Blockchain Expo North America
When: 28/29 November 2018
Where: Santa Clara Convention Centre, California
Who: Michael Watson - Chief Operating Officer (COO), Matt Watson - Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
The Blocknorth team were in San Francisco for the Blockchain Expo North America last week, making the cross-Atlantic trip from our base in Newcastle-upon-tyne.
Having first spent four days in Portland networking with key business contacts in the Pacific Northwest, the team arrived in San Francisco excited to spend two days engaging with a host of innovative businesses in the blockchain sector.
Here are some of our memorable highlights from the two day expo:
DAY 1: DISCUSSION PANEL HIGHLIGHT
Opened with listening to a lively keynote panel discussion in the Blockchain for Business track, focusing on “The Role of Blockchain within your business model”. This discussion contained some key relevance to our project at Blocknorth, given the imminent launch of our learning platform for business specific blockchain education.
Moderator: Ashley Lannquist, Project Lead, Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Technology, World Economic Forum
Alexander Zaidelson, CEO, Beam
Jerry Ning, Co-Founder, CyberVein
Kirill Ivkushkin, Chief Architect, INSOLAR
Dan Wasyluk, CEO, Blockchain Foundry
We enjoyed listening to the thoughts of Dan Wasyluk, CEO at Blockchain Foundry. The Blockchain Foundry team provide custom blockchain development, consulting and integration to business and we’ve been seeing consistent recognition for their influence recently (named #17 on Rise.global Top 100 Blockchain Companies for Social Media Influence).
Dan spoke about some of the interesting uses cases for supply chain that they were seeing at Blockchain Foundry
“Supply chain is a particularly good use case for blockchain. We’re seeing a lot of value for customers in identifying supply chain inefficiencies.“
Dan then went on to talk about the benefits of using a public blockchain for supply chain specifically, explaining that...
“You don’t have a single organisation controlling the history - a system that consumers can go to validate the provenance of their goods.”
He did go on to point out one of the potential drawbacks of a business using a public blockchain, as opposed to private.
“Regular enterprise would have a very hard time accepting transparency of payment, one which is open for everyone to see.”
For more information on Blockchain Foundry go to https://www.blockchainfoundry.co
OUR TOP 3 EXCITING PROJECTS FROM DAY 1
We were impressed at the demonstration of the Doc.com app, which connects patients to a Doctor on their smartphone within seconds. The platform essentially provides free health consultations to anyone with a smartphone and internet connection – the utility for a service like this is clear in our mind, especially in countries where access to healthcare is limited by financial or geographical factors.
We enjoyed our time speaking with the guys over at Gospel who are doing some incredibly innovative work with data management and analysis, leveraging the power of blockchain in the process.
Gospel told us how they had built an enterprise database solution using blockchain technology that provided complete control over the access and manipulation of company data. We caught a little of their talk on the Blockchain for Business track and we were impressed listening to a practical case study involving a major UK aviation company, Gospel having deployed their platform solution to achieve incredible efficiency improvements in the traceability of parts.
These kind of real-world, practical use cases are outstanding demonstrations of the power of blockchain technology for business and we commend Gospel for their role in driving the industry forward.
Blockpass was an exciting identity management project that we had the chance to speak with, hearing how they were using blockchain technology and smart contracts to improve KYC and AML processes, significantly reducing the friction at sign-up stage and increasing conversions for business.
The Blockpass platform was designed to seamlessly integrate with existing business software, and identity is one area where we see a clear utility for blockchain tech to make significant strides.
DAY 2: PRESENTATION PANEL HIGHLIGHT
We were impressed with the presentation of Craig DeWitt from Ripple, who are positioning themselves as having the worlds first production blockchain. Craig led a packed theatre through three main product offerings for improving the speed, cost and reliability of global financial transactions
Used to send and receive cross-border payments, designed for use by big financial institutions, including end-to-end tracking and bidirectional messaging. Does not involve the use of any crypto tokens as such.
Describing the possibilities with xRapid was a clear source of excitement from Craig’s manner, as this product actually utilised the digital asset XRP to leverage fast, frictionless and low-cost cross-border payments. Right now, there low-hanging fruit approach seemed to be as a low-cost liquidity solution for emerging markets with the goal of using XRP to lower liquidity costs and eliminate the need for nostro/vostro accounts.
xVia offers a standardized interface and a simple API, making it easy for users to send global payments through RippleNet. It offers a more frictionless method of making international payments for big enterprise clients.
Craig spoke about a use-case for xCurrent that he was most proud of…
“Connection between SBI Remit and Siam Commercial Bank in Thailand. The use case here is that Thai workers who are in Japan are able to send remittance funds home to mom, dad, brother and sister, at zero cost and instantaneous speed.”
What we found extremely pertinent was Craig discussing the regulatory challenges faced by Ripple and how they are approaching this potential hurdle to growth.
We have a number of people working on this. Globally we’ve got 40+ relationships with central banks, regulators. A lot of this is just educating what a digital asset does, This is a space where Ripple is spending a lot of time and lot of energy making sure there is a regulatory environment that fits nicely for entire blockchain eco-system.
This is an important issue as the blockchain space matures, for regulatory clarity will be an important driving factor in pushing forward adoption in the business world.
OUR TOP 3 EXCITING PROJECTS FROM DAY 2
We were intrigued by the simplicity and interoperability of the Loyalcoin platform after chatting to the team. Their app allows users to earn loyalty rewards for purchases, and these rewards can be used as a payment for new purchases, can be exchanged for other digital assets, or can be sent peer-to-peer between users.
Loyalcoin had an impressive list of retailers and commercial players who had signed up to use their platform as a loyalty system, and we’re excited to watch this project grow.
Speaking to the Remme team, it was clear that they had developed an outstanding protocol for improving the security of business networks, systems and software. The Remme protocol eliminates the need for passwords! Instead, it implements unbreakable, foolproof user authentication to protect your users, employees, and company’s data from cyber attacks.
Given the increased importance that businesses are placing on cyber security and the protection of data, Remme is operating in an incredibly on-trend space.
We spoke to Rivetz at length on Day 2, listening how they were leveraging the power of blockchain technology to improve cyber security processes for business. The Rivetz solution (Rivetz Authenticator) for a better two-factor authentication service seemed especially innovative.
Bring on Blockchain Expo 2019
Our team were thoroughly impressed by the organisers of this 2018 event. The sheer amount of innovative business, talented thought leaders and driven individuals was very motivating to be around. Blocknorth will be back in 2019 to London and Silicon Valley. For more information on the upcoming events go to https://www.blockchain-expo.com