After an incredible day mixing with other projects at Blockchain Expo Europe, I thought I'd write down a few of my thoughts of the expo.
First and foremost, it was huge. Well over a hundred exhibitors and 5 or 6 stages consistently being used, to cater for the number of concurrent presentations they had booked. Despite the size, things ran efficiently and there were absolutely no complaints about the organisation of the expo.
I was also happy to be able to finally meet up with other advisers, incubators and influencers I'd only previously met online. It's been incredible to meet so many passionate and motivated individuals who all share the same interest.
Blockchain Expo Europe Day 1:
Day 1 was incredible. The day began with an interesting talk by the Bitcoin Market Journal covering a fantastic approach to scoring and ranking ICO projects. They encouraged everybody to use the scoring system and it is something I intend to incorporate into the next review.
Following that, I explored the exhibition floor for a bit, met with some great looking projects (and maybe a few poor imitations of already poor projects). The three most memorable projects for me were:
- Deepbrain Chain - Needs no introduction, was one of the early and hyped NEP-5 ICOs. The team are currently preparing to launch their AI service, complete with a highly spec'ed masternode option which has me interested. Their booth had prime position at the expo and was consistently flooded with people 3 or 4 deep asking the team questions.
- CoolBitX - This is not an ICO, they have been around for years and infact, they are not doing a token launch or even raising money... So what are they doing? CoolBitX has one of the greatest hardware wallets I have seen. It is no bigger than a credit card and offers everything the Ledger and Trezor and a little bit more.
- Blabber - A nice looking social media platform that rewards users firstly for sharing their personal data, secondly for creating great content that other people like and finally for viewing 'boosted' content created by others. With the interest in social media privacy controls, by handing the controls over to the user, I believe Blabber may grow in numbers quite quickly. They are innovating quickly, with some cool features to make it easier to find like minded people as well. Still in ICO phase and already has an MVP launched is impressive.
The major trends I saw included legal, business and tax structuring, with a number of legal firms from Malta and Gibraltar present. As well as Many (many!) gaming (esports and gambling) projects.
Blockchain Expo Europe Day 2:
I'm not going to lie, Day 2 was a much slower day for me after some shenanigans the night before, persistent jetlag and an early flight out of Amsterdam. Today I was amazed to see the size of the AI section of the expo had grown substantially from the day before. It was by far the busiest section of the hall, with their presentations filling the room to the walls. I'm excited to see AI and Blockchain grow, with many projects already merging the line between the two!
There were more great talks, the exhibition was still packed and it felt like there was a lot more media there too! My three most memorable projects of Day 2 were:
- Lend Ledger - This is one of those non-sexy ICOs, but life changing projects using a public ledger to enable citizens in developing nations to get the loans that they need. It has the strongest team I have seen for a financial services project (The CEO alone is ex-World Bank, ran a \$25m USD Gates-Foundation funded technology program, mobile finance strategy advisor to Microsoft, VISA, IBM, etc). Solid project, great team, and tapping into a multi trillion dollar market!
- Manli GPU Systems - With the current breed of masternodes requiring extensive hardware (DeepBrain Chain asking for up to 8 x 1080ti GPUs!), GPU systems are no longer just for the miners (but the flexibility to switch between them is a huge advantage over ASICs!) Manli had their latest GPU miner (cards only) and GPU Server (cards with dual Xeon CPUs). These look great, very well laid out, and the company has plenty of experience making systems like this!
- Tokenview - I have several blockchain explorer sites bookmarked, as I look up previous transactions (OK, I'm usually impatient and sit there refreshing my current transactions!). Token view are offering a single interface into all of the individual blockchain explorers. Now there is just one website you need to go to, to look up BTC, ETH, LTC and 500 other coins!
IOT Honourable mentions:
I have to give credit to two projects from the IOT floor. I've worked closely with them both in private industry, and it is great to see these projects getting out and supporting the evolving market. If you are interested in security for everything from IOT to mainframe servers, definitely check out these two opensource projects!