Traditionally, January is not the most productive time of year. Most people are still walking off the Christmas-New Years week growing sadder each day their vacations draw nearer to the end and dreading going back to work.
Not us. We’ve actually managed to cover more ground by splitting up the business development team to simultaneously soak up the wisdom at the Security Tokens Realised conference in London while being in the moment during the celebration of the Blockchain Centre Vilnius’ First Anniversary.
Both events were pure magnificence. The London conference was obviously more on a business side focusing on regulation and legal aspects of securitization of assets in the digital realm, which is widely regarded as the main bottleneck in the industry. One of the main takeaways from London is that, even though no big splash is expected to happen in the space over the next few months, the market is maturing steadily and purposefully. The time the market took over the last few months to reassert itself was used by the most prominent players to delve deeper into the web of international regulatory requirements, bring their projects in perfect order, clean house, onboard, and in general get ready for what is to come.
Many concerns have been voiced over the governments reluctant to pick up their own slack and waiting on the sidelines instead of taking the initiative, but that’s what governments do. But the conversations between the actual participants in the space are becoming much more substantive as opposed to the game of presentations that went on for the good part of 2018. Folks are out to make deals; entrepreneurs are impatient, excited, and hungry.
We’ve spoken to quite a few UK-based custodians with a focus on institutional investors and a network of asset managers, who are closely looking at tokenizing real estate. Another area of our focus was on exchanges and liquidity providers. We’ve spoken to several and agreed to keep in close touch.
Every time we got to talking to bankers, the conversation would take a fascinating turn. Many of them are launching internal research teams focusing on blockchain and setting up innovation labs for blockchain solutions and partnerships in London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Vilnius, and many other European cities. As much as we’d like to be working on formulating a strategy for cooperating with them all, it may prove impossible because almost every one of them is getting into digital securities.
To sum up, the London event, even though the conversation often took unexpected turns, generally, every one of our interlocutors was absolutely adamant that the tokenization of securities and alternative assets on the blockchain will revolutionize the world’s financial markets by bringing liquidity to the illiquid securities market, unlocking trillions of dollars of value. And, since we hold the same belief, the overall vibe was awesome.
By comparison with the human ant farm in London, we thought, the celebration of the First anniversary of the Blockchain Centre Vilnius was going to be a chamber event. Boy, were we wrong…
The mere list of esteemed invitees would plunge even the most carping socialite into awe. We don’t mean to try to pull off an Oscars speech here, but sure don’t want to forget anyone. Among the attendees were Antanas Guoga, Lithuania, Founder of Blockchain Centre Vilnius, member of the European Parliament; Eduardas Eigirdas, Editor-in-Chief, Founder of Valstybe magazine; Vilius Šapoka, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania; Marius Jurgilas, Member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania; Helen Koepman, Deputy Head of Unit for Startups & Innovation in the Digital Single Market at the European Commission; Martins Liberts, CEO and Co-founder of Debitum Network; Richard Maaghul, CEO of ODEM.io; Emmanuelle Ganne, Senior Analyst, Economic Research and Statistics Division at World Trade Organization; Paulius Kunčinas, Chairman of the Board of Blockchain Centre Vilnius; Taavi Roivas, Former Prime Minister of Estonia.
Oh, and Remigijus Šimašius, Mayor of Vilnius, has stopped by.
Needless to say, the house was packed. Honored guests took turns congratulating BCV and its new director, Justas Šireika, on continuing to be the go-to hub for blockchain education, start-up acceleration, and community events in Europe remarking on the Center’s positive social and economic influence, which empowers entrepreneurs and creates new economic value.
Successfully mixing pleasure with a little business, both hosts and guests enjoyed several keynotes and panel discussions revolving around unlocking the blockchain’s potential for international trade, borderless regulations trends, global equity token legislation, and many other exciting topics.
Currently, blockchain technology is full of expectations, but many agree that blockchain is destined to transform business models and provide them with entirely new solutions and opportunities. The delegates of the Vilnius gathering officially dubbed ‘One Year Anniversary Conference’ have collectively tried to figure out where will those changes bring us in the next several years, whether the blockchain’s influence will increase, what strategies are to be adopted and what are the key factors for a successful implementation of blockchain projects.
It’s safe to say that many of the questions asked during the conference to this day remain unanswered. But what is definitive is the will to find consensus and build together. In fact, it was amazing to observe the supposed competitors lively exchanging ideas and discussing each other’s proprietary solutions head-to-head, and having fun doing it. If that’s not an indicator of great things to come, we don’t know what is.