For many of us blockchain professionals, we travel with ideas on our smartphones and suitcases full of name tags from the conferences we attended previously. We use software to store business cards and ask our personal assistants to reschedule our meetings when flights are delayed or cancelled. We live out of our suitcases and develop our businesses online, a term Lucas and I at NewEconomies.com coined the E-Garage- developing ideas, digitally from our smart phones and running a full business from your mobile devices. 

This week I flew into Seattle out of Chicago at 7 am to make it in time for a few panel discussions at the BlockchainNW conference. My conversation began with Kurt Wedgwood on IBM sponsored blockchain projects. It then moved to a brief talk with Greg Zinone and Austin Anderson on culture and family ties before speaking on stage with RJ Smith and others about gaming and e-sports platforms on the blockchain. We had fun meeting the team at Loyalcoin that is working on loyalty programs to increase customer engagement. The blockchain company gained interest from 7-Eleven. Then there was Erica Harris who was working on blockchain events. She shared a useful tip on how to keep people in the room: create a good food trail. More on this in her own words later this week. I ended the night with a night cap and chat with Tamara Sanchez on the state of blockchain and women/minority groups before heading to the airport at 9 pm to catch an 11 pm flight to Dallas.

Recovering from my Red Eye with a nice large Cortado, I headed to my friend’s Airbnb to take a cat nap and attend the Digital Asset Strategies Summit (DASS) in Dallas geared towards institutional investors. I captured a few takeaways: 

  1. Austin, TX is becoming a hot crypto and blockchain hub with 4 major VCs.
  2. Blockchain tech will contribute to 10% of the global GDP by 2027.
  3. Cointext is a hot blockchain company for sending crypto via mobile text. A wallet is automatically generated on your phone.
  4. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain companies will take another 20 years to evolve (it took the Internet that long, too) We are still early in its adoption.
  5. Fiat currencies will become dinosaurs.
  6. The world will become tokenized, so get used to it.
  7.  Securities tokens is the next big innovation and the beginning of a new medium. Think of when TV became the new medium and then led to DVDs then Netflix.
  8. There is not enough talent; i.e., developers and advisers in this space to meet the demand for the tech.

 

My most memorable moment was my interview with Lou Kerner who turned down shares from Facebook when the company was at its infancy. He says timing is everything, in determining the success of a startup. 

There were many more moments and insights but soon enough I was heading back to Chicago for a day of rest before presenting a panel on innovative startups at the Fintank Global Summit 2018 in Chicago. I got a chance to interview Chief Architect Rob Krzyzanowski at Spring Labs, a decentralized network for identity and credit to serve as the foundation for a more transparent, secure, and efficient delivery of financial services. What led to their success was not only the product but also their roster of impressive advisers. I spoke to Head of Product Ned Meyers about Alpha Point, a software company that enables customers to launch new products and services by providing institutions enterprise-grade blockchain solutions to digitize assets, launch markets, and reduce operational costs.

Image: Pictured here with Jenny from the Chicago Blockchain Project at the Fintank Global Summit 2018 Conference in Chicago. 

On my way home, I ran into a few staff members at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Information Tech, and we discussed ways the state can budget for blockchain tech and incorporate it into their procedures. 

In all the conferences, the common theme of “blockchain tech is here to stay” was expressed among the experts who brought valuable information on the tech that is still in its infancy. One investors said it would take 20 years for the tech to mature while the technologists often say mass adoption will occur in the next 3–5 years. 

3 conferences, 3 cities later, I feel energized in doing my soul work, educating the world on new technologies that benefit societies and advocating women to lead with a burning torch. 

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