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, Publisher and Editor in Chief of industry leading online publication, Blockchain News and co-founder and director at Blockchain Partners in London/Amsterdam/NYC. Kastelein is also an advisor with a number Blockchain startups doing ICOs including where hs is interim CMO,, Inchain, Chronobank, eGaas and others. He is regarded as one of the top journalists by the Blockchain and fintech communities – as is evident by his entry in the Top 150 Fintech journalists online and in the top 10 of the Blockchain Top 100 List.

As a prominent keynote presenter, he has spoken on Blockchain at events in Gdansk, Amsterdam, Minsk, Dubai, Antwerp, Eindhoven, Bucharest, Nairobi, Tel Aviv, Manchester, Brussels, Barcelona etc, where he helped spread the cause for Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and, consequently, has built a notable network in the scene.

He’s also a director of a Dutch foundation called The Hackitarians and has run innovation events in London, San Francisco, Berlin, Amsterdam and other cities around the world on topics such Blockchain, Health, Energy, Internet of Things, AI etc.

In 2013, the European Commission appointed him as an expert for overseeing financing for emerging startups as a part of the European Commission’s 90 billion euro Horizon 2020 project, created in Brussels to promote innovation as a driving force of job creation and business ventures across Europe. He has also worked as an external expert for Innovate UK since 2012, judging startups for the UK government.

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