Munich/Belgrade, 30.10.2023: On 26-27 October, the members of the bloxberg Association for the Advancement of Science and Blockchain e.V. met in Belgrade for the sixth time. During the summit, Max Planck Society (MPG) was appointed Chair of the Board of the Association. Discussions included the expansion of the world's largest proof-of-authority network, operated exclusively by research institutions. The bloxberg technology was developed under the leadership of the Munich Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL) and was launched in 2019 together with ten other international universities. Today, bloxberg is one of the most advanced use cases for blockchain technology and a pioneer for a decentralized global infrastructure in science.
On 26 October, the bloxberg members met at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences at the University of Belgrade, initially in closed session. The participants reflected on a successful first year after transitioning from a consortium to an association in 2022 with about 50 members. Last year, more than 30 integrations and applications were registered. In total, more than 18,000 research objects (NFTs) have been certified via the blockchain.
Max Planck Society takes over as Chair of bloxberg Association
Another central item on the agenda was the election of the chair, which was held by the University of Nicosia last year and will now pass to the Max Planck Society. Representing MPG is Dr Sandra Vengadasalam (MPDL), who takes up the role with much enthusiasm for the potential bloxberg holds: "Together we will push the boundaries of blockchain technology and its applications to shape the future of the scientific world. With the support of our international community, we will unlock new opportunities, foster interdisciplinary research and have a global impact."
For the first time the summit was also open to the public on the second day. German Ambassador Anke Konrad opened the second half of the meeting. In her speech, she emphasized the positive cooperation between Germany and Serbia in transforming towards digitization in both economy and science. In this context, Konrad praised the bloxberg network as a "central contribution to joint research across national borders and a lighthouse project for the future of networked science".
bloxberg - Significant Innovation in Science
The overarching mission of the bloxberg project also played an important role in the discussion: enabling society as a whole to secure data with the reputational proof of research organizations worldwide; a central task that universities and research institutions around the world have always been committed to. The application fields of bloxberg have not yet been fully explored and there remain many needs for a transparent and secure online system based on blockchain in science. These include proof of the authenticity of data, secure protection of intellectual property rights, exchange of research results, peer reviewing or the dissemination of publications.
Dr. Uroš Šošević from the Faculty of Organizational Sciences at the University of Belgrade, member of the bloxberg Senate and on-site organizer emphasizes the purpose of the new blockchain technology: "We bring together experts and visionaries from science and blockchain to explore the potential of decentralized science. Together we want to redefine research and the exchange of knowledge."
bloxberg is the most important blockchain project in science. It was founded in 2019 by MPDL, looking for a way to store research results and make them available to other researchers. In this sense, bloxberg is a decentralized register in which results can be stored in a tamper-proof way with a time stamp and an identifier.
bloxberg is based on the Ethereum Blockchain. However, it makes use of a different consensus mechanism: instead of "Proof of Stake" used by Ethereum since 2022, bloxberg validates blocks through "Proof of Authority". Each node is operated by one member. All members of the association are research institutions and are known in the network. Currently, bloxberg has 44 nodes. It is an international project with participating institutions from all over the world.
About the Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL)
The Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL) is a central institution of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science (MPG) and supports all researchers of the MPG with expert digital services. As Europe's largest digital library, it provides easy access to data, scientific literature, commercial software licenses, scientific communication tools and services, and research-relevant software applications. The MPDL has a transformative impact on commercial product development and the scientific publishing market for the benefit of the MPG and science overall.