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CV VC
May 25, 2022
10
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CV VC Updates

Blockchain Hub Davos Day 2 - Key highlights and insights

All roads led to the friendliest hub in Davos yesterday - the #BlockchainHubDavos. Delegates came to discover the transformative power of blockchain to enhance the way the world will interact and transact.

Day two at The Blockchain Hub focused on “Enterprise & Government Blockchain Adoption.”

Firstly, Ashok Ranadive of CasperLabs & Bhargav Perepa of IBM gave an excellent overview of how enterprises connect and utilize blockchain to enable better ways of doing business. They delighted delegates with a live demonstration of the ‘Bond Network,’ which is in progress with CasperLabs and IBM. They demonstrated how one individual can purchase or transfer a bond from another individual in such an interoperable blockchain network.

Bhargav Perepa and Ashok Ranadive on stage at Promenade 69, Davos

Next, “How Businesses are Thinking About Blockchain and Security” was explored by in a fireside chat, moderated by Nitin Gaur of State Street Digital. Shyam Nagarajan, IBM painted a bright picture of a hybrid future:

What's different is that the technology has matured and the value that has been realized is significant. Frankly, it's no longer a risk. The risk was security, and where the previous risk was someone coming in, taking over their network, and negating their transactions, this risk no longer exists. Confidence in the technology has led to adoption.”

The next panel discussed “A Future Built on Trust: How Businesses are Thinking About Blockchain and Security.” This delved into the importance of building a future based on trust and the importance of blockchain security. 

Moderator Nitin Gaur asked Amazon’s Charles Okochu about how Amazon provides security to its customers and channels this security in a cost-efficient manner: 

AWS is a global cloud service provider in 150 countries, and we've mastered the art of saving costs for customers. And the key thing as far as security is concerned, AWS has a shared responsibility model. So we are responsible for the security of the cloud, and you, the customers, are responsible for security in the cloud. And for that perspective, we have we also offer support to customers.
Charles Okochu, Medha Parlikar, Shyam Nagarajan, and Nitin Gaur on stage

Next up was the topic  “Breaking Down Live Blockchain Applications”

Ali Habbabeh, Blockchain Acceleration Lead at Roche, touched on some of the challenges facing corporates:

“In my opinion, the biggest challenge we are facing is not the technology. The biggest challenge is legal. And how do you convince the regulators of this technology? How do you prove that this technology does what it says? How do you prove that their existing regulations fit this technology and that you don't need new regulations? Having this conversation and bringing the regulators to the table, talking about this, in my opinion, is currently one of the biggest challenges we're facing.”
Niamh O'Connell, Ali Habbabeh, Pedro Lopez Belmonte, Erich Spangenberg, and Saqr Ereiqat on stage

Up next was the topic of “Sustainability / Blockchain & ESG”

Brittany Kaiser moved the audience with her keynote on “Proof of Green - Digital Assets for a Sustainable Future”. Brittany is a globally renowned expert in data protection, blockchain technology, legislative reform, a best-selling author, and the main subject of the Emmy-nominated Netflix documentary "The Great Hack".

Brittany spoke passionately about blockchain as a most incredible power and the power it gives to those in the industry. It catalyzes things faster than governments to drive sustainability issues worldwide. The tools show the government the data and the facts verifiably. She acknowledged that a considerable testament to crypto is that we already looked at carbon neutrality long before governments did so.

She views ‘proof of green’ as not just carbon-free BUT about investing further, such as carbon forestation.

Brittany firmly believes that the blockchain technology industry can be the most significant financial driver to achieving climate goals and thanked everyone for all they are doing in the industry. She closed off by inviting delegates to sign the Crypto Climate Accord and be part of not just the conversation but a part of the solution.

Brittany Kaiser, Founder of Gryphon Mining, during her keynote speech "Proof of Green: Digital Assets for a Sustainable Future"

Geoff Page of ForestStaking talked about an energy-efficient solution to staking -

"At Forest Staking, we offer a different way to stake because we are on Casper, which is 136 000 % more efficient than Bitcoin. We are reinvesting in reforestation and rewilding Europe".

Alessa Berg of Top Tier Impact spoke about the Impact of Investing in Web3 and gave a vibrant account of an ESG investor operating in 45 countries. She was categoric that bringing Web3 tech, including blockchain, will unlock tremendous value. ESG means “don’t do bad”! Large corporations who are investing need to know the facts, blockchain gives these immutable facts.

Alessa Berg, CEO of Top Tier Imact

An expert panel ensued, moderated by Eathan Janney Edge of NFT | NFT LA. The theme which was explored was: “How to Use Blockchain to Advance ESG Initiatives Meaningfully”

Panelists included:  Richard Threlfall (KPMG), Jesse Morris (Energy Web), Fleur Heyns (Proof Of Impact), and Joel Curado (CasperLabs).

Despite climate challenges, this panel was scorching, and there was fantastic interaction between delegates. It was evident that there is a fast-moving pace within the blockchain world to ensure that the industry is indeed empowering the world to engage with and solve ESG challenges.

Richard Threlfall, of  KPMG said:

“In seven years and one month, the world will be one and a half degrees above global warming levels. We will hit the start of a downward cycle for humanity - that's the urgency. If we are going to do something about this, we need to change behaviors fast.  We need data that builds trust and provides finance to reverse things. Blockchain is fundamental to this, as it sits at the heart of the trust agenda as to how it takes us back from where we are heading.”

Meanwhile in the open access, networking part of the Blockchain Hub Davos...

Fleur Heyns of Proof Of Impact reminded the audience:

“Don't judge a company by what it does, such as gas and oil…We need these companies too! All companies need someone else to validate ESG claims. That is where blockchain becomes instrumental - it verifies data. Then one can go straight from verified data and write smart contracts to participants - that's why the tech will lead to a new financial way of transacting very soon.”
“It is a collective challenge to empower the most intelligent decisions around ESG. Blockchain is one of the most powerful tools to measure and approve data in a transparent way.”

Richard concluded with some emotive contexts - such as how blockchain in the built environment could prevent disasters such as the Grenfell Tower fire in London. He reminded us that the carbon conversation is locked in with others and that we have the resources within humanity to fix the problems. We are moving fast with blockchain to be transparent and backed with trusted data.

Joel Curado, Richard Threlfall, Fleur Heyns, and Eathan Janney on stage

Blockchain's next chapter was the final topic block of Day 2, led by CasperLabs co-founder Mrinal Manohar who informed us that Casper intends to be the most accessible blockchain to the 25m developers worldwide. He believes that If the industry has to grow, we can't just have a blockchain developer division, we need all developers. Mrinal heralded that the hype cycle is over, and the utility era is here.

The evening saw the Metaverse warmly explored in a fireside chat between Rima Qureshi of Verizon and Kevin Delaney  - Charter (formerly WSJ & NYT). Rima Qureshi of  Verizon said:

"The metaverse isn't new, whether VR or AR. Soon we will be able to work across all operating systems and orchestrate autonomous interaction of robots with humans."


Kevin and Rima discussed immersive headsets, VR meetings, education, and health care. Rima interacted with the delegates, explaining that Verizon is building capacity for data and as America's largest network with 130m subscribers. It is massively looking at tech over the air to gain additional bandwidth. Rima depicted a future with an ability to toggle between augmented and virtual reality. The need to be watchful of discrimination and the management of value generation in the meta-universes was discussed. 

Rima Qureshi and Kevin Delaney on stage

A realistic view of the future was shown in the aptly named panel “Blockchain-Enabled Cities of The Future”. Moderated by Abhishek Pitti of BC Media (Cointelegraph India), the panel included Vikram Nair of Tech Mahindra, Mrinal Manohar of Casper Labs, and Dr. CN Ashwathnrayan - Minister of IT, Electronics, Higher Education, Govt of Karnataka.

Dr. CN Ashwathnrayan, representing India- Karnataka's “Silicon Valley,” gave a colorful and dynamic update on how Karnataka is becoming an integrated and sustainable city, where even land records are digitized.

Vikram Nair of Tech Mahindra explained how India believes it will work through integration. With over 135 000 employees, Mahindra is leading such integrations across continents. He explained that regions such as the UAE were faster in building smart cities because they are building brand new cities in under 6 months with no legacy builds. These new builds can all immediately integrate smart tech. He quotes excellent pilots such as smart lighting and parking in many European cities.

The panel painted a future where our cities will integrate with and use the metaverse. To get there, education was cited as vital. A great analogy using fish was given as to how the team is enabling tech to drive the future. The analogy was as follows: you can give a guy a fish to feed him, however, in India, we are teaching people to fish so they can feed themselves. 

Dr. CN Ashwathnrayan concluded by saying,

“We cannot be less, we need to be more. We will wrap the future technologies for sustainability for quality of life & we welcome all of you!”
Mrinal Manohar, Dr. CN Ashwath Narayan, Vikram Nair, and Abhishek Pitti on stage

Watch back the full program Livestream on our YouTube channel.

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