MadeinFuture Series: Insights into the Blockchain Industry from Seattle’s First Blockchain Conference


When I first heard Pitch Investors Live adviser Justin Wu announce the NW Blockchain Conference, I became interested in speaking on stage.

Even better, I had the chance to moderate two panels on legal and blockchain use cases for his first event, taking place in the city that launched the first cryptocurrency “token” called Mastercoin and where Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks call home.

On the legal side, the discussion around tokens focuses on tokens as securities and government role on market adoption. The trend for governments adopting some form of cryptocurrency continues to increase. “More governments around the world will start issuing their own coins,” predicts Kate Mitselmakher, a former Gardner analyst and founder of the blockchain accelerator Bloccelerate.

In blockchain use cases, supply chain and logistics company, Shipchain, has engaged one of the largest suppliers of poultry Purdue for a pilot study to track the origin of chicken and feed. Everledger is tracking diamonds; their pilot has been denied by Dewar’s one of the largest suppliers of diamonds in the world. Companies like Dragonchain attempt to simplify integration of real business applications onto a blockchain while miners at Krambu simplify the process of individual and enterprise DIY operations.

Rex Chen, COO of Ecoinmerce, the E-commerce platform where users own digital assets including, stores, product pages, and brands said, “The community helps get us better sellers,” highlighting that with a “tokenization business, the way to raise money is the same way you start to build your user base.”

Exchanges like Bittrex understand his point and are adding more altcoins to fiat markets to build community further. Although 90 or more central banks have engaged in the discussion of integrating blockchain and with only 33% of 200 CIOs interviewed by Gardner who showed support, there is much more work to be done. “Lack of talent,” was one hurdle for many executives, argued Mitselmakher who mentioned that there are only 5,000 blockchain engineers in the world. When she did a search on job listing site, she found “1,500 positions remain open in the U.S. alone.”

For many enthusiasts and experts, the value of coins and of technology will continue to increase. “There will be more trillion dollar coins than trillion dollar companies,” says Mitselmakher.

More importantly, the 800 attendees could rest assured that, as she argues: “the impact of blockchain is the impact of democracy itself; created because people wanted to take rights away from oppressive governments.”

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