WABA.network report: Euro Tour 2018 – First stop Israel!

in #waba6 years ago

Before embarking on our European tour we decided to make a two week stop in Israel, the country where the USB flash drive and the first Intel PC processor were invented. Being the country that spends the most on R&D in the world (4.25% of GDP) and where more than 4,000 start-ups have decided to settle to make their ideas come true, we believed that there was surely something we could learn from this amazing and at the same timer controversial land.

One of the highlights of these weeks was the visit to Bancor, where we had the privilege of attending an amazing lecture given by Eyal Hertzog, one of Bancor’s founders. He talked us about his vision on the evolution on technologies. Once the stage was set he told us how he thinks Blockchain fits into that evolution. We share his impressions on the way Blockchain will penetrate progressively into our daily lives (hopefully for the best!).

Another interesting visit we made was to Colu, one of the biggest projects committed with the development of local currencies. It was good to see how they managed to implement their local payment system in fout cities so far. They are currently working in a pre-paid mode. The user deposits fiat in a bank account and gets the equivalent amount of shekel in the Colu digital wallet. Customers get a bonus every time they pay with the Cold digital wallet. Although in WABA.network we believe that end game should be the creation of complementary monetary systems that do not rely on the availability of fiat money, we believe that Colu’s progresses are interesting to follow up.

The idea of tokenizing loyalty programs seems to be bubbling in Israel. In many of the visits we made we found people developing applications (not necessarily decentralized) to strengthen the relationship between brand and customers. Raincoin and Screenshop were among the most interesting projects that we saw in this domain.

It was also enriching to hear about projects that use the Blockchain technology for other purposes. Olam (a platform aiming to improve efficiency and communication in the supply chain), Avenews (a digital trading platform for agricultural businesses) and Firmo (financial infrastructure for cryptocurrency trading) were among the most solid projects that we visited.

The tour also included the visit to different VC and start-up accelerators, such as Blockchain IL, Meron Capital, IBM Capital, OurCrowd, iAngels and Alchemist. It was good to see how valuable ideas can become true when there is an ecosystem where entrepreneurs, universities, the state, businesses and investment funds join forces. Even if it is hard to foresee the kind of transformations that the Blockchain technology will bring about, israeli entrepreneurs seem to be among the first that will find it out.

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