The importance of decentralised science: a conversation with Friederike Kleinfercher, CEO of blxb labs

by | Jan 17, 2023 | memberships, news | 0 comments

With 50+ research institutions, bloxberg is the world’s largest science blockchain. How does the Proof of Authority consensus work? What are the benefits of this type of blockchain? And which use cases can we expect to evolve?  We spoke with Friederike Kleinfercher, CEO of the newly founded blxb labs GmbH and one od the initiators of the project. Read on to learn more about decentralised science and its future use cases.

🎤 Friederike, back in 2019, what made you decide to set up your own blockchain?
Talking to researchers at the Max Planck Society, we were often approached with the request for something like a time stamp for their research data. As a central service unit, the Max Planck Digital Library already had implemented a research data certificate issued by the MPG (Max Planck Gesellschaft). But when you think it through, and it really comes to a legal dispute about ’who was first’ such a certificate might not be sufficient. Utilizing a blockchain to have those data certified decentrally was obvious. However, we could not find a blockchain that met our expectations and high scientific standards when it comes to sustainability, trust, performance, or cost, and energy consumption. Therefore, we decided to initiate our own blockchain, backed by research organizations worldwide.

🎤How does the Proof of Authority consensus work and what where your experiences with this type of consensus mechanism so far?
In contrast to PoW or PoS for example, all Validator nodes are known in the bloxberg blockchain. This means that behind each validated transaction there is a research organization which created the block. Therefore, the consensus is not secured by computational power or the amount of staked coins; it is secured by the reputation of each single research organization in the network.

🎤 50+ organisations are building the bloxberg network today. What are their main needs and what are your goals for the coming years?
From my experience, research organizations who join the bloxberg association understood two things: they are aware that this groundbreaking technology will influence all aspects of our lifes, i.e. also the scientific world. And they see the potential benefits of the blockchain technology for the future of science. Shaping the blockchain for science, not being depended on commercial aspects and ensuring an independent and robust blockchain infrastructure for science, is what they want.
This year will be very important for bloxberg, and especially the blxb labs GmbH, the service provider for the bloxberg blockchain, as we will be issuing a token to ensure sustainable financing and to promote and support scientific applications on top of bloxberg blockchain.

🎤 What are the most common transactions on the bloxberg blockchain today? Which use cases do you expect to grow?
Today we see a lot of applications which are handling certifications of different kinds, i.e. master thesis or research data certification as well as secure cloud computing, to name just a few of it. In the coming years, I expect that we will experience advancements in the tokenization of science in many different areas, starting with research funding and research data marketplaces up to the incentivization of peer review processes.

🎤 What made you decide to join the EBA?
Everyone who is active in the blockchain field, especially in Germany, is to some extend a pioneer. For me, it is substantial and enriching to connect with others, exchange ideas and to support each other. Additionally I am very interested to learn more about the blockchain community and the many different use cases of blockchain technology that the EBA community is working on.