The sixth instalment of the European Blockchain Convention started this morning with virtual discussions on regulations, institutionalisation, and tokenisation.
With 120 speakers taking part in 30 panels, the convention has a mission to “accelerate the blockchain ecosystem in Europe”.
Planet Crypto attended the first sessions to see where crypto experts believe the future of the industry lies.
European Blockchain Convention Begins
This event is the third EBC to take place online following the Covid-19 outbreak. Victoria Gago, the co-founder of EBC, said:
Barcelona is still EBC’s home, but with the Covid-19 outbreak being still a health emergency in Barcelona and Europe, we have to think of what’s best for our attendees.The safest answer is to host EBC fully online in 2021. We look forward to welcoming attendees back to Barcelona in 2022.
In the introductory keynote, EBC’s other co-founder, Daniel Salmerón said: “People have realised the true potential of blockchain technology. People are no longer asking if, but how.”
The first panel of the convention, chaired by Coty de Monteverde, the Director of the Blockchain Center of Excellence at Santander, was entitled the ‘Institutionalization of Crypto Assets’.
Patrick Heusser, the Head of Trading at Crypto Finance, noted the “cultural shift” in finance brought about by cryptocurrency. “My generation was not taking responsibility for their financial actions,” he said. “Cryptocurrency is basically opening the field for the younger generation.”
As for regulations, Heusser emphasised both the needs and dangers of this intervention. "If there is no clear regulation, it will be very difficult to put money into an ecosystem if it isn't clear on how it will be regulated," he said, before stating that regulators are struggling to keep up with cryptocurrency innovation, which could lead to problems.
Roberto Machado, the General Manager at CYBAVO said there are four important risks and challenges for crypto adoption from institutions. These are cybersecurity, operational risks (who has access to the transactions), asset loss mitigation, and compliance risks.
However, Karl Gridl, an Associate Partner at Bain & Company, also added that these institutions need to diversify their staff to include people who understand the fundamentals behind cryptocurrency - the code and software - and not just their financial aspects. “There is a shift in the power play when these institutions engage with new players,” he said.
As the panel drew to a close, one member of the audience asked the panellists which cryptocurrencies they would invest in. After an awkward silence, Gridl said investors should diversify where they get information from, and segment investments into different categories - the traditional coins, DeFi, and memecoins.
The EBC will host several panels each day this week, before concluding on December 16.