BLOCKCHANCE 2021: Blockchain leaves the hype behind

2,000 blockchain enthusiasts came together in Hamburg at BLOCKCHANCE 2021, to take stock of current milestones achieved and to discuss what’s in store for blockchain technology in 2022. 

In over 120 presentations six trends emerged:

1. Web3, Metaverse and DAOs
2. NFTs everywhere
3. Integration with current systems
4. A multi-chain future
5. DeFi comeback?
6. Regulation and sustainability

As cryptostars Joseph Lubin, Michael Saylor, Justin Sun, Raoul Pal provided their insights into the fast-moving space of crypto, most participants agreed that blockchain is no longer a hype but has become established in businesses and society.

1. The future is Web3, NFTs and DAOs

Web3, a decentralized version of today’s internet, continues to expand, driven by the boom in Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and the development of Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs). “DAO-tools allow for democratic participation, while keeping efficient financial management structures,” says Max Hartmann, Head of Consulting at BLOCKCHANCE. The same applies to the metaverse, the user interface through which we interact with the new online world. Fabian Vogelsteller, Founder of LUKSO is quite optimistic about the future of Web3 as a mass medium. “We have to understand where we are, what we need to change, how we can change it and what is holding back blockchain adoption. Creating a standard is the right way of fixing these issues.”

2. NFTs everywhere

NFT-trading and integration are expected to grow, not least as gamers will be able to own and monetise NFTs and while the NFT-Art boom continues. NFT technology has allowed artists to showcase their work to the masses while safeguarding it, leading to a leap in the entire art sector. 

“NFTs were the first time that blockchain technology touched the masses and then large global brands started to understand the power of NFTs”, said Alexander Filatov, CEO and Co-founder, Everscale.

NFTs, as shown live by artists at BLOCKCHANCE can be minted for anything, from digital art to real estate to even emotions. “Start thinking of your favourite popstars as investment possibilities. Maybe next year he or she may already be tokenised by fanadise. Next, they are playing in a metaverse in front of millions of people instead of 50k in a stadium,” explained Jakub Chmielniak, Co-Founder of Fanadise, the number one social media NFT platform.

“The NFT-infrastructure, competing marketplaces and the aggregation of a fragmented crypto space are developments we expect to see,” explains Max Hartmann, Head of Consulting at BLOCKCHANCE.

3. A multi-chain future

Decentralized technologies such as blockchain can be used to preserve liberal democracies rather than clashing with current systems. This is a move towards a more rationally based model of how blockchain can serve different sectors.

“For blockchain to arrive in the mainstream public, we need to educate people how blockchain can shape a positive and sustainable future,” says Fabian Friedrich, CEO and Founder BLOCKCHANCE. BLOCKCHANCE, together with European universities, is establishing the skill-building hub BLOCKCHANCEx, to raise a blockchain-savvy generation of students. “We need to empower the next generation who will live in a future we can barely imagine.”

4. Integration with current systems

Decentralized technologies such as blockchain can be used to preserve liberal democracies rather than clashing with current systems. This is a move towards a more rationally based model of how blockchain can serve different sectors.

“For blockchain to arrive in the mainstream public, we need to educate people how blockchain can shape a positive and sustainable future,” says Fabian Friedrich, CEO and Founder BLOCKCHANCE. BLOCKCHANCE, together with European universities, is establishing the skill-building hub BLOCKCHANCEx, to raise a blockchain-savvy generation of students. “We need to empower the next generation who will live in a future we can barely imagine.”

5. DeFi comeback?

Hindered by regulation and lack of trust, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) may see a comeback this year. According to Maximilian Lautenschläger, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Iconic Holding, a global crypto asset manager, “the financial industry will be highly impacted by the use of blockchain technology. A lot of intermediaries are simply not needed anymore, and others will have to redefine their roles.”

Key players such as AAVE, Compound, YFI and innovative projects such as Protocol Controlled Value (PCV) and Liquidity as a Service (LaaS) will continue to expand. New concepts will help resolve operational and regulatory issues, causing further disruption in an already shaken finance sector.

6. Regulation and sustainability

As regulators zoom in on blockchain, many companies will aim for more compliance and transparency. Policy makers have long realized the importance of blockchain. Bjorn-Soren Gigler, Head of Data Economy and Blockchain Programs at GIZ and previous Senior Digital Innovation Officer at the European Commission pointed out that “the European Commission launched ‘The European Blockchain Partnership’ in 2018, where all 27 members including Norway and Liechtenstein participate. It is based on regulations that are pro-innovation, but protect the data rights of citizens, their privacy and cyber security.”  

Lars Christensen, Chairman at Concordium Foundation, a blockchain that supports regulatory compliance for Fintechs agrees: “What I learned from various discussions with regulators from all over the world is that they want to find a fairly constructive approach to regulation.”

With NFTs, cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications on the rise, so is their environmental footprint. Increasingly investors are looking for sustainable solutions, just as more blockchain companies are using renewables and tap excess energy directly from producers. 

Eva Keretic, Climate Reality Project Leader and Mentor for Al Gore, and Robin Klemens, Co-Chair of Hyperledger, Climate Action and Accounting Special Interest Group were among some of the presenters who look at potential blockchain solutions to tackle global challenges such as climate change and food systems. 

With better governance and clear regulations, institutional investors and the mainstream public may find themselves sooner rather than later in some corner of the metaverse.

 

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