What does a Blockchain look and sound like?

I work directly with IOHK as the lead developer/creative on the Symphony of Blockchains project.

The project aims to make blockchain technology easily understandable to a wide audience through a creative and immersive exploration of real-time data.

Symphony invites users to fly around a landscape constructed entirely of real Blockchain data, in immersive Virtual Reality. Merkle Trees tower above you and bitcoin transaction crystals glow and hum with energy.

Bitcoin is a living ecosystem and Symphony portrays this via its dynamic and ever-changing world. Real transactions fly past you from blocks to the mempool as the transaction ledger maintains its state of equilibrium. The state of network congestion is visualised and sonified as users fight to send higher fees with their transactions.

Symphony was a unique technical challenge as it is built entirely with web technology. This means that one codebase can run a mobile, desktop and high-end VR experience. Another technical milestone was generating sound from swathes of transaction data. I used a novel technique which utilises the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) to create sound in near real-time, taking advantage of the parallel nature of GPUs.


> Exploring the blockchain in VR at the launch event at Arnolfini, Bristol


> An early concept for the blockchain layout created in Houdini