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Virtual Blockchain Workshop
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The workshop is open to all members and geared toward those who want to take a deeper dive into blockchain. There will be two ways to participate –either as an observer or participant. We encourage you to register as a participant to get the most out of the workshop. Participants, the target audience for a sizeable portion of the training, will need to do a small bit of preparation before the meeting. Observers need only join the webinar and observe.

When: Thursday, June 18, 2020
9:00 AM
Where: Virtual via WebEx
Contact: Sheila Crowley

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Blockchain Workshop
Coordinator: David Houston


0900 Introductions

0915 Briefing and Overview

1000 Simulation Part I

·       Metamask Setup

·       Onboarding to DUN

·       First proposals

1200 Lunch Break

1300 Simulation Part II

·       Make and vote on proposals

1415 15 Minute Break

1430 Identity Management Example

1500 Discussion

·       Lessons Learned

·       Q&A

·       Next Steps

1600 Conclusion


Workshop Attendees

There are two types of attendees: observers and participants. Observers need only join the webinar and observe. Participants, the target audience for a sizeable portion of the training, will need to follow the steps listed below in advance of the workshop. The steps should take about five minutes.

Prerequisite to Participate


I am assuming a primarily teleworking audience. If you are participating in the workshop (if you are just observing, no action is required) you should be using a laptop/computer that you personally own connected to an unclassified network (such as public wifi or the network in your home). If you are using a laptop/computer provided by your employer, or are connecting to wifi in a government facility, please ensure you have direct authorization from your IT personnel before proceeding. Do not attempt to install anything on an OpenNet device. Observers may join the webinar from any device, as the webinar can run in the browser and requires no installation.


For those participating in the workshop:

1.    First, for background, watch this short video on what Metamask is.

2.    Now depending on your browser, install the Metamask browser extension in either Chrome or Firefox. If you do not have one of these browsers on your computer, install that first and then install the browser extension.

3.    Once added into the browser, Metamask should open automatically in its own tab. Follow the prompts to "Create a Wallet".

4.    Create a password that you will remember.

5.    Write down (on paper) your "Secret Backup Phrase" and keep it private. This is a mnemonic seed phrase consisting of 12 words and if you lose it the account cannot be restored.

6.    Find your wallet address and email it to by COB the day before the workshop. This is a long string of letters/numbers listed under where it reads "Account 1" and will look something like this: 0x4845B8eB827dB199526e9BCF061cC5C01F29DB9f

Workshop Scenario

You are a member state of the Decentralized United Nations (DUN), an organization that "exists" entirely on a blockchain. Think UN General Assembly combined with an International Monetary Fund. Each member state will be randomly assigned an amount of DUN tokens, which effectively determines their strength relative to others within the organization. This simulates a disparity of power between nations, although no one participant is capable of unilateral action. These tokens enable the member states to make and vote on proposals that can change the dynamics of the DUN, and the tokens will have a market price within the context of the simulation. Though all information is publicly recorded on the blockchain, you will be pseudo-anonymous provided that you do not reveal certain details or actions performed during the workshop (the choice is yours). After successfully onboarding, member states will be presented with a variety of decision points, which will be put forward as proposals. Participants will vote as they wish and proposals will either pass or fail. There are no right or wrong answers, only valid and invalid transactions.

Game Theory

These properties and incentives are what determine everything that happens (or doesn't happen) within the simulation. Changing them significantly impacts the level of centrality, the authority of a given member state, and the democratic principles in the system. These points will become clear during the simulation as you interact with the decentralized application.

·        Quorum threshold for voting

·        Minutes for debate on a given proposal

·        Total supply and distribution of DUN tokens

·        Balance of DUN tokens at a given address

·        Level of pseudo-anonymity among participants

·        Extent of coordination or collusion among participants

·        Whether a participant is sanctioned

Identity Management Example

In addition to the DUN simulation, there will also be a demonstration of a blockchain-based “passport” system. This is a smart contract that the coordinator will show to flesh out the conversation on the topic of blockchain-based identity management. This illustration will segue into an open discussion for workshop participants and observers to comment on their experience and observation from the training.

Background Reading

This is not a Blockchain 101 course. A foundational understanding of this technology is presumed, though there will be a lecture to begin to help ensure a baseline among all participants. Readings most salient to this workshop are:

·        USAID Primer on Blockchain - Though published several years ago, this document is one of the best documents on this technology as it relates to State Department assets. In particular, there is a glossary on several key terms as well as a good flow chart for when a blockchain might be a good (or bad) choice to implement within existing systems.

·        Do your own research on the Ethereum network. It is a vast topic, but there are many public resources available to afford you a better understanding.

Workshop Goals

1.     Experiential learning

2.     Coordinating interagency strategy on blockchain

3.     Identifying viable use cases, with an additional focus on identity management

4.     Establishing a Department or interagency test net

Key Terms

I will go over this during the lecture, but it will help you to have some familiarity with these terms in particular. You can do your own research, or consult the glossary's found in the background readings listed above.

·        Blockchain - a public, decentralized, permission-less ledger distributed across a peer-to-peer network and validated by a consensus algorithm

·        Smart contract - a collection of code and data with a specific purpose or capability that resides at an address on a blockchain

·        Token - a programmable asset or access right managed by a smart contract and accessible only by the individual with the private key for the address holding the token

·        Decentralized Application (dApp) - an internet-based application that interfaces with a blockchain and is capable of generating valid transactions to make state changes

·        Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) - an organization represented by rules encoded within a smart contract and controlled by shareholders of a digital asset (token) and not influenced by a central authority

Hash - a type of digital fingerprint; a hash maps a data input of an arbitrary size through a one-way function into a fixed size string of data, allowing for data integrity and non-repudiation