Europe’s Largest Blockchain Conference Gets Underway in London

Europe’s Largest Blockchain Conference Gets Underway in London

It is thought to be the largest summit of its kind in Europe at least, and the London Blockchain Summit got underway this morning at the Olympia Conference Centre in West London. 

A two day event that is being attended by a range of prominent businesses and organisations including IBM, ING, Pfizer, Cisco and the BBC, the conference is intended to serve as a platform for debate on a multitude of questions arising from the use of blockchain technology. 

Debating the Future

KPMG began the morning discussing the regulatory aspects of crypto along with the tax and legal considerations that it give rises to, citing the need for governments to develop specific frameworks to help navigate the complexities associated with crypto assets.

A little bit later in the morning, Jan Brzezek, CEO of Crypto Finance, gave a follow-up talk on the implications of crypto-based assets within the world of financial services. He explained along the way his personal frustrations with the conservative attitudes on display within traditional financial circles vis-à-vis the crypto phenomenon, and his subsequent decision to offer the kind of services that traditional banking has so far been reluctant to offer.

“The changes are happening now,” he said, “and traditional banks and traditional brokers will soon find out that they need to adapt and accommodate. But we are also at the beginning, and it is like modems at the beginning of the internet. I remember people being sceptical of claims that the internet could challenge traditional commerce, for example. Then we saw what happened.”

A number of ICOs were also in attendance at the event, having set up stalls to pitch their business ventures to the wider public including Baanx, askFM and Blockpass, just as token sales came up as the subject of its own panel discussion – ICOs: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly –  with speakers from RBS, BNY Mellon and Redsand Partners.  

The former two on that list are representatives of the old model of traditional corporate finance, and the latter a pioneer in the field of business tokenisation. It gave many attendees the very strong impression that there is a new generation holding the hand of a much older one as blockchain technology undergoes mass adoption, particularly within finance and logistics.