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

About Richard Kastelein

Founder of industry publication Blockchain News, partner at ICO services collective CryptoAsset Design Group (helped raise over $200m+), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) and ICO event organiser at leading industry event  CryptoFinancing (first ICO event in Europe) - Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of half a dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1200 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.
Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London, Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, Shanghai,Tel Aviv and Venice. His network is global and extensive.
He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French.
A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world.
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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