February 5, 2019, | AtoZ Markets - On January 23 the Blockchain Centre in Vilnius hosted an event for the first anniversary of its start, under the name of “One Year Anniversary”. Antanas Guoga, the founder of the centre, said in his welcoming word that it was an occasion for gathering blockchain developers, investors, and politicians to work together on creating better conditions for applying the blockchain solutions in Lithuania.
Blockchain Centre Vilnius – the start
Blockchain Centre Vilnius is the first blockchain technology space in Lithuania that was founded a year ago on January 27th. Its founder Antanas Guoga(pictured below) described the new institution as a space for collaboration, where a lot of lectures, training, and team-building projects were carried out there.
Now the blockchain centre in Vilnius is connecting key stakeholders in Asia, Australia, and Europe. As the official web page states, the centers’ goal is to unlock value using blockchain technology in business, finance, and public administration. Through a state-of-the-art co-working and shared office space for blockchain startups, BC Vilnius joins partner BC’s around the world to incubate and accelerate blockchain startups while sharing information about new blockchain opportunities.
Blockchain achievements and future ambitions
Egle Nemeikstyte, chief executive officer of the centre, who will be temporarily away from the centre soon, opened the event by sharing some insights on the tasks the centre accomplished so far, upcoming blockchain activities, and future plans the centre intends to implement.
In her opening word, Nemeikstyte outlined that over a year upon its start, the blockchain centre managed to form good cooperation with governmental institutions and attract over 5 mln capital through networking.
On his turn, founder of the centre and entrepreneur Antanas Guoga, talked about some of the challenges the blockchain space has witnessed, negative fluctuations that affected “the sentiment of the market, which “remains vivid and aimed at moving forward,” as per him.
Justas Shereika (pictured below), who was said to be the upcoming CEO of the centre soon, concluded the opening by saying that the last year outcomes of the BC work and their plans for the upcoming years, referring to that 2018 was blissful for blockchain in Lithuania. “We have a very good start, to begin with,” Shereika added.
The centre aims to become Europe’s hub for blockchain. Shereika talked about the new services the centre developed with their partners, like launching startup incubation and acceleration, talent sourcing and recruiting, business mission’s tax and legal consulting. Minister of Finance, Vilius Shapoka, started his speech with a philosophical question about time, outlining that if “you want to do something good for your country, you better be quick”. He noted that Lithuania continues “attracting investment, creating secure infrastructure, opening for exports. The minister of finance expressed his gratitude to the developers for making Lithuania not only good for fintech but and blockchain. As Shapoka mentioned, the new technology inspires people to make new business models, however, it causes certain fraudulent behavior, like money laundering. Such a situation requires regulatory improvements. The minister of Finance emphasized that the country’s direction is very clear, “a huge fin tech hub, full of talents, investors and experts.”
Paulius Kuncinas, Chairman of the Blockchain Centre Vilnius, followed in giving a presentation about the Distribution Intelligence Fund (DIF). In his speech, Kuncinas (pictured below) expressed his pride of the achievements the centre has made and of Lithuania overall, and explained what is the driving philosophy of the DIF and what synergy is there between them and BC Vilnius. Kuncinas shared the organization’s vision dictates on using technology to create value, describing data as the “new oil”.
Digital revolution is still in process
According to the Lithuanian media, the opening of the BC in Vilnius was the first of its kind in Europe, and is a great chance for Lithuania. Since that Lithuania keeps working on becoming a valuable player in the blockchain technology field and have already attracted a reasonable number of foreign investors. The creation of international start-ups (Revolut, Plexian, InstaReM, NEM, etc.) in Lithuania proves that the country is attracting the fintech industries, one of which is the blockchain technology in particular. A year ago, the blockchain technology in Lithuania was at its initial stage of development, however projects such as Edgless, Mysterium Network, WePower, BitDegree and CarVertical attracted attention worldwide.
Greg Chew (pictured below), founder of QPQ, in his presentation, titled “Enabling Business Digitalisation and Automation: Real Smart Contracts,”, outlined that “digital revolutions has not begun yet.”
In his speech Chew later explained the differences between “digitization” and “digitalization”. Chew emphasized that one of the key points of digitization is that you have to “trust the counterpart you are dealing with” making a kind of “leap of faith”. Chew touched upon that digitalization and in particular smart contracts, removed the need to trust third parties, and inefficient marginalization as now “you can trust data,” Chew added. The key to digitalization as QPQ executive explained is that the basic features of digital contracts like governance, lead to the predictability of events that can happen during transactions, which allows to give a quick response.
The discussion concluded with the panelists briefing on that over 40% of businesses try to get over the hype of cryptocurrency while the rest try to figure out what kind of application they can employ the blockchain in, and how to figure out different revenue sources. Maaghul cited an example on how quick the business pace should be, saying that «if you don’t move quickly, the digital startups will come and eat their lunch”.
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