Inspiration and Education

The Unlock the Block hackathon hopes to educate and inspire the next generation of developers working on distributed applications of all kinds. Having additional guest speakers from across the world presenting cutting edge content throughout the event is one of the ways in which we will achieve that.

There are both public events to get the entire community involved, as well a closed sessions for those lucky few to have been accepted into the hackathon itself. The chance to listen to industry experts from the previous CEO of Strate to elite members of the Bundesbank, in addition to some of the brightest minds working on blockchain protocols themselves is a sure way to broaden your horizons and gain some insight into the world of tomorrow.

We welcome you to expand your mind with a multitude of different views, experiences and opinions, all well rounded by Linum’s careful curation and in-house expertise.

See the schedule for upcoming events. Public events are highlighted in pink.


Upcoming Public Events

If you missed out on the chance to participate in the hackathon this year – dont worry. We have a series of events that we’re making open to the public. See more information by clicking on the events below!

Presentation by the German Central Bank

What is the Bundesbank?
The Deutsche Bundesbank, located in Frankfurt, is the central bank of Germany. The Bundesbank is responsible for supervision over the nation’s banking system and monetary measures, along with a variety of other additional responsibilities.

The Deutsche Bundesbank operates large financial market infrastructures and also develops these further in line with technological advances. The Bundesbank is exploring the potential of blockchain by examining how existing banking processes may be improved using blockchain technology.

Bundesbank Presentation at Unlock The Block
Dr Andreas Dombret, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, will be joining us to discuss the barriers to successful digitalization in banks relating to the bank-customer relationship and the communicative frictions within financial companies.

Dr Dombret studied business management at the Westfälische Wilhelms University in Münster and holds a PhD from the Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen-Nuremberg.

In May 2010, Dr Dombret joined The Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank. He is currently responsible for Directorates General Banking and Financial Supervision, Economic Education, University of Applied Sciences and Technical Central Bank Cooperation, Risk Control and the Bundesbank’s Representative Offices abroad. Prior to joining the Bundesbank, he held a variety of management positions at the Bank of America, Rothschild, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank.

Cape Town Ethereum Meetup

The first Ethereum meetup of 2018!

Please join us this Thursday at the Deloitte Greenpoint Offices for an evening filled to the brim with insightful presentations and discussions surrounding Blockchain and its role within FinTech, the latest developments and what to look out for this year.

We will have a series of world class industry experts, blockchain professionals and FinTech innovators in the space. This will be a networking event you don't want to miss!

This Meetup forms part of our community events of the: "Unlock The Block, Blockchain Hackathon 2018" ( Hosted by Linum Labs and AIFMRM. For more information on the event schedule and other public events please see the schedule here:

Other events to look out for over the next 10 days:
- 24 Jan, Presentation by Dr. Andreas Dombret, Executive Board Member of the German Central Bank
- 25 Jan, Ethereum Meetup by Deloitte
- 1 Feb, Blockchain Symposium Cape Town (details to be released soon)
- 1 Feb, Hackathon After Party (Starting 2018 off the right way)

We will EMAIL you links to the ticket invites of all of the remaining events. Meetup groups are getting first notice and discounts on tickets before we start promoting anywhere else.

Spaces are limited so please sign up via the quicket link to secure your spot!

Blockchain Symposium

Announcing Cape Town’s first Blockchain Symposium! Join us on the 1st of February for a day of unique insights into the dynamic world of blockchain with a number of world-class experts, investors, start-ups and professionals at Workshop 17 at the V&A. The Symposium marks the end of Linum Labs’ 10-Day Hackathon, sponsored by the University of Cape Town, ABSA, Status, ConsenSys, RMB The Foundry, Old Mutual, Microsoft and Pick n Pay.

The event is designed to immerse participants into the dynamic world of blockchain, covering aspects of Bitcoin, Ethereum and cryptocurrency. We dive into different topics for all levels of experience, with speakers from the world largest blockchain developer studio ConsenSys, Africa’s largest banks and most dynamic blockchain startups.

The half-day conference will comprise of a variety of speakers with extensive experience in the industry that have a passion for sharing knowledge with those who have an interest in blockchain. Keynote speakers will include, Monica Singer from ConsenSys, Niel de la Rouviere, Professor G-J van Rooyen from Custos Media, Andrew Baker CIO of ABSA/Barclays, James Kilroe from Newton Partners, Niel de la Rouviere and Paul Kohlhaas from uPort. The Symposium is a platform for speakers to share value, to inspire people with the potential of these new technologies and to accelerate change for the positive benefit of everyone.

Following the speakers and panels, a panel of judges will announce the winning team of the Unlock the Block Hackathon, where 20 teams competed for a R100,000 prize with their blockchain prototypes.

Your ticket includes catering and an open bar at the event, as well as access to an exclusive blockchain after party. The Symposium is a great opportunity to connect with the leading minds and engineers in the blockchain community.

At Linum Labs, we believe in developing and unleashing the full potential of blockchain technology. We are the change we want to see in the world and not just talking about it – doing it.

After Party

Come through to Cape Town's first blockchain party at Tau, Greenpoint this Thursday.

The Block Party will bring crypto-communities and Blockchain enthusiasts together.
Join the participants, our VIPs, investors, traders, international experts and developers as we celebrate the end of Africa's biggest Blockchain Hackathon.

Entrance is free to Hackathon participants and Symposium attendees.
Presale tickets available for R60 and tickets at the door are going for R100.

DJs on the night - Candice Heyns and Wulfsohn

See you there.


Dr Andreas Dombret

Lead at Bundesbank

Dr Andreas Dombret was born in the USA to German parents. He studied business management at the Westfälische Wilhelms University in Münster and was awarded his PhD by the Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen-Nuremberg. From 1987 to 1991, he worked at Deutsche Bank’s Head Office in Frankfurt, from 1992 to 2002 at JP Morgan in Frankfurt and London, from 2002 to 2005 as the Co-Head of Rothschild Germany located in Frankfurt and London, before serving Bank of America as Vice Chairman for Europe and Head for Germany, Austria and Switzerland between 2005 and 2009. He was awarded an honorary professorship from the European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel in 2009. Since May 2010, he has been a member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank with currently responsibility for Banking and Financial Supervision, Economic Education, University of Applied Sciences and Technical Central Bank Cooperation, Risk Controlling and the Bundesbank’s Representative Offices abroad. He is also responsible for IMF (Deputy of the Bundesbank), Financial Stability Commission (FSC) (Member), Supervisory Board (SSM) (Member), Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) (Member of the Bundesbank) and Bank for International Settlements, Basel (Board of Directors).

Dr Andreas Dombret – Bundesbank

Monica Singer

Creator of Opportunities - Consensys

Monica Singer is a Chartered Accountant (SA) and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.
She was the first CEO of South Africa’s Central Securities Depository (CSD), Strate (Pty) Ltd. In August 2017, Monica resigned as the CEO of Strate and all related board positions so she could concentrate in bringing blockchain technology to all relevant industries. In October 2017, Monica was appointed as “Creator of Opportunities” at ConsenSys. Monica is a motivating speaker not only in Finance, innovation and disruptive technologies but in uplifting woman to realise their full potential.

Monica Singer – ConsenSys

Paul Mitchell

SA Fintech and Blockchain Lead for PwC

Paul is the SA Fintech and Blockchain Lead for PwC, and is a financial services strategist. He has worked for corporates and startups in London and Cape Town from civil engineering to middleware to insurance. Outside work you may find him running on the mountain.

Paul Mitchell – PWC

Andrew Tudhope

Lead Architect - Linum Labs

Andy began developing his own cryptocurrencies while completing his Masters degree at the University of Oxford in 2014. With an academic background in both Applied Mathematics and English Literature, he is interested in the intersection of common programming languages for reaching consensus and the implementation of a global, shared substrate for computation. He came to work on Ethereum - and with Status in particular - in order to further his research into the idea of a perfect language: a set of linguistic primitives that can be read deterministically by anyone in the world without needing to trust any other intermediary or interpreter. Find him at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, raging against both the dying of the light and the fact they, still, don't accept bitcoin there.

Andrew Tudhope – Linum Labs

Co Pierre George

Associate Professor at the AIFMRM, University of Cape Town

Co-Pierre Georg is an Associate Professor at the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management at the University of Cape Town and the Director of the UCT Financial Innovation Lab. His research interests range from applications of blockchain in banking to systemic risk and financial interconnectedness with a particular focus on liquidity and payment systems. He obtained his PhD from the University of Jena in 2011 and has published both in finance and interdisciplinary journals. Co-Pierre’s research has received awards from the European Central Bank, the SAFE Center of Excellence at Goethe University, the Volkswagen Foundation, and the Institut Louis Bachelier. He has been a consultant at various central banks and held visiting positions at Oxford, Princeton, and the Columbia Business School. He is a Research Associate at the Oxford Martin School for the 21st Century and a Research Affiliate at the Columbia University Center for Global Legal Transformation.

Co Pierre George – University of Cape Town

Simon de la Rouviere

Full Stack Dev - Ujo Music

Simon is a full-stack engineer that builds decentralized applications for use in the music industry & online communities. He has been in the blockchain space since 2011, and has been doing Ethereum-based development at ConsenSys for more than 2,5 years. During this time he helped co-found Ujo and develop the first smart-contract driven rights management prototype with Imogen Heap. He is also a co-designer of COALA IP (a standard to represent IP on blockchains), and was a key co-designer of the ERC20 token standard used to secure more than a $1B worth of cryptographic assets on the Ethereum blockchain. Before joining ConsenSys he completed an MA in Socio-Informatics (researching sustainable online community design) which has formed the basis of new work related to curation markets & the attention web.

Simon de la Rouviere – ConsenSys & Ujo Music

Gavin Marshall

Founder of Sharebit

Gavin Marshall is the founder of Sharebit, a platform for the sharing economy, built on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain. He is also an international speaker, trainer and consultant focusing on Bitcoin, Blockchain and related technologies. Gavin has over 18 years experience as a technologist, and was on the founding team of Mxit, one of the first mobile messengers in the world.

Gavin Marshall – Sharebit

Paul Kohlhaas

Managing Director

Paul is a blockchain entrepreneur from Switzerland with a background in venture capital and strategy. He’s the founder of Linum Labs a blockchain advisory, focusing on building decentralized applications and digital assets and hosts the Cape Town and Johannesburg Ethereum meetups. Prior to dedicating his career to scaling blockchain applications he worked at a capital market advisory in South East Asia, a PE fund in Johannesburg and graduated from the University of St. Gallen (HSG) in Switzerland.

Paul Kohlhaas – Linum Labs

Coenie Beyers

Enterprise Developer at Consensys

After completing his MSc Eng, Cum Laude at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, Coenie joined FirstRand Bank's Treasury department as a software engineer where he helped found the blockchain team. After joining ConsenSys Enterprise, he was involved in a number of finance related projects. Coenie was part of the cross organisational team from JPMC and ConsenSys who worked on the Quorum stream of project Ubin where he fulfilled the role of technical lead.

Coenie Beyers – ConsenSys

Kelly Parkhurst

VP New Digital Solutions, Barclays Africa

For the past two years Kelly has been pushing the boundaries in blockchain technology and its impact on the financial industry, more specifically its potential impact on the Barclays Africa Corporate and Investment Bank. She led the world first live blockchain trade pilot for Barclays Africa in partnership with Barclays UK and Wave, a finch start-up. The bank was awarded the prestigious Global Trade Review Deal of the Year Award in recognition of this pilot.
Her previous experience includes financial planning and analysis at Barclays Africa, setting up a FinTech businesses in Kenya and Zambia as well television presenting on a local magazine show. She holds a BA, BCOM and is a Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA / CGMA).

Kelly Parkhurst – Barclays Africa

The Symposium

The 10 days of training and building amazing products will be folowwed by a half-day Symposium where some of the biggest and brightest personalities will have the opportunity to present the work they are currently involved in. This event is open to the public and is certainly not one to be missed!

It is scheduled from 12pm to 6pm on the 1st of Feb in Cape Town.

The venue and ticket prices will be posted to this page shortly.