod­ing pro­gram, said CNM In­ge­nu­ity se­nior tech­nol­ogy ad­viser Bill Halver­son.

“Real es­tate pro­fes­sion­als could learn to ac­cess and ex­change all deeds on blockchain,” Halver­son said. “It would elim­i­nate fraud­u­lent, or coun­ter­feit deeds, be­cause you can’t coun­ter­feit things on blockchain.”

The con­fer­ence will in­clude speak­ers from IBM, San­dia Na­tional Lab­o­ra­to­ries, Lip­scomb Uni­ver­sity, CNM In­ge­nu­ity, Learn­ing Ma­chine and lo­cal busi­nesses that use blockchain like FreeRange, Distric­tOx and Pix­e­gon.

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