The First Crypto-Banking Conference in the World: Day One
The first day was held in a spirit of dialogue between traditional banking and the field of digital currencies, crypto-assets and blockchain. The atmosphere was loaded with information from excellent international speakers and attendees energetically discussed the bridge between these completely different worlds – those of banking and cryptocurrencies. Top-class catering from Stones was available throughout the day and Bugsy’s Bar mixed delicious drinks at the after party. When listening to the music of excellent artists Funkiez and Ola Egbowon, the atmosphere was absolutely grand.
Canadian Alex Tapscott, an author of the important book Blockchain Revolution, was the first to speak and talked about the reduction of transaction costs with the help of new technologies. At the same time, he also drew attention to the broad potential application of blockchain – cryptocurrencies, smart contract platforms, security tokens, stablecoins (cryptocurrency tokens tied to a national currency with a stable value). He further discussed the kinds of business models that can exist within the framework of these new v technologies – for example, real P2P services – Uber and Air BnB are still only intermediaries, theoretically, we can do without them and provide rides and lodging directly. Blockchain also has the potential to deliver less expensive remittance services or sharing of energetic surpluses. Alex is a blockchain optimist, who believes that the potential goes far beyond the boundaries of cryptocurrencies.
The panel discussion on the topics of Crypto-community, banks, business, and regulatory collaboration touched upon the question of security tokens and considered whether they would one day achieve the status of classic securities such as stocks and bonds. The discussion was moderated by Lukáš Kovanda with the participation of Alex Tapscott, Letitia Seglah from the regulatory body of the European Commission, banker, and blockchain optimist Pavel Kysilka and investor Joel Camacho.
This was followed by a talk by Pavel Kysilka on the topic blockchain in everyday life and its application in the areas of elections, e-government, and logistics. Pavel also mentioned the new trend of the “prosumer” (in contrast to the “consumer”, a prosumer is a consumer, who however at the same time produces and shares his production with others – similar to P2P services). Pavel sees the use of blockchain especially in its utilization for specific types of services, for example, the sale of electricity.
Thomas Nägele described the new blockchain law, which in the following months will undergo the approval process in the Parliament of Liechtenstein (approval expected in the summer of 2019). According to Nägele, legal certainty is the most important thing for companies conducting business in this new industry. For this reason, he seeks the legal anchoring of cryptocurrencies, tokens and security tokens within the framework of the special legislation that he is helping to create.
In the panel discussion on the legal framework of cryptocurrencies in the Czech Republic moderated by Viktor Janeček, American investor Joel Camacho and two Czech lawyers Radim Kozub and Michal Hanych shared their views. The suitability of individual legal jurisdictions for the realization of projects based on blockchain technology was discussed. The Czech Republic came out of this discussion as one of the most suitable countries. The approach of the regulatory authority, the Czech National Bank, to neither hinder nor help was positively assessed. Nevertheless, a problem that companies operating in the field of cryptocurrencies encounter is access to bank accounts. For banks, this remains a relatively small area with high risk (for banks the risk is not currently compensated by a higher yield).
Colin Platt spoke about what bankers think about cryptocurrencies. An interesting piece of information was that in his experience many bankers own cryptocurrencies, even though officially they often employ strong words against cryptocurrencies. For example, he pointed out that in the US a change in the institutional environment is underway. Last year, trading in bitcoin futures was opened on the CME and CBOE, which are the two largest American markets with financial derivatives. He also mentioned that at the beginning of next year, the Bakkt platform will open. This is also a market with bitcoin futures, but already with physical delivery, where institutions will have the opportunity to purchase bitcoins via an official, highly-regulated platform (bitcoin futures on the CBOE and CME are cash settled – only the difference in the prices of contracts is paid out). According to Platt, a huge shift and legitimization of cryptocurrencies and blockchain activities are currently underway.
On the other hand, Mojmír Hampl was traditionally skeptical about the entire sector of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. He is of the opinion that the central bank should not be the one to put up barriers to innovation and his motto is “do not help, do not harm”. During the discussion, he admitted that in countries with exceptional hyperinflation such as Venezuela cryptocurrencies can offer a good alternative to a non-functioning national currency.
The closing words belonged to Richard Watzke, co-founder, and Main Strategist at XIXOIO. Richard explained the motivation behind the creation of the XIXOIO crypto-banking platform and how important it is to collaborate with (not go against) established institutions like banks and regulators. He also described the first products IPCO and AML system – tokenization of existing firms with an emphasis on raising capital for growth, and the compliance solution (for KYC/AML).
The block of lectures was followed by a delicious banquet, after party and networking.
You can found all the pictures in photo gallery.