In January 2023, I attended the Algorand Centres of Excellence (ACE) Conference in Barcelona. The event, hosted by the Algorand Foundation, brought together over 120 researchers and students from the various Algorand university hubs across the world to advance blockchain education and research. Universities represented included UC Berkley, Monash University and University of Cape Town.
The sessions at the conference covered a wide range of topics including protocol engineering, security and practical applications of blockchain. I got to present on blockchain use cases in emerging markets and how at FoodPrint Labs we’ve built a WhatsApp bot for that is integrated with the Algorand blockchain for record keeping, traceability and access to financial services by farmers in emerging markets.
I also enjoyed a presentation from UC Berkley on research they are doing on DeFi attacks categorised by protocol type (yields, bridges, lending etc) – although bridges have a low number of attacks compared to other protocol types, they rank high in monetary loss resulting from the attacks (i.e. funds are drained from the bridge pools).
John Woods, CTO at the Algorand Foundation also used the opportunity to announce the release of AlgoKit, which is a one-stop shop tool for developers building on the Algorand network. AlgoKit gets developers of all levels up and running with a familiar, fun and productive development environment in minutes. The release of AlgoKit is inline with the Algorand north star of not only providing a robust ledger but best in class experience for developers building on it.
All in all, attending the conference was a great way to kick-off the year, mingle with university innovation units building on Algorand and exchange ideas!