Insights from BLOCKCHAIN&ICO FEST ’17

 In Blockchain

KOOP, the fintech hub, has ushered a sold-out summit where a select number of upscale speakers mingle with a blockchain-literate audience. The event took place on October 26-27 in Istanbul.

Bitcoin (aka cryptocurrency) has become a buzzword around the world. Price hikes have led to a worldwide extravaganza in trading. Wallets and exchanges have emerged to facilitate growing appetite to trade. Broker dealers and traders are now not only committing resources to watch the cryptocurrency market but also provide daily reports to investors. Some prop-trade alongside conventional funds. ETFs and derivatives are now valid products for those looking to hedging. There is hardly any asset in financial history that has increased its value almost 10 times in a year. The ever-growing interest is not shocking.

The brilliance with cryptocurrencies however comes partly (if not more) toward the technology and mindset behind them. This is nothing but a pure referral to blockchain and distributed technology. There have been a number of innovation programs and events permeating to innovation, digitization and financial services in Turkey. There was however none on blockchain. KOOP, the fintech hub, has duly engaged in the landscape and ushered a sold-out summit where a select number of upscale speakers mingle with a blockchain-literate audience. The event took place on October 26-27 in Istanbul.

Click on the below clip to watch the event short movie.

  •  The issues we are discussing today are not pertaining to technology. It is more about the change of times and circumstances that we are going through in a broader perspective. Market structure, capital formation, risk management and provenance are being revisited due to such broad transition. (Quoting Dr Pinar Emirdag, State Street)
  •  It was the commodities first—gold, silver and others. Then it moved to kings and queens. Banks afterwards took over the power to issue currency as this is the case for the last two centuries. Now, for the first time in history, anyone can issue currency. A currency which is digital, secure, transparent, privately owned, transferrable and decentralized. Anyone can do it for a cost of 1 dollar. It is a huge shift. (Quoting Eyal Hertzog, Bancor)
  •  Some predictions for the next 12 months re the token financing: ICOs grow as an increasingly popular method of funding but investors become more discerning and number of failed ICOs to increase. Improvements in technology and security should support token sales and we will see the emergence of new tools for compliance and governance. First regulatory frameworks for blockchain tech companies in the world (i.e. Gibraltar). $10bn of new tokens sold. (Quoting Eddy Travia, Coinsilium)
  •  What blockchain offers to banks is a trusted network. So it changes the way what the banks have been doing for a very long time. Blockchain offers efficiency for money transfers, for instance, as there is no middlemen or no complex hopping stations. What you need is a sound network where all the members are aligned around the same reality. (Quoting Tolga Ulutas, Akbank)
  •  Regulators are not fully grasping the cryptocurrencies. They approach bitcoin as any other security or money as they tend to adjust current regulations for it. They do not fully understand that this is unique. (Quoting Vladimir Dubinin, Distributed Lab)

The event hosted a number of key speakers who brought merit to the substance of the discussion.

  •  Paul Ellis of Electron presented how a shared infrastructure can help democratize the energy market.
  •  Adam Leonard of Blockex delivered how his platform facilitates trading of digital assets in a large scope.
  •  Sevilay Kurt of IBM explained the practical and technical underpinnings with Hyperledger Fabric.
  •  Sankalp Shangari of LaLaWorld introduced his platform which enables migrants and expats to send cross-border money.
  •  Laurence Kirk of Extropy elaborated on Ethereum Smart Contracts.
  •  Arifa Khan of Himalaya Labs presented the disruptive nature of her platform in capital markets.
  •  Ishak Kalkavan of Lykke tackled the trading, pricing, volatilities of cryptocurrencies.
  •  Ransu Salovaara of TokenMarket addressed the opportunities, challenges and processes with ICO programs.
  •  Sandris Murins of Iconiq Lab presented how they enable the startups for their token finance prospects.
  •  The panel with Turkish startups staged a debut for Umut Senol of BundleTansu Colakoglu of Global MilesKadir Oguz of Further and Gokhan Seckin of Blokzincir towards their ICO prospects.
  •  Umut Onan of Wunder did a great job by moderating a mini-hackathon for four teams of participants.

Click on the hyperlink to watch the complete list of speaker videos on our YouTube channel.

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