Learning the Basics of Blockchain with EBSILUX

On September 21, 2021, the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) organized its first “Blockchain Basics and EBSI” training for government officials as part of the EBSILUX project activities.

The online training led by Thierry Grandjean, Research Engineer Blockchain at LIST focused on blockchain in the public sector and gave a simple introduction to blockchain technology and its application in the public sector.

The training began with an introduction to blockchain where Grandjean explained that a blockchain is “a distributed and replicated ledger where everyone can see and check, as well as an append-only ledger where no one can delete or modify the history. In short, a distributed ledger.”

Moving from the origins of blockchain, Grandjean illustrated the functioning of blockchain through a dynamic presentation where he demonstrated the process of a transaction. “The goal of blockchain is to create an IT based system where users can freely exchange value (money) without the need of any central control,” he explained.

After comparing centralized database with replicated database and blockchain distributed ledger, Grandjean, discussed how hash can be assimilated by the digital fingerprint – a fundamental function on which a blockchain is build.

When talking about example use cases, Grandjean introduced an ownership of assets use case that includes cryptocurrencies, financial products and certificates of real-world assets. He also mentioned a supply chain management use case consisting of “tracking of where is what”, and lastly, a record keeping use case about notary services and the proof of existence.

Grandjean concluded his introduction to blockchain by a presentation on smart contracts. “Smart contracts are programs that are stored on a blockchain that run when predetermined conditions are met,” he shared, adding that, “They are used to automate the execution of an agreement without any intermediary’s involvement.”

For the second part of the training, Grandjean explained what EBSI is and how it can benefit public administrations, businesses and citizens, along with presenting EBSI use cases such as Identity (Sel-Sovereign Identity), Diploma, Traceability and trust data sharing.

After talking about EBSI technical setup, Grandjean mentioned that Luxembourg is currently hosting two EBSI V2 nodes (one managed by the Ministry for Digitalisation and one managed by Infrachain and hosted by LIST), whereas the EBSI network is composed of 30 nodes running in 21 Member States.

Following his presentation of EBSI he continued by introducing the EBSILUX project and its goals such as implementing the EBSI Diplomas use case in Luxembourg as a minimum viable product (MVP).

Finally, Grandjean concluded his engaging training with a detailed session on Self Sovereign Identity, indicating how it allows users to be in control of their data and consent to share their data, including the possibility to share only part of the data (selective disclosure). “While the holder has verifiable digital ID with a lot of information, they can generate a proof that they are over eighteen, but without handing over all the information from an ID including a birth date,” he clarified before concluding the training with a live demo and a Q&A.

The next training for government officials will take place beginning of 2022. Contact us here if you are interested in participating to the next training.