Debate on the aftermath of Blockchain at TechBBQ

Foto credit: Sebastian Stigsby ©

Debate on the aftermath of Blockchain at TechBBQ

Even the H.K.H Crown Prince of Denmark attended


On the screen behind the ‘Forest’ stage a question was posted by a gentleman from the audience – “To what extent is the blockchain hype simply the result of financial speculation? Is it ready for real business?”

At TechBBQ, which was held in Copenhagen on September 24 and 25, one of the premier gatherings in Denmark for tech enthusiasts who want to shape the society of tomorrow, many participants were pondering the same question but didn’t dare ask. Luckily, the four panelists – blockchain experts from diverse industries – were ready to dispel the doubts surrounding the applicability of the blockchain technology.

Blockchain beyond the hype panel at TechBBQ

”In the aftermath of the cryptocurrency bubble, society doesn’t trust the trust-less technology anymore ‘’ Jan B. Lillelund, IBM

First up was Jan B. Lillelund, CTO and Executive Architect at IBM, resolute in recognizing the potential of the blockchain for solving the on-going problem – and the associated costs – represented by the lack of trust among different parties. However, the development of blockchain is now trapped in a paradox: in the aftermath of the cryptocurrency bubble, people find it difficult to trust the trust-less technology anymore. For this reason, it becomes even more important to take a step back and demystify blockchain technology in specific business cases. Indeed, the experience of IBM shows that the technology can represent the common ground for the cooperation of multiple and competing actors, in the form of clusters and consortia. IBM’s project for food traceability, for example, gained traction by virtue of the acceptance and support of ninety-five actors, interested in reducing cross-border frictions and bureaucratic costs.

Katja Grothe-Eberhardt, Chief Operations Officer at BLOC, couldn’t agree more. She is driven by the goal of building a distributed community of producers, industry partners, and technology providers. She believes that by solving the problems of trust and inclusivity in our societies, it is possible to find solutions to global challenges. The same pressing challenges are at the core of the financial sector’s efforts to develop innovative and sustainable solutions and to learn from the recent volatility in the cryptocurrency market. Hans Henrik Hoffmeyer, Co-Founder at Coinify, suggests that new payment methods, based on a secure and compliant platform that help to protect value transfers, could bridge the gap between the virtual currency space and the traditional financial industry to create new synergies.

Why H.K.H the Crown Prince of Denmark attended the Blockchain Corner?

Nikolai Søndergaard, Chairman of Nordic Blockchain Association took the floor to look at the big picture behind blockchain technology. Blockchain technology could facilitate new and unexplored business models and it is not a coincidence that Nordic Blockchain shared TechBBQ’s Blockchain Corner with IBM – they have a common vision for the future of the technology. But the potential of blockchain could be expressed even outside the business world, both in politics and in the public sector. An interest in how blockchain could impact the larger socio-economic environment could explain why the Crown Prince was impressed by the words of Nikolai while visiting TechBBQ. This interest also lead him to the Blockchain Corner, where he met Nordic Blockchain’s team and the other startups in the field, from Aryze and MakerDAO to HiveOnline and Openledger. This gave the CEO of MakerDAO, Rune Christensen an opportunity to present to his Royal Highness, the Crown Prince of Denmark, their innovative solutions, which include a stable coin, collateral loans and decentralized governance.

About MakerDAO, Silicon Valley and 100 million kroner investment

”One of the most exciting deals is the recent 100 million kroner investment by a16z, the newly launched cryptocurrency fund created by the Silicon Valley tech investment giant Andreessen Horowitz.” Lenka Hudakova, MakerDAO

MakerDAO, a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation, is a state of art stablecoin project established in 2014. Unlocking the power of the blockchain for everyone, Maker creates an inclusive platform for economic empowerment allowing equal access to the global financial marketplace. MakerDAO issues Dai, the world’s first decentralized stablecoin on the Ethereum blockchain. Dai eliminates volatility through an autonomous system of smart contracts, specifically designed to respond to market dynamics. Launched in 2017, Dai has successfully maintained a soft peg to the US Dollar.

Maker team has been active in establishing partnerships in order to spread the adoption of its stablecoin Dai, with over 200 different collaborations up to date. One of the most exciting deals is the recent 100 million kroner investment by a16z, the newly launched cryptocurrency fund created by the Silicon Valley tech investment giant Andreessen Horowitz. This deal was led by General Partner Katie Haun, an accomplished former federal prosecutor, who led the first government task force on cryptocurrencies, the investigation into the Mt. Gox hacks, as well as the federal task force investigating Silk Road. Being recognized by one of the top legal crypto profiles in the world and added to the portfolio of one of the most prominent VCs, this collaboration demonstrates MakerDAO’s continuous efforts to position itself as a compliant stablecoin project.

MakerDAO will be represented at the Nordic Blockchain Conference program by two of its core members: Rune Christensen (CEO and CoFounder) and Jacek Czarnecki (Legal Counsel for Europe), who will share with you their insights on the state of the blockchain space including the regulatory developments, and the next steps for the Maker journey.

Cryptocurrencies, stable coins and closing remarks

Can this nice visit send a subtle message to the politicians still skeptical about  the negative reputation of cryptocurrencies and ICOs? Blockchain technology could represent the future of governance – a new tool for democracy, owned by the  citizens. As atopic as that may sound, the projects developed by Estonia and the European Union show that the technology can shape the functioning of the states. And the solutions are not limited to Western countries, since blockchain empowers the citizens of developing countries by providing them with bank accounts.

Currently, the development of blockchain takes place in a playground saturated by capital where new solutions are tested and discarded – this explains the fast pace of innovation but also the confusion surrounding the new proposals. For this reason the panelists gave some advice  to the crowd: follow the stable-coins, they will become our new currencies in the everyday life; and as for the smart-contracts, they will revolutionize your sector in a matter of few years.


by Francesco O. Caccioni 

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