Blockchain has quickly become Toronto professional’s work life AND social life. With nightly events to attend and a laundry list of meetups to take part in, it has become tricky to determine which Blockchain event is right for you.
On a personal note, my night generally starts with a conversation over pizza pizza and ends with my uber driver up asking “Oh, is blockchain that bitcoin stuff?”
If you are familiar with this scenario, than you’ve been to a healthy amount of blockchain events in Toronto. If you are unfamiliar, for the love of blockchain, start showing up.
You may be a little lost on where to start your event-going endeavours, so here is a chart to help you determine which Blockchain event is best use of your time.
1) Community (meetup, celebrations) or Educational (Workshop, course, lecture)
Blockchain Community events, putting Pizza Pizza back on the map since 2017 -
You’ve arrived downtown Toronto for a 6PM Blockchain event, you're confused as to how to get to the room you’re supposed to be in and you're pretty sure you can smell pizza.
Community events are usually run by a not-for-profit and can consist of networking, education and community announcements.
Who should attend: Those looking to network and intend to be a active community member by showing up on a regular basis. Use these events to expand your network, connect with people within your community as well as have an inside introduction to a specific topic.
ex: Blockchain Hub & Bitcoin Bay
2) Lunch and Learn
These educational events are hosted by a company such as Northern Block, that brings in a blockchain expert to provide introductory knowledge as well as use case examples of how blockchain can be integrated into their business scope.
L&L's can also have a speaking panel that is hosted by an organization/company who invites the Blockchain community and other professionals into their space to educate them on a certain Blockahin topic, such as Regulations and Securities.
3) Panel, Speaker, Workshop, Networking
These events usually include 3-4 speakers between moderate - expert levels, a Blockchain specific theme such as Enterprise, Healthcare, Supply Chain etc, and all geared toward someone new to the space. It can always be assumed that 60% of the audience will associate blockchain = bitcoin and have their minds blown after beginning to understand Distributed Ledger Technologies.
Usually hosted by an industry leader, or a company positioning themselves as such. With this event comes a panel of speakers, a deeper look into a specific topic or use case and a promotional aspect for the host.
Hosted by industry experts or those that are genuinely trying to educate people in their field of blockchain knowledge through workshops, demonstrations, hands on learning and group discussions.
Ex: Cryptoducation & Blockchain Developers United
These events have a social aspect such as drink of food while mingling with your peers. This can be an aspect of other events such as community or educational but networking can also be the main objective behind an event that is usually held at a restaurant.
7) Competition (Pitch/hackathon)
These events are exciting and meant to either solve a problem that the host is deeming inquisitive or to bring solutions or clients to the host by offering prizes (money/funding, connections or advisory/consultations).
8) Conference (Large list of speakers, at least half day event)
Usually hosted by a major player in the industry with many connections. Known for their length and educational additive. A bonus is the amount of networking that can commence at an all day function with like-minded professionals.
Ex: Blockchain Economic Event by Fintech Canada
Written By: Amy Trachter
The word Blockchain is like the car you're thinking of buying. You see it once and then start to notice it is everywhere. Someone once mentioned "Blockchain" to you and now it makes up 80% of your conversations.
Whether you work in finance, the public or private sector, one day probably soon you’ll hear about Distributed Ledger Technology (Blockchain technology).
New to the space? Things to know:
Cryptocurrencies = Blockchain, but Blockchain does not only = cryptocurrency
Distributed - everyone shares the same ledger of information (cryptographic proof)
Ledger - public list of technology based transactions (Ethereum)
Technology - coding, hashing, nodes, smart contracts etc which helps document transparent transactions
Problems Blockchain Solves:
Centralized Data - private data bases can hide transactions and add to corruption, while public ledgers allow for transparency
Third Parties - cut out the middle man, making business, and personal transactions more affordable and efficient
Human Error - with smart contracts and decentralization verifications human error is eliminated
Triple Entry Accounting - rather than each party having to record their own ledgers, creating double and triple entry accounting, transactions now happen with real time auditing
Don Tapscott, Co-Founder of the Blockchain Research Institute says "The future is something we achieve, not predict". As new technologies emerge, new industry leaders are adapting and creating new technology companies and adding more value to Blockchain DLT.
Industries Disrupted by Blockchain Use Cases
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Supply Chain, Legal, Environmental, Cyber Security, Education, Voting, IOT, Music/ entertainment, Health Care, Government, Charity and more.
Other terms you'll hear in this space
Initial Coin Offering (ICO) or Initial Token Offering (ITO)
Utility Token VS Security
Transactions - represent each agreement and smart contract deployed recorded on a blockchain
Digital Wallets (Jaxx Wallet)
Crypto Exchanges (Coinsquare)
Concerns of Fraudulent Blockchain Businesses
There are concerns in the media that ICOs and Blockchain startups are scams. These generalizations lead to advisors preaching due diligence before investing in a Blockchain startup or token sale.
Something to keep in mind is 90% of startups fail. This percentage will be the same when speaking about Blockchain based startups. Failure will be due to many factors, including unverified market validation, timeliness, technology itself, weak management team, and scalability. Yes, there are possibilities for scamming, but it is likely due to proper investing responsibilities that get overlooked.
Companies such as Outlier Compliance Solutions and The AML Shop help businesses comply with regulations and potential securities risks. There are also companies such as TokenFunder to raise funds within specific Ontario regulations.
Almost as fast as Blockchain is developing, Toronto is accelerating businesses to help prove DLT to be useful beyond the bubble that has been created.
Blockchain technologies will achieve solutions, create more questions to be answered, pivot businesses, disrupt industries, and create transparent organizations. 2018 is when Blockchain gets typed, and spell check won't suggest I mean block chain.