The markets remain as volatile as ever, but blockchain and cryptocurrencies are immersing themselves in cities across the world. Blockchain technology was called a bubble for the last nine years, and it seems time to have overcome that accusation. Conferences are occurring all weekend long with the first ever Blockchain Week announced for New York, as they intend to become a global epicenter of cryptocurrency.
New York Blockchain Week and Conferences This Week
Blockchain week in one of the world’s largest cities is exceptionally exciting. This is not a single day event but an entire week. London did this earlier in the year as the UK is one of the last places hesitant to implement blockchain technology and the use of cryptocurrency. Many of their European neighbors even advertise that cryptocurrencies hurt banks, which makes sense as their purpose was to disrupt the centralized banking system.
New York Blockchain Week is exceptionally exciting, but what is more noteworthy is that it will be riding the heels of a handful of conferences. New York Blockchain Week is not for over a month, while this current week is packed to the brim with conferences in a multitude of both cities and countries. This provides constant exposure and positive news coverage for blockchain technology; alleviating the negative sentiment that so often plagues the space.
This Week’s Conferences
Once again, this week is overflowing with conference opportunities. This spreads the word on blockchain to the world while introducing the technology while bringing in new investors. Blockchain conferences are not focused in one geographic area demonstrating the entire world’s curiosity and willingness to adopt the underlying technology. Some countries have chosen to take an unfortunate approach by banning cryptocurrencies. However, the vast majority are working toward regulation.
The significant number of growing conferences month after month continues to demonstrate the importance of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in our current society. This week is noteworthy as there are nine conferences in nine unique cities, in six countries, and on four continents.
February 21-22, Digital Integration in Wealth Management: London, UK
This London event highlights itself as, “The only event to focus on the integration of digital capabilities with existing processes to enhance client engagement and reach new segments.” The conference is specializing in integrating digital assets into wealth management. In non-specialist terms, this conference is to help institutional wealth managers understand how to get involved in the digital space. This is a spectacular transition for the blockchain industry and more specifically cryptocurrencies. As wealth management groups begin purchasing and trading cryptocurrencies the value will rebound with significant force.
The headline speakers for this event are some of the most famous names in wealth management. The sponsors also may be unfamiliar to blockchain enthusiasts but manage hundred million and sometimes billion dollar portfolios. Will Bailey is representing, InvestCloud, as their European Vice President (EVP). Another headliner is Kristen Burt, Head of Marketing of UBS Smart Wealth, and UBS Wealth Management. Sasha Dabliz is present, as the Marketing Director of Rothschild & Co. Wealth Management. The Head of Digital Investment at Santander, James Dunne will also be present. This list is impressive, to say the least; involving the top names in the banking industry willing to enter the blockchain and digital space.
Not your standard “blockchain” conference as there is a focus on wealth management and digital technologies, but still great exposure from multibillion-dollar wealth management funds.
February 22, Blockchain for Islamic Banking and Finance: Dubai, UAE
Not surprisingly this is Dubai’s third conference on blockchain tech in the last 30 days. Dubai is one of the financial capitals of the Middle East and is clearly demonstrating its willingness to develop blockchain technologies and adopt cryptocurrencies. How the conference will be tailored specifically to “Islamic” banking will be an interesting spin, but a third conference in a month demonstrates Dubai’s resolution to push forward the blockchain revolution.
The largest market cap cryptocurrency on the “Partners” list for this event is NEM. At a market cap of $3.8 billion, The Blockchain for Islamic Banking Conference happened to attract one of the largest market cap cryptocurrencies in the space. The conference hosts a plethora of top-tier speakers from both the Middle East and the Blockchain sector. The Dubai government is going to have a presence as an Advisor at the Dubai Islamic Economic Development Centre will be speak, Mr. Zubairi.
Another very important speaker comes from IBM’s blockchain team, Mr. Alikhan. The founder and CEO of ArabianChain will also be speaking on his company’s strategy in the blockchain investment sector. One of the biggest names at the conference includes Mr. Elmaayergi, the Head of Global Transaction Banking at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. The list continues to include advisory partners to companies like KPMG, and CEOs of many well-known blockchain-related companies.
This conference has a focus on the Islamic Banking portion while incorporating blockchain technologies. Dubai is one of the few cities leading the Middle East in financial revolution through the implementation of the blockchain and introduction of cryptocurrencies.
February 22, Blockchain Summit 2018: Singapore
This is one of the smallest conferences on the list for the week but regardless holds its importance. Singapore is one of the countries leading the charge in adoption and regulation. Their regularly occurring blockchain conferences demonstrate their resolve to continue to push for cryptocurrency adoption and blockchain implementation. This conference has much smaller names in the blockchain industry with a few ICO presentations.
Although small when compared to other conferences this type of conference selects only the most interested in blockchain to attend through high ticket pricing due to limited seats. A few notable names presenting at this conference include the Founder of Jetcoin. This is a new ICO and the founder making one of their first appearances to speak on their new cryptocurrency. The Director of Private Wealth Asia along with the Assistant Vice President of Marvelstone Capital will be in attendance. The list of presenters is not underwhelming, but it is also not impressive when compared to the other conferences.
If there were one conference the King was less interested in, this would be it.
February 22, Blockchain and Bitcoin Conference India: Bengaluru, India
Welcome India to the big leagues of the Blockchain! It is expected that India is one of the countries most likely to become a global cryptocurrency leader. This is because their population is very technologically advanced, and cryptocurrency serves the underbanked “poorer” populations of the world very well. Cryptocurrencies have their many benefits to all users, but they are especially beneficial to underbanked regions where transaction fees are prohibitive, and banks will not accept such small accounts. Due to these reasons Blockchain and Bitcoin Conference, a network of specialized cryptocurrency related events has focused on hosting their first event in India.
Their speaker list is impressive as most conferences should be expected to have top-tier presenters from across the blockchain industry. Being located in India there is a majority Indian presence on the Speaker list. However, all the listed speakers are powerful leaders in their respected fields. Rajesh Gopi, the Vice President of Wanchain, will be presenting. Microsoft India will be presenting top tier software engineer; Reenu Saluuja. Another impressive name, Mani Madhukar, who is the Architect and Developer at IBM India. The list continues on to include advocates from India’s Supreme Court in Mumbai along with a handful of CEOs. This group of speakers has the ability to provide truly influential information to the public as they are on the ground floor of the largest company’s implementation of the blockchain.
India will no doubt be a leader in blockchain technology, cryptocurrency possession, and trading by the end of 2018. This mass adoption by a population of over one billion with many qualifying as underbanked makes India a prime market for cryptocurrencies.
February 23, Blockchain Summit 2018-Pune: Pune, India
If one conference was not enough, how about a second the following day? Once again this second event is smaller, limited to only 100 participants. However, their goal is to “…bring together blockchain technologists in the finance sector, regulators, industry commentators, and computer science researchers…” The same company hosting the conference in Singapore earlier in the week is also hosting this one. Similarly to Singapore, this conference will also have a very limited number of available attendees.
The speaker list includes many individuals in the India Blockchain Industry. Very few of the names would be recognizable outside of India. This list is underwhelming, but with only 100 attendees it seems the speaker list correlates with a lack of impressive names/teams. The teams represented include; BlobCity, GreenCoinX, WhiteMouse Traders, FREED, DLT Geeks, and a few others. As the reader can see, very few recognizable names in the blockchain space will be presenting at this conference.
This would be one to miss unless you happen to be in Pune, India and need your fix of cryptocurrency discussion for the day.
February 23-24, Blockchain Cryptocurrency Conference: Dallas. USA
Coming on the heels of the Dallas SuperConference this one will be substantially smaller. However, it demonstrates the blockchain craze in Dallas is still operating at full throttle. This conference approaches blockchain from a more educational standpoint. The presentations are tailored for specific individuals in the industry while focusing on education. This approach is different than hosting the top coin founders and letting them rant on any topic they please. This approach is much more educational based.
The conference starts on February 23, 2018, with three training sessions back to back. The first is at 8:00 am for Training: Corda for Developers by R3, hosted by Austin Moothart. The second is, Training: Ethereum Smart Contract Workshop. While the third is, Training: Blockchain for Lawyers Class. This blockchain conference is not trying to be “super” or show off their fancy list of sponsors. They are trying to educate the public on different types of aspects impacting the blockchain and how the public can get involved.
If you are a programmer, attorney, or business professional looking to get involved in the cryptocurrency or blockchain space, this would be a fantastic event to attend. If you were hoping for a picture with John McAfee, unfortunately, that was last weekend.
February 24, Blockchain: Rewiring Governance Conference: Cambridge, U.K.
The Blockchain: Rewiring Governance Conference will be held at the prestigious University of Cambridge Judge Business School. Once upon a time blockchain meetups were located in dingy buildings during regular business after hours. Here we are only a few years later, and some of the world’s most prestigious Business School are hosting blockchain conferences. This specific conference highlights how blockchain is a technology to reshape our world over the coming decades. The leaders in the educational sector see the importance of the ongoing technological revolution implementing the blockchain. This is clearly demonstrated by the individuals the event has managed to have on their Speaker list.
This is one of the more impressive Speaker lists even when compared to the massive conferences. The first listed is Eva Kaili a Member of European Parliament. Ms. Kaili, in her capacity as the Chair of the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment body (STOA), has worked tirelessly promoting innovation as a driving force. Her focus has been on blockchain technology, fintech, big data, cybersecurity, and taxation. This conference is lucky to have her presenting. The list continues on to include members of the U.K. government and many CEOs and CTOs. The list is a short one, but the quality of the presenters is top tier.
It is never the quantity, but always the quality. This conference has top quality presenters in the government and education sectors.
February 24, Cryptofinder Hackathon: Sydney Australia
This is much less of a conference a more of as the name states, a “hackathon.” It is free to the public but should garner significant attention as they are giving more than eight ETH to the top hackers. Not a bad payday for attending a one-day hackathon. Australians love their cryptocurrency, and the government currently wields a tight grip over how much can be purchased on a daily and weekly basis. The interest is climbing in Australia in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, and a hackathon is a great way to support the growing interest.
With over five ETH allocated to the winner of the hackathon and Bitcoin.com.au sponsoring the event, this seems like an interesting way to network and hone your coding skills. This one would not be worth traveling to, but if you happen to be in Sydney Australia make sure to check it out. Networking and improving one’s coding ability is more valuable than attending a mega event where you are one of the crowd.
February 24-25, NAC3, The North American Cryptocurrency Conference: New York City, USA
New York City, The Sheraton New York Times Square, tickets starting at $300, what more could signal blockchains excitement than this!? The North American Cryptocurrency Conference (NAC3) is known for hosting premier small capacity Bitcoin and Blockchain Conferences. Over 100 people hardly seem like a “small” event, but the goal remains the same. They are here to cater to both the cryptocurrency trader, the curious bystander, or the “Silicon Valley Techy.” This intimate conference hopes to cater to all walks of life.
The list of speakers and attendees is impressive from a social media standpoint. This conference has managed to draw a few of the major names in the cryptocurrency social media realm. David Hay of Crypto Riot with over 110,000 subscribers and 2.5 million monthly views will be speaking. Another big name is Crypto Bobby, Rob Paone, with over 120,000 subscribers and 2.7 million monthly views. This is major publicity and hundreds of thousands of “views” by these individuals even attending the conference.
If you wanted that photo with John McAfee, this would be the closest venue to your goal. Although he will not be present, many other social media “celebrities” will be. Ending the list of conferences for the week with one in New York is only fitting as New York moves to implement their first “Blockchain Week.”
New York’s Blockchain Week
Silicon Valley has long been the capital of technology and especially the blockchain sector. New York may not be able to surpass it for the number one spot, but they will try. New York City announced its first-ever Blockchain Week, running from May 11-17. The centerpiece for the weeklong event will be Consensus, a highly respected annual event that includes a job fair and hackathon. New York is currently an epicenter for blockchain jobs due to its sheer population size and density.
Job analytics firm Burning Glass highlighted some interesting numbers. In 2015, San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area had 250 job openings in the blockchain arena compared to New York’s measly 93. However, over the course of the last three years there has been an instrumental shift. What was once a nascent community in San Francisco has sprouted into a worldwide movement of mass adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. As of November 2017, New York had 745 blockchain related jobs compared to San Francisco’s 662. What was once a focal point for tech communities has now expanded to major cities around the world and New York is trying to solidify itself as one of the blockchain epicenters.
A blockchain week is a great way to get started. New York is competing against not only domestic dominance from San Francisco, but it is also competing against foreign countries where the blockchain demand for developers is soaring as well. London just finished hosting their blockchain month in January while South Korea and Japan maintain their status as top locations for blockchain developers. New York very well may be able to soar to the top of the list and be one of the blockchain epicenters of the world.
Consensus is a landmark marquee event that takes place every year and is well known throughout the blockchain industry. This year’s Consensus is already projected to be the largest on record. The number of attendees is predicted to be approximately 5,000 with more than 100 companies sponsoring the event. 5000 attendees would mean Consensus this year would be twice the size as it was last year. Even more impressive than the number of attendees is the presenting companies.
All 100 of these companies are expected to be at the job fair May 16, 2018. Many individuals solely attend Consensus to see what opportunities exist in the blockchain job market, which is absolutely booming. Consensus allows individuals to watch presentations and interview for companies and cryptocurrencies such as; Ripple, Stellar, BitMEX, and Twitter. Stellar will be represented by their co-founder Jed McCaleb. Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter and Square, is also speaking. Square is a unique payment platform that recently started accepting bitcoin. The speakers are not only some of the most famous and influential individuals in the blockchain sector but the financial and social media sectors as well.
Conclusion: Conferences and Epicenters
This week’s conferences are numerous and all over the globe. Conferences range from specializing in wealth management to blockchain technology and its implementation. The true vast population of people fascinated with this technology is growing rapidly. The case uses are also slowly catching up as companies are attending these events and witnessing first hands the benefits the blockchain can provide. Most cities are continuing to be important locations for conferences. However, some cities are trying to make a name as blockchain epicenters.
New York is doing all it can to embrace and implement blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. They have demonstrated this by their overwhelming support for the blockchain community, their first ever blockchain week, and a list of job seekers demanding blockchain developers that is growing more rapidly than even San Francisco. Regardless of market fluctuations, it seems the blockchain has cemented itself in society and the vast range of conferences show the technology’s revolutionary ability to change so many industries.