Blockchain and decentralization at WCIT 2019 conference

WCIT blockchain

The most long-awaited IT conference of the year was held in Armenia. It also covered the topic of using the blockchain technology.

WCIT 2019 was held in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan from October 6 to 9 with the support and under the high patronage of the Government of the Republic of Armenia. It is organized by the UATE.

This year, the WCIT 2019 Worldwide IT Forum was dedicated to the theme: “The power of decentralization. Perspective and danger." During the conference was discussed in detail how information and communication technologies positively and negatively transform and change our lives, what impact they have on profit and wealth, reliability and security, democracy and humanity.

Among the widespread topics as AI, Climate Change, Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Cities, there were such discussions and panels, which were dedicated to blockchain, crypto, and decentralization.

Panel 1: Blockchain & Digital Assets

Panelists discussed such questions like what are the true uses of blockchains and are they all they are imagined to be? Is blockchain even necessary or sustainable? Will nation-states tolerate digital assets used as currencies outside the control of the established international monetary and financial system? Should they in a world in which consequential externalities can be generated by a teenager in his parents’ basement and travel around the world in hours? Are dark web criminal activities and terrorist financing a price worth paying for an abstract promise? And what about living under 24-hour surveillance by all the seen and unseen devices that surround us?

The opening speech started Arthur Vayloyan, CEO of Bitcoin Suisse. The moderator of the panel was Tim O'Regan, Co-founder & Managing Director at Point Blank Intelligence.

The panelists were also famous representatives of the sphere:

  • Henri Arslanian - FinTech & Crypto Leader, PwC
  • Nikhil Nayab - Global Head, Payments Innovation and Blockchain, Conduent
  • Tom Trowbridge - Co-Founder, Hedera Hashgraph
  • Ott Vatter - Managing Director, e-Residency of Estonia
  • Arthur Vayloyan - CEO, Bitcoin Suisse

Panel 2: Financial Technology & Innovation

Financial technology promises to revolutionize cross-border money transfer and financial intermediation, creating the possibility of practically frictionless transactional networks. Yet systemic and technological path dependence, the threats of money laundering and terrorist financing, heavyhanded regulatory responses by governments, the reflex to defend competitive advantage, culture and habit, all remain stubborn obstacles to delivering on that promise.

Panelists discussed such questions like what is the financial services industry doing to meet these challenges? Talk aside, is the industry truly harnessing the power of the tech ecosystem and its startup ethos? And talked about how blockchain can help to solve the problems of the sphere.

The opening speech started Jules Miller, Partner at IBM Blockchain Ventures and Co-Founder/Partner at Prose Ventures. The moderator of the panel was Neil Bansal, Head of Digital Transformation Americas at BNP Paribas.

The panelists were also famous representatives of the sphere:

  • Hans Fleming - Vice President, Amex Ventures
  • Jules Miller - Partner, IBM Blockchain Ventures & CoFounder/Partner, Prose Ventures
  • Gilbert Verdian - CEO and Founder, Quant Network.