nternet giants such as Facebook, Google or Twitter were created by people who were born after the first e-mail was sent (1971) or even some after the creation of the modern Internet (1983). Although it is not surprising that many entrepreneurs have become obsessed with incorporating Blockchain to any existing business, the real revolution that the Blockchain will bring will come from organizational systems or business models totally unprecedented to date, which do not exist, and It is most likely a revolution led by boys and girls who are now of school age. In a few years (possibly a decade), we will talk about the Blockchain as a change at the organizational level, a change of mentality, a change of paradigm.
“Barcelona has been chosen to host the EBC for being a benchmark technology hub in Europe and for being one of the European regions with the greatest willingness to become a world leader in Blockchain”
EUROPEAN BLOCKCHAIN CONVENTION
Barcelona hosts its first edition of the European Blockchain Convention (EBC) this Thursday, November 29: it is the most relevant Blockchain Convention in Spain, focused on business. The convention brings together more than 500 attendees from all over Europe and has the presentations of 50 experts on the present and future of Blockchain technology, its main use cases and the latest regulation.
The convention, which aims to be a meeting place for industry leaders, investors, developers, regulators and entrepreneurs, is aimed at both technical profiles and management profiles that are interested in knowing the challenges and opportunities that this technology offers.
Daniel Salmerón, co-founder of the conference, highlights that “Barcelona has been chosen to host the EBC for being a benchmark technology hub in Europe and for being one of the European regions with the greatest willingness to become a world leader in Blockchain”. “We want the EBC to be a reference conference for the sector in Europe. Although we are considering doing more editions of the conference in other European capitals, we would like Barcelona to have at least one edition of the EBC every year”.
The meeting is the last European conference on Blockchain of the year. Issues such as digital identity (decentralized) in the new value internet, the emergence of ICO’s (Initial Coin Offering) and STO (Security Token Offering) as a new financing vehicle and the repercussions of digital currency issuance of Central Banks will be discussed. Other panels will talk about the acceptance of digital assets and cases of use in logistics, the health industry and the Internet of Things (IoT).
“ICOs and STOs (Security Token Offerings) are considered more open to the public, which allows more participants to be introduced, breaking with the limited circles of institutional investors, and giving opportunity to interested parties to invest small amounts. Precisely for this reason we need a specific European regulation for ICOs, that is to say, that allows us to capture more than 5 million, which is the maximum amount currently allowed by the European Union for equity crowdfunding”, says Victoria Gago, co-founder of the EBC.
Another objective of this edition is to try to solve the problem of the scarce presence of women in the technology industry. Parity is still far from being achieved, only 30% of the 7 million people working in the digital sector in Europe are women.
Some of the speakers who will participate in this year’s edition are Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Member of the European Parliament; Thomas Moser, advisor to the National Bank of Switzerland; Marta Piekarska, Director of Ecosistema de Hyperledger; Michael Kumhof, Central Bank of England; Cristina Carrascosa, member of the Observatory and Blockchain Forum of the European Union; Sergio Gorjón, Department of Financial Innovation of the Bank of Spain; Virginia Cram Martos, Blockchain Project Leader of the United Nations, Montse Guardia, director of Digital Challenges at Banco Sabadell; Jorge Lesmes, Head of Blockchain in Everis UK.
Another objective of this edition is to try to solve the problem of the scarce presence of women in the technology industry. Parity is still far from being achieved, only 30% of the 7 million people working in the digital sector in Europe are women. In Spain, women who work in the technology sector represent 18 percent. If we talk about the highest positions, the percentage of women is reduced.
ECOSYSTEM IN BARCELONA
In Barcelona it is estimated that around 3,000 people are part of the Blockchain community. According to a report drawn up by Acció (Catalan Government), the Catalan capital has 33 companies dedicated to Blockchain.
Barcelona continues to lead numerous reports related to innovation and startups. The latest edition of the ‘Startup Ecosystem Overview’ report indicates that the ‘hub’ of the Catalan capital is the first in Spain, with 34% of innovative companies. Madrid, on the other hand, brings together 31% of Spanish start-ups.
The Catalan ecosystem currently attracts, with figures for 2017, 58% of the investments that arrive in Spain and is consolidated as the fifth European city in the innovative ecosystem, ahead of Madrid which is placed in sixth position
Since 2016, Startup Heatmap Europe produces a report based on the question “Where would you start if you could start from scratch?” With the possibility of multiple responses, the more than 300 entrepreneurs consulted in this year’s edition 2018 mentioned London and Berlin to a large extent, followed by Barcelona, which remains at number 3, even ahead of cities such as Paris.