The North America Blockchain Association (NABA) hosted its first Blockchain Fintech Summit in Silicon Valley at the Santa Clara Convention Center on January 7th, 2017. Co-organized with IBM, the Shanghai Institute of International Finance (SIIF), the Guiyang Government, Tianfeng Exchange Securities and the International Financial Centers Association (IFCA), the summit saw overwhelming interest and received positive feedback from speakers and attendees alike.
The summit hosted over 50 speakers and received more than 600 attendees, including Chinese government officials, finance professionals, industrial leaders, academic experts, investors and entrepreneurs.
Highlights at the summit include Andrew Keys from ConsenSys, introducing ConsenSys' startup studio, which is building a variety of decentralized applications, including a new computing system, intelligent document management system, energy system and supply chain management system. This turns the traditional client-server structure into a decentralized peer-to-peer structure in which every node is both client and server, therefore removing potential vulnerability at single points.
Brian Behlendorf, the Executive Director of Hyperledger, gave an overview of Hyperledger and its broader mission as a part of the Linux Foundation.
Joe Salvo, Director at GE, noted that "transformational improvement in design and prototyping coordinates all activities through blockchain technology".
Tom Ding of String Labs introduced a new framework for decentralized cloud and how that could support powerful computation.
From left: Le Zhang, CEO of Instrument Capital; Sean Barclay, Interactive Creative Director of IBM Blockchain; Wendy Spies, Director of Microsoft; Christian Peel, Ethereum fan and Co-founder of Blockchain University.
This panel introduced how blockchain facilitates cross-border collaboration across different industries. This complemented speakers in other segments of the summit from IBM, Microsoft and GE who shared their latest research blockchain.
In addition to illustrating blockchain’s theoretical foundations as well as business applications across finance, IoT and crowdfunding, this panel also discussed the following topics: (1) how large companies’ ecosystem could support innovation and provide solutions to unsettled issues, (2) how blockchain can be deployed in emerging markets in a similar way as 3D printing and cloud, and (3) how blockchain can disrupt traditional industries.
(From Left) Shuo C. (VP of NABA), Toni Lane (Blockchain Advisor) and Xinxin Sheng (Senior Technical leader)
NABA is pursuing collaboration among industries, government and academic leaders that help create conditions which enhance the potential for technology innovation and business applications. Yuxiang Wang, Vice Mayor of Guiyang, gave a keynote at the event evangelized Guiyang’s recent innovation and discoveries in the fields of big data and Blockchain. Guiyang recently shift its focus from big data to Blockchain as it forged the first crowd-funding financial exchange in China in 2016. On December 31, 2016, the city officially issued a white paper named “The Development and Application of Blockchain in Guiyang”. It was a milestone for the state presenting its desire to become the next Blockchain center of the world.
Given rising interest in Blockchain and increasing interdependence between US and China, opportunities for collaboration have grown rapidly. China is eager to connect with the rest of the world, and an increasing number of Chinese businesses are expanding across borders. Vice versa, American businesses are actively seeking for opportunities to enter the Chinese market in order to further grow. Thus, this calls for more international collaboration, particularly in terms of technology and finance. It is precisely these forces that have given birth to the Blockchain Fintech Summit.
During the morning session, the president of SIIF and Mayor of Guiyang gave keynotes presenting their recent innovation and discoveries in Blockchain area, as well as their interests and desire to cooperate with NABA.
President of SIIF, Hongjun Lu
Mayor of Guiyang, Yuxiang Wang
Yuxiang Wang, the Vice Mayor of Guiyang, gave a keynote speech at the summit discussing Guiyang’s recent innovation within big data and blockchain. Guiyang recently shifted its focus from big data to blockchain as it formed its first crowd-funding financial exchange in China in 2016. On December 31, 2016, the city officially issued a white paper named “The Development and Application of Blockchain in Guiyang,” which was a milestone as the city demonstrated its desire to become the next blockchain center.
Mayor of Fremont, Lily Mei, gave a speech in support of Blockchain
Lily Mei and Mayor of Guiyang, Yuxiang Wang, exchange gifts with each other.
The former Cupertino Mayor and current Council Member Barry Chang and Guiyang Mayor Yuxiang Wang exchange gifts.
The former Cupertino Mayor and current Council Member, Barry Chang (left), awards a Certificate of Honor to NABA, received by Ramble (right), the President of NABA.
The certificate of Appreciation with special thanks to NABA.
The crowd in attendance saw a batch of Blockchain startup showcases and 10 of them present. Here is a rundown of the Blockchain startups that pitched for funding:
BlockCypher build blockchain applications easily with our web APIs and callbacks.
Blockseer provides the analytics tools for these transactions and applications on the Blockchain.
BitWage creates solutions for workers looking for remote work and looking to optimally receive their wages.
John Lindsay, the CEO and Co-founder of Bitwage, refers the company to an international wage payment and payment processing solution that reduces transfer times and forex fees without requiring the sender to sign up. The company provides 10% lower transaction fees than the market average. So far, Bitwage suppports 7 different types of currency incuding US dollars, Euros, Francs etc. In addition to Bitcoin, bitwage offers corporate debit and credit card service for employers paying payrolls. It provides a wide range of options for users besides traditional wire transfer and Bitcoin by connecting their debit or credit card to Biwage accounts.
Genosisis the platform for the next generation of prediction market applications.
Gliding Eagle provides transparent direct-to-consumer wine logistics to China. The company has developed a fully traceable logistics solution using FedEx to connect premium California wineries with Chinese consumers, in both mainland China and Hong Kong.
GooCoin specializes in mobile cryptocurrency and cross-border payment based on Blockchain.
Skuchain builds Blockchain based products for B2B Trade and Supply Chain Finance. Their solution 'Brackets' provides a number of key advantages: 1) facilitates lending by Financiers against well known trade instruments; 2) provides a real-time, reliable view of transaction state bringing significant transparency for all participants and helps them build a more trustworthy and stable supply chain ecosystem; 3) provides a real-time, reliable view of transaction state bringing significant transparency for all participants and helps them build a more trustworthy and stable supply chain ecosystem.
Tendermintis software for securely and consistently replicating an application on many machines.
Tendermint consists of two chief technical components: a blockchain consensus engine and a generic application interface. The consensus engine, called Tendermint Core, ensures that the same transactions are recorded on every machine in the same order. The application interface, called the Tendermint Socket Protocol (ABCI), enables the transactions to be processed in any programming language. Unlike other blockchain and consensus solutions, which come pre-packaged with built in state machines , developers can use Tendermint for BFT state machine replication of applications written in whatever programming language and development environment is right for them.
Waterhole.io is an emerging startup passionate about changing the way users interact in the virtual currency ecosystem to buy, sell, trade, and communicate with one another. They specialize in implementing anti-fraud measures and pride themselves in developing the source code from the ground up by their own hand-picked team of talented engineers.
WeTrust build the future of deposit and insurance trust platform, powered by smart contracts and Blockchain technology. The savings and credit platform allows users to lend and borrow from each other at self-determined interest rates, with minimal friction. The company is going to launch the first Ethernet application ROSCA that expect to mainly serve: 1) the unbanked who need access to credit and 2) those who do have access to formal financial institutions, but desire alternative solutions to saving and credit.
Group photo of NABArs, Co-organizers, officers and investors.