Berlin Blockchain Week 2019 – Summarized

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Blockchain Technology is getting more attention

In this (hopefully) short post, I’ll try to summarize the most interesting things we dove into or were part of while at Berlin Blockchain Week 2019.

The week was full of events, workshops, meetups, conferences, talks, discussions and different panels, as well as based on our experience lots of parties and fun.

Web3 Summit

One of the most interesting things at Web3Summit was the proposed new consensus algorithm called Snowball, used in Avalanche by Emin Gün Sirer.

The idea described in the whitepaper basically consists of nodes randomly asking other nodes about their opinion, and building up their own confidence in their opinion vs others’ opinion.

Snowball BFT Demo

This paper introduces a family of leaderless Byzantine fault tolerance protocols, built around a metastable mechanism via network subsampling. These protocols provide a strong probabilistic safety guarantee in the presence of Byzantine adversaries while their concurrent and leaderless nature enables them to achieve high throughput and scalability. Unlike blockchains that rely on proof-of-work, they are quiescent and green. Unlike traditional consensus protocols where one or more nodes typically process linear bits in the number of total nodes per decision, no node processes more than logarithmic bits. It does not require accurate knowledge of all participants and exposes new possible tradeoffs and improvements in safety and liveness for building consensus protocols. The paper describes the Snow protocol family, analyzes its guarantees, and describes how it can be used to construct the core of an internet-scale electronic payment system called Avalanche, which is evaluated in a large scale deployment. Experiments demonstrate that the system can achieve high throughput (3400tps), provide low confirmation latency (1.35 sec), and scale well compared to existing systems that deliver similar functionality. For our implementation and setup, the bottleneck of the system is in transaction verification.

There’s even a really nice graphical demo here:


DappCon focuses on decentralized applications, tooling, and foundational infrastructure on Ethereum.

This event is bringing together hundreds of blockchain and smart contracts developers, researchers and enthusiasts.

This years edition was a great place for anyone in interested in the ecosystem or networking with dapp developers to attend.

ETHBerlin hackathon

We assume if you’re reading this document, that you know what ETHBerlin Zwei is, but to recap: ETHBerlin Zwei is a combination of a hackathon, experiences, workshops and talks, happening from 21st till 25th of August 2019 in Berlin, Germany.

Although we did not participated hacking at the ETHBerlin hackathon, there were quite big amount of other clever people there, which didn’t stayed unnoticed (our friends from AirGap got to win one of the prizes).

Aeternity Meetup

At the peak of the 10+days long event – Blockchain Week Berlin aeternity invited developers to join and meet at the Blockchain Embassy and talk blockchain, with beers and pizzas!

Philipp Piwowarsky & Milen Radkov presenting at Aeternity Meetup Berlin

Philipp and Milen did an Introduction to Sophia Smart Contracts on æternity. A brief introduction on the ways æternity makes use of the specialized Sophia language to provide a faster, safer and more developer-friendly contract coding experience. Sophia has a purely functional approach to smart contracts designed for a highly scalable blockchain. This talk will help you get started with the essentials. It will give you more insights on functional languages for blockchain and all the necessary resources to start coding on æternity.

Aeternity meetup @ Blockchain Embassy

ConsenSys Scalability Meetup

What does scalability mean in the context of blockchain based applications? What are the new narratives for developers using such primitives

Consensys Scalability Meetup Panel

We’ve participated in conversations around scalability together with leaders from Skale Labs, Aztec Protocol, Matic Network, Counterfactual, and Infura, sharing views on the extensibility of scaling primitives and the challenges involved.

We were discussing the scalability issues in blockchain both in technical manner (on-chain and off-chain solutions) and in terms of user adoption of the blockchain technology in general.

A lot of interesting solutions and protocols are being developed using Zero-Knowledge addressing the problems with scaling and privacy.

Chaos Communication Camp 2019

Another awesome meeting that was taking place the same time as the Berlin Blockchain Week (happy coincidence) was the CCCamp.

The Chaos Communication Camp (also known as CCCamp) is an international meeting of hackers that takes place every four years, organized by the Chaos Computer Club (CCC). So far all CCCamps have been held near Berlin, Germany.

The camp is an event for providing information about technical and societal issues, such as privacyfreedom of information and data security. Hosted speeches are held in big tents and conducted in English as well as German. Each participant may pitch a tent and connect to a fast internet connection and power.

We went there to meet some of the smartest and brightest people in the field of technologies and got to know a lot of interesting stuff being in active development.


In summary this was the time of the year, people form the ecosystem gather to collaborate, exchange ideas, meet and discuss new projects and opportunities.

It was a blast! Looking forward to attending the next year’s Berlin Blockchain Week 2020!

Also published on Medium.

About the author:


Milen Radkov has experience building and delivering successful complex software systems and projects for both big enterprises and small startups. Being actively developing across different blockchain protocols, platforms and projects for the past 5 years, he has gained extensive experience in blockchain development, architectures, consensus algorithms and token economics. Milen is a well-known figure in the blockchain space.

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