The ‘How to Build a Global Ecosystem for Blockchain Technology’ event was held on Saturday afternoon, London time, sponsored by B20 (www.b20.io) and NORN (www.norn.ai). B20 is the 20 Nations League of Blockchain founded by practitioners very recently. NORN is an AI-infused smart business system.
The event started with Hui Gong, a researcher at UCL Centre of Blockchain Technologies, sharing his motive and goal to organise the event as well as the China-UK Blockchain Association. “I hope to connect more opportunities between China and the UK,” said Gong, “as you know, the Chinese government banned ICO activities in China just recently. But ICO is a global thing.”
Jennifer Chung, who was also from the association, then introduced B20 and some Blockchain applications in both financial and non-financial area as well as briefed the audience on recent ICO phenomenon– how global banks are also using the technology, how regulators have started stepping in, and how general people think about the market. “Yes, more than half of the interviewees believe we are in a digital asset bubble, but also more than half of them remain positive in light of Bitcoin’s volatile price change,” said Chung.
The next session is a panel discussion on Blockchain use cases, concerns about the technology, advantages and disadvantages, regulatory frameworks regarding ICO and ICO’s future development in comparison with Venture Capital. Former investment banker and visiting professor Donald Lawrence, Fintech Professional Helene Panzarino, Luke Kovic from Applied Blockchain, Richard Skaife from YOVO and Sara Feenan, UK Blockchain Lead of Capco joined the discussion.
“From a financial services perspective, post-trade infrastructure, up to the execution and settlement with the central bank would be a great use case for blockchain,” said Feenan. In fact, six global banks have joined forces to a UBS-led project to release the Utility Settlement Coin where one USC equals one physical Euro to fast-track settlements in seconds, aiming to save up to US$65 to $80 billion a year for the financial services sector.
In light of the fraud and disqualified ICO projects, Kovic believes now is one of the golden times. “If you look at the .com boom, there is Amazon; there is Google. There is a parallel today. There are excellent businesses out there going to ICO to access good and sophisticated capital.”
“In the year 1999 to 2000, there is an IPO race, but from what I have here, 86% of them failed after IPO. Regulation stepped to help the people who are not so knowledgeable about what they’re buying. So I think you got to do your own due diligence. Things will rise, but before that, very very high volatility.” warned Prof. Lawrence.
Before networking session started, Leslie Kanthan, a consultant from Commerzbank AG, talked about NORN, an AI-infused project. He raised an example of a solar energy use case of Blockchain and AI combined. “One way of keeping energy transactions safe is using Blockchain. The technology is already being used by one of the biggest energy company in Europe. AI plays a role in predicting the price in this mechanism.”
The audience consisted of private equity investors, former and current bankers, start-up managements and quite a few EMBA and MBA students who are highly interested in the topic. The event was very successful, “I think the event is great! If you are new to this sector, these kinds of events can introduce you well.” Adam, COO of BABB, the first World Bank for the Micro-Economy based in One Canada Square, expressed his feelings in an interview during the networking session.
This event brought by China-UK Blockchain Association has attracted more than 100 participants in London and sold out its tickets (free) in merely two days. The association believes the sector is growing, and it is looking forward to bring more in-depth discussions as the ICO market and applications of the blockchain technology are yet to be discovered.
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