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YouTube Premiere: Blockchains, Fact and Fiction - a legal perspective

Monday, September 2, 2019 - 13:00 to 13:45
Online with YouTube

What is a Blockchain? What are the benefits and risks of Cryptocurrency? Why should we be reconsidering the perception of what our personal data actually is?

Join us for a YouTube Premiere at 1pm on Monday 2 September, when we will premiere our specially recorded video featuring academics from The Open University discussing the answers to these questions.

Following the announcement from Facebook that they will plan to launch their own cryptocurrency (Libra) in 2020, interest in blockchains and claims about their potential continue to grow. Karen Foley interviews Professor John Domingue and Dr Robert Herian, who will very briefly explain what this technology is and then explore its implications for the legal arena. Their shared viewpoint is based on experiences in implementing and deploying blockchains in a variety of contexts, and working with and advising a wide variety of players including startups, large companies and the European Commission. 

Both Professor John Domingue and Dr Robert Herian will be online live to take your questions too! Go over to the Premiere page now to get your reminder for this special event.

Go to the Premiere page

Professor John Domingue

Professor John Domingue

John Domingue is a Professor at The Open University and Director of the Knowledge Media Institute. His current work focuses on how a combination of blockchain and Linked Data technologies can be used to process personal data in a decentralised trusted manner and how this can be applied in the educational domain (see the OU Blockchain website). This work is funded by a number of projects. The Institute of Coding is a £20M funded UK initiative which aims to increase the graduate computing skills base in the UK. As leader of the first of five project Themes John Domingue is focusing on the use of blockchain micro-accreditation to support the seamless transition of learners between UK universities and UK industry. Since January 2019, he has played a leading role in the EU funded QualiChain project which has the aim of revolutionising public education and its relationship to the labour market and policy making by disrupting the way accredited educational titles and other qualifications are archived, managed, shared and verified, taking advantage of blockchain, semantics, data analytics and gamification technologies. This year he became a Fellow of the British Blockchain Association.

Follow John on Twitter @johndmk and the Knowledge Media Institute's Twitter account on @kmiou

Dr Robert Herian

Dr Robert Herian

Dr Robert Herian is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the Open University Law School.  With a background in property law and equity and trusts, Robert first became interested in blockchain technology five years ago when reading about the trustless networks the technology promised to enable and how this might relate to trusts law and other legal conceptions of trust. Since then Robert has spoken and published widely on legal, economic, cultural and political questions regarding blockchains and associated applications such as smart contracts.  This has included a report for the EU Commission’s blockchain observatory and forum on blockchain registers and smart contracts, and a monograph published by Routledge in 2018 and recently translated and published in China which explores blockchain regulation.  Robert’s work continues to develop in the field of blockchain studies, with new work looking at the phenomenon of personal data and shifts in the understanding of the data subject as we find it in, for example, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

See the latest tweets from the OU Law School via @OU_Law

Karen Foley

Facilitator and Presenter: Karen Foley

Karen Foley is a Lecturer in Learning and Teaching Innovation at the Open University and is responsible for developing and delivering the Student Hub Live, a platform of online interactive events that facilitate open access to an academic community. As Chair of Y032, the largest of three Access modules People, work and society, Karen oversees all matters for both annual presentations of the module, and is delivering the mid-life-review of the module. With an academic background in Theatre and Film, English and Psychology, Karen's main area of interest is in academic community in distance environments, using technology and scale to create opportunities for students to connect with each other. Karen is also an Associate Lecturer teaching Level 1 and 2 in the Social Sciences, Science and Psychology.

This video was filmed in July 2019 as part of The Open University Business and Law Festival, during The Open University's #OU50 celebrations.