Last week, Orange Silicon Valley held its first event about the Blockchain — we focused on practical and real uses of it and specifically which businesses are making real products with it. We were excited by the turnout and the speakers and content did not disappoint. Roughly 70 people attended the event, hearing thoughts and insights from panel experts about the Blockchain and then discussing the topic afterwards during the reception. By all accounts a good time was had by all.
— Travis (@travisformayor) June 11, 2015
— Alan Koenigsberg (@akoeni) June 11, 2015
— Scott Mraz (@mraz_sic) June 11, 2015
The evening began with Gabriel Sidhom, Vice President of Orange Silicon Valley, introducing Paul Brody, EY’s Americas Strategy leader in the technology sector, to give the keynote address. Brody is certainly a well-known individual in the Blockchain community, having worked in the space while at IBM and also spearheading development of the firm’s ADEPT system. His talk put a humorous, but insightful spin on what was dubbed “magical Internet money” and what was the key to “value transfer.” Furthermore, he laid out the advantages of using the Blockchain to overcome a lack of trust in computing today, while also spelling out, in very real terms, the weaknesses of its current technology state.
Brody spoke about coming trends and needs where Blockchain could play a role, especially with high-value use cases. He concluded by quoting American psychologist Abraham Maslow: “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” In this, Brody sought to encourage attendees to consider Blockchain as a means for the big picture and not to think of it as just a short-term shiny object.
Following Brody, we had two amazing panels, moderated by myself and technology consultant Justin Dombrowski. Each panel consisted of industry-renowned speakers coming from not only startups, but also in the Blockchain space and have extensively researched this topic.
Our first panel cast a spotlight on just how fast the financial industry is moving to adopt Blockchain technology, and what it means for startups and consumers. It was agreed that there’s little fear of being “disrupted”, but they should learn how to co-opt it.
The second panel addressed those not in the financial technology space, highlighting what Blockchain could be used in those circumstances, such as with record-keeping and establishing trust in contracts.
It was also here where we announced the launch of our ChainForce initiative which is our quick-start, low-friction program aimed at enabling large corporations to experiment together with the Blockchain and develop use cases alongside relevant startups.
We’re thankful for all those that showed up. If you missed it, don’t worry as we’ll probably have another one taking place not too far in the near future.