Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference 2018 Review
Almost two thousand participants of the BBC, or Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference 2018, gathered in the Parkovyi business center in Kyiv on March, 29 in order to discover the world of blockchain, cryptocurrencies and tokens.
Smart Expo team conducts this kind of meetings regularly, those events are held several times a year at international venues in major cities, the centers of the crypto industry. But this time, the conference connected the outstanding number of speakers, participants and exhibition stands.
There were two simultaneous streams of presentations in two halls. The total number of 35 speakers joined the program this year in two main sections: Finance, Business & Regulation and Development & Tokenization. Exhibition included more than 20 different stands presenting crypto startups.
The future of blockchain: Ukrainian government vision
The Finance, Business & Regulation block was the most formal part of the event. Speakers discussed fairly serious and recent problems: the ways to introduce blockchain technology to the public sector, the cryptocurrencies regulation, the legalization of crypto business and investments, the legal protection of intellectual property etc.
The main speakers represented public economy sector. In particular, the Ukraine's infrastructure minister Volodymyr Omelyan announced the plans to use the blockchain technology in some governmental institutes. He spoke about a pilot project for the all-purpose electronic ticket, which is currently on the stage of development. In general, the minister admitted that he personally was well-disposed towards the implementation of the blockchain.
"It’s is a very positive trend. Actually, the blockchain technology allows to monitor all the actions, so they cannot be manipulated. This is the future that we really need today. Officials sometimes can change their decisions afterwards, or even corruption-related situations may appear. If the blockchain would be implemented, everyone would be fully responsible for any actions. This is a significant step forward".
However, a co-founder of the legendary Ukrainian legal agency Juscutum, Artem Afyan, repeatedly pointed in his speech that Ukraine and the blockchain still have long way to go. In his opinion, the country’s legislative field lacks the necessary certainty.
"Today there are two main crypto laws in Ukraine. But they are very different and also use various terminology, which indicates that they need the revision. Now the disunity of these laws harms the whole Ukrainian crypto community".
Meanwhile, the speech of the Head of State Agency for Electronic Control, Alexander Ryzhenko seemed particularly interesting. The official believes that mining is just a mathematical calculation, which is currently permitted.
"There are no problems if this happens legally with the use of legal equipment and electricity. As for cryptocurrencies, their status is not yet defined. But I agree with the opinion that without the definition they cannot be permitted or forbidden".
The expert also shared his thoughts about the situation, when the Security Service of Ukraine forced some miners and entrepreneurs:
"Unfortunately, the news shows that there are a lot of fraud schemes related to cryptocurrencies. But it may happen with fiat currencies as well. I doubt cryptocurrencies will be widely represented in the nearest future. Rather, there will be government projects based on ICO, and only after that some kind of legalization is possible”.
The Deputy Alexei Mushak said that the formation of the legislative base for the crypto business had finally started. He is very much interested in the cryptocurrencies fate here in Ukraine, despite the governmental pressure. During the speech, he outlined the creation of an initiative group that would promote the legislative solution for determining the proper place of cryptocurrencies in the country's economic system.
The director of Diacle, Adam Waziri, announced the idea of blockchain-based distributed registries in the state administration. The concept of a single central bank's cryptocurrency was highlighted by CTO of Deloitte Garage, Sergei Bondarenko. And Georgy Givishvili, CMO of Bitfury, revealed the power of blockchain in the sphere of commercial business.
There were 17 speakers in financial section of the event. The most of them outlined the vague future of bitcoin. And almost all speakers are sure that the implementation of blockchain and the legalization of cryptocurrencies will not happen soon in Ukraine.
Everything you want to know about ICO
As for the Development & Tokenization section, its moderator was a crypto blogger and the co-founder in Cryptodealers, Dmitry Kryshtal. Almost every startup represented in this block turned out to be ICO project, and most presentations were held by leading marketing managers in their companies.
Some projects had hard time proving themselves successful or, at least, promising. In particular, the CEO in Chain Group, Jimmy Nguyen, got a lot of tricky questions from the audience. Listeners didn’t seem to believe his inspiring speech about Bitcoin Cash and its influence on the future of commerce. As one of the developers commented, Bitcoin Cash would not regain the previous positions in the market as there were too many flaws in its technological part.
Alexander Botezat, the representative of Bitfury, a giant of software and hardware market, described the technology that can save Bitcoin – the Lightning Peach product allows you to conduct instant BTC transactions.
The project presented by Remme CEO Alexander Momot really attracted interest of the audience. His team decided to develop a cybersecurity product, which is able to permanently solve problem of typing in any passwords.
The Development & Tokenization section has fully covered the current tokenization issues. In particular, ex-Google employee, CMO of Crowdholding, Alex Bozhinov, described the way of conducting the ICO from scratch. Another discussion of tricks for token promoting was revealed by Vladimir Popov, the author of "ICO: essence, problems, law".
The connection between technology and contemporary art was emphasized by decorations, paintings, sculptures, and installations. Stanislav Podyachev, the managing partner of Blockchain Lab and the founder of Blockchain Art Hackathon, spoke about the blockchain-based art projects. As part of the event, the artists have created art objects that reflect their vision of blockchain technology.
Even though the speakers highlighted the ICO-related issues from all angles, opinions had divided. Questions from the audience clearly demonstrated that developers and investors remain skeptical about tokens because of the fraud cases. Yet, the event has shown truly enthusiastic supporters of global tokenization. Anyway, the most participants agreed that it was too early to make conclusions, as the discussed area could still be considered new and unexplored. However, some of new projects are extremely interesting.
The exhibition of two dozen stands of various companies was located on the first floor. Basically, it was promoting startups and ICOs, but ongoing projects were presented as well.
For example, the Myrig team presented their products for miners and explained its cooperation with Halong Miner. Bitfury exhibited three products at once: Exonum, Crystall and Lightning peach. Developers from Molotov.Lab were giving away balloons to visitors and spoke of their projects ‒ games based on the innovative technologies. They also promised to release blockchain-based MMORPG. The One + 1 organization presented the concept of charity based on blockchain. In general, there were a lot of ideas: lotteries, auctions, shops, wallets, and database services. In general, the exhibition gathered strong and non-trivial products, and the most of them will likely enter the market.
Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference 2018
The results of the conference has shown that Ukraine looks very serious and promising for the crypto business. Successful projects, the number of possible investors, talented developers and great interest from foreign experts have clearly illustrated that this field grows rapidly. Such events give the opportunity to establish new contacts and build the partnerships while discussing important issues with other participants.
The world has not yet managed to fully realize the importance of new technologies. Therefore, as some speakers have noted, the cryptosphere is still plunged into chaos. However, the uncertainty of the situation does not seem to bother anyone working in this area — it keeps bringing new ideas in. In blockchain we trust, as they say.
Hadiya Osmokesku, Blockspoint
Foto: Blockchain Conference Ukraine