The "Blockchain Global Expo 2018" took place at the London Olympia on April 18th and 19th.
I've reported on the first day, in which I met @mrs.steemit at the Appics booth in this post (although it's now too late for a bonus, there's still time to take part in their ICO - this is not a referral link).
Now for the second (and last) day of this event.
The era of ICOs draws to a close
Yes, there have never been more ICO's out there to choose from. I would compare the situation to the "bouquet final" (big finish) in a spectacle of fireworks: the most beautiful, colourful, but also the last salvo.
I've reflected on this multiplication of offerings (many of which are just copycats or half-baked ideas) in a previous post: "The time of ICOs is mostly over"
The introductory speech of the "ICO & Token Investment" track of the second day underscored that 84% of the $4.8 billion raised by blockchain / cryptocurrency / token projects this year came through private placements (often from family offices) rather than from ICOs.
The ever increasing difficulty to raise money through ICOs was confirmed by Bart Verschoor, the CEO of Seal (whose booth featured in my previous post), a project that wouldn't have had any problems to raise money 6 months ago.
A stop I wanted to make was at the Decred (DCR) booth, a cryptocurrency with a mission. Decred diverts part of the mining rewards to a "community fund" and adds a layer of governance whereby people can stake DCR and get to vote on proposals linked to both the evolution of the blockchain and projects proposed to be funded from the community fund.
I've mentioned in the previous post that Celsius Network (crypto-backed lending platform) had a slide that was insightful. The idea of the "chasm" in technology adoption is largely explored in a post from @tibra (whose posts I recommend everyone reads). A colorful image that overimposes Gartner's famous "Hype Cycle" and also notes the role big consultancies play is below:
Thinking about this, blockchain's adoption ought to be vastly supported and accelerated by the ability of this technology to give credit (thus fostering trust creation). However credit needs backing, needs to be secured against something and "the asset" most people possess and can use in order to get credit is ... their own time and labor.
This is what makes Steemit such an exciting project: it enrolls people by allowing them to get credit against their time and labor. Here, the specific labor that Steemit is centered around is "writing articles" (and subsequenty reading and curating articles)
If a project came that managed to implement a similar system (blockchain credit for performing some activity / work) for something that is easier to do than "writing articles", that project would probably manage to enroll a great many users with much ease.
The most pleasant "work" that I can think of is "eSports" (playing video games competitively). In a sense, one can also do that successfully on DLive, as @acidyo shows (he is yet another reason I think the steem blockchain has enormous potential)
An interesting project in this area comes from Ukraine and is called DreamTeam. They want to help people form and find teams and teams get sponsorship deals and enroll in competitions. I didn't look much closer into their offer as they seem to be using blockchain mainly or exclusively to raise funds, not as their central IT system. I imagine people from #gaming such as @free999enigma or @vladalexan might want to have a look
Blockchain and IoT
As I said in the previous post, this "Blockchain Global Expo" was co-hosted with an "AI Global Expo" and an "IoT Global Expo". I decided I won't approach the booths of the former in order not to get overloaded and overwhelmed with too much information ("brain protection mode").
I think the latter is a bit easier to "get one's head around" and there are also quite some synergies between IoT and blockchain.
Previously mentioned Seal Networks for instance has a partnership with Dutch semiconductor giant NXP.
Here are pictures of the booths of another (much smaller) chip design company (EnSilica)
and IoT and communications company bics
I close this report with an illustration of the effect of technology hype. One of the presentations in the "Blockchain for Enterprise" track was given by the Swedish land registry. It dealt with a proof of concept (poc) for using blockchain to record land transfers. To the surprise of no one, the poc was successful ... Because it was also essentially useless.
As the slide deck acknowledged, blockchain systems are a wonderful technological solutions for the problem of recording land ownership and land transfers in countries beset by corruption or lacking a proper, official land registry (or both); where it can help compensate for the absence of an official land registry by allowing recording the owneship of land and its transfers on a decentralized, distributed ledger ...
Which is of course as far from the situation of Sweden as one can imagine. A country which scores a solid 6th, among the least corrupt countries in the world according to the "Corruption perception index" from Transparency International and which does have an institution taking care of the land registry and recording land transfers.
So by presenting an implementation of this specific use case before Greece (among countries without an official land registry) Sweden has demonstrated that proper governance comes first: with proper governance, you can take care of what needs to be done both with classical IT designs and with innovative ones.