I recently spoke at the ‘Seizing the Blockchain Opportunity’ event held by London & Partners in London (the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency). This event was organized due to the growing interest and need for education in the blockchain space.
London is also creating an increasing number of starts ups in the blockchain and AI space. So it was little surprise to see the event was sold out and attended by both experts in the field as well as those completely new to the world of blockchain technology.
The sold-out event bought together professionals working in the blockchain space and those wanting to learn more about the real-life use cases of blockchain and where the opportunities are.
We are on the cusp of a blockchain revolution. The last year alone has seen major corporates gain interest in the distributed ledger technology, and an increasing number of companies are starting and scaling rapidly in the space.
The event saw three panel discussions outlined below, and welcomed speakers from early-stage start-ups all the way to major corporations in the blockchain industry, to discuss the reality of the space, its major challenges and the greatest opportunities for applying this emerging technology.
Here is a summary of the event with key takeaways
Panel 1: Opportunities and Dreaming Big: this panel discussed the major opportunities that are now possible thanks to blockchain technology, from creating a truly global marketplace to financial inclusion for the unbanked, digital identity solutions, supply chain transparency and more.
- There are powerful use cases for blockchain that can be used for identification purposes to prevent fraud
- As use cases on the blockchain increase, there could be issues with scaling
- Users don’t need to understand the mechanics and technical aspects of the blockchain. Need to get them past that. Just how we use the internet and email without thinking about the technical work that happens underneath, we also need to start embracing blockchain and its benefits
- We all use the internet and email but not all of us necessarily understand how it works!
Panel 2: What Keeps Me Awake At Night: this panel explored the main challenges that blockchain faces today, focusing on blocks such as limited transaction speeds, the energy usage of mining, the lack of regulation in the crypto space, amongst others
- Can we truly get to a decentralized model or will we see the rise of centralized entities again in order to scale?
- We need some level of regulation in order for investors to feel comfortable and confident in investing in ICOs
- Educating the market and its end users in the possibilities of blockchain are important.
- Giselle Frederick of Zingr explained how market vendors in Grenada, a small Caribbean island, were hesitant of the idea of using a blockchain enabled payment app until she explained they could use this technology to sell even more products to customers on the other side of the tiny island and be guaranteed payment!
- Rodney Prescott of PWC talked about scaling, adopting blockchain with regards to the consensus mechanism and the rise of consortium structures.
Panel 3: How To Start A Career In Blockchain: attendees heard the personal stories of professionals who entered the space, who shared what led them to blockchain and how it is to work in the industry.
- Have a growth mindset and actively learn about blockchain, attend meetups, reach out to your blockchain role models and learn from them
- If you can’t join a blockchain start up then create something yourself!
- Follow key people on social channels and learn from them like Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Lubin,
Other useful resources shared:
Written by Sukhi Jutla
Sukhi Jutla is the author of 3 books and the co-founder of MarketOrders, the online B2B marketplace for gold jewelry and diamonds. As a female tech ambassador, Sukhi is a regular keynote speaker, passionate about supporting female entrepreneurship. She is an IBM Blockchain Foundation Developer and her efforts have been recognized by a number of industry awards including the Asian Women of Achievement Awards, WeAreTheCity Rising Stars Award, Management Todays ’35 Women Under 35′ and listed as one of the Top 100 Asians in UK Tech. In April 2018 Sukhi made global headlines when she became the World’s First #1 Bestselling ‘Blockchain’ Author.
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