On Thursday 30th August, we attended Linfinity Forum at Canary Wharf’s Level39. Other than the incredible view from the building and the delicious sandwiches served for lunch, highlights included:
Naoris CTO Fernando Martinho talked about how the world’s cyber security has not changed in 35 years and the inevitable security breaches and catastrophes that this fact has caused. He also pointed out that, in 2015, companies spent $3 trillion fixing cyber security problems, which is 3 times the value of the market.
That is insane.
His colleague, Naoris CEO, David Carvalho, added the bleak prediction that this problem is not going to go away, it’s just going to get worse.
The pair then shared Naoris’ mission, which is to make the world a safer place by revolutionising cyber security using blockchain. Carvalho concluded – “You either have integrity, or you don’t, and blockchain is very good at managing that.”
That made us all feel better!
Next we heard from a panel of experts about financing tech startups. This panel featured Andrew Adcock and Jinu Kochar of Crowd for Angels, Rupert Barksfield from Nousplatform and PWC’s Rodney Prescott. It was moderated by Linfinity’s own CEO, Anndy Lian.
When asked what made them invest in a particular company, the panel stressed that it wasn’t all about white paper – they have to be impressed with the CEO. Andrew Adcock said he often goes to watch the CEO talk, and what he’s looking for is the belief that they can do the work needed to make the company a success day in, day out. The team and product were also mentioned as important factors.
When asked about ICOs, the panel make it clear they expected a company wanting funding to justify why they are doing the ICO, and demonstrate that it is more than just a way to make a quick buck.
Rodney Prescott made the very valid point that, just because there’s an ICO involved, doesn’t mean it removes the need to rationalise what the money is needed for.
A particular highlight of the forum was an address by Nicole Anderson on using blockchain for social good.
Covering topics such as digital identity and financial inclusion, Anderson discussed how blockchain can improve the immutability, trust and transparency of services and improve issue relating to identity and inclusion worldwide.
A particularly interesting point made by Anderson was that the problem with digital identity in the western world is almost the opposite of that in developing countries – we are demanding the right to be forgotten, whereas in emerging markets, 1.1 billion people have no form of formal identity at all, which excludes them from access to a range of services.
The talk also covered how blockchain can help revolutionise world politics, with decentralised voting provider Votem receiving a special mention. Another major issue in emerging markets that can be solved with the help of blockchain is land rights. Kenyan based Harambee Token was named as a company attempting to do just that.
Overall, it was an interesting and informative day that only served to strengthen our belief that blockchain is set to make a significant change to the way we all live our life, and improve the situation for billions around the world.