Blockchains: from crypto-currencies to data-driven smart economies


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Blockchain is a cryptographic platform that is taking the world of FinTech by a storm, since its inception in 2009 through the digital currency bitcoin. Blockchains solve the problems of trust, verifiability and accountability for transactions in today’s Internet-based hyper-connected world. This is achieved by pitting the adversary against the aggregated computational power of a decentralized P2P network of nodes, Bitcoin being the largest with more horsepower than all super-computers of the world put together. While Bitcoin is an efficient, fast and resilient global payment network today, the underlying Blockchain technology has the foundations for supporting other forms of transactions like contracts, information processing and secure communication. Blockchains can automate and scale trust & verifiability for these transactions, and turn them in smart-transactions defined by data-driven intelligence and real-time responsiveness.

This ambitious vision has created a community of startups, large financial institutions and technology leaders tackling the challenges of applying blockchain technologies to disrupt processes & systems foundational to today’s global financing, economy and trade. There are concerns around the viability of blockchain technology independent of Bitcoin network’s large compute capacity. The framework of blockchain-based trust and verifiability needs to evolve independent of the context of the transaction (payments, contracts and beyond) in order to share the back-end compute network. The cost and complexity of development has to become reachable for fostering mainstream adoption. Policy-setting needs to get very nuanced about technology decisions that deeply impact economic behavior of the participants. Finally, interoperability between different implementations of blockchains is necessary to weave a global smart-economy based on data-driven intelligence.

In this event, our expert panel will analyze the future of Bitcoin and blockchain technology in the quest for creating data-driven smart-economies for the connected world.

Speakers for panel discussion:

  • Peter Kirby, CEO of Factom (moderator)
  • Ted Rogers, President, Xapo
  • Bill Barhydt, Founder & CEO of Abra
  • Connie Gallippi, Founder & Executive Director of the BitGive Foundation
  • Alyse Killeen, March Capital Partners
  • Kamesh Raghavendra, Vice President at The Hive

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Founder of Blockchain News and The Hackitarians Foundation, Richard Kastelein is an award winning publisher and editor, hackathon organiser and entrepreneur. He has written over 700 articles at Blockchain News, has a massive network in the Blockchain arena and is available as a speaker and consultant. ( Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on technology at events in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Gdansk, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Oxford, Rio de Janeiro, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, and Zurich. A Creative Technologist & Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) his career began in the Native Press (Canadian Arctic) and he later spent a decade in the Caribbean media. Currently, he writes occasionally for Wired Insights, Guardian & Virgin and his articles have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German & French.