ChainPoint18: A Global Community of Blockchain Activists

ChainPoint18: A Global Community of Blockchain Activists

The region’s biggest blockchain gathering was held on November 14-15 in Yerevan, Armenia. Over 350 participants including entrepreneurs, investors and politicians from regional and European countries attended this event.

The Komitas Museum was the host of the prominent figures of Caucuses blockchain ecosystem alongside with European and Asian blockchain communities. The well-known Arminian musician’s museum welcomed the emerging technology specialist from all over the globe.

This two-day event focused on blockchain technology and was the first of its kind in Armenia. During the ChainPoint18, 35 speakers from all around the world shared their experiences and thoughts regarding cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology.

The various point of views and topics of speakers filled the two halls of Komitas museum and the experts discussed the blockchain technology potentials and the constraints in different jurisdictions. 

Hakob Arshakyan, the Minister of Transport, Communication and IT of the Republic of Armenia, was the opening speaker and he highlighted the importance of constantly empowering the Armenian tech ecosystem. Notably, application of blockchain and organization of such conferences present the significant part of it.

“Nooor, Armenian Blockchain Association” was the organizer of the event and as Vigen Arushanyan said, “This conference is different in its approach and is set to become a world-renowned platform for connecting with the thought-leaders, successful entrepreneurs and trendsetting experts to outline the future together”.

The first day

After the opening speeches, the first plenary session held in Master Hall where the president of Nooor alongside with Hambardzum Kaghketsyan, Partner at Smartgate VC (a San Francisco-based venture capital firm), Tachat Igityan Co-founder of De-stream (a promising blockchain-based startup) and Yuri Pripachkin, President of RACIB (Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain) reviewed Armenia’s situation regarding the blockchain and IT-based businesses. The session panelists agreed that Armenia has a great potential for the development of Blockchain and its applications.

Kaghketsyan admitted that Iran’s neighbor country has made significant progress over the past 10 years in the field of technology and IT-Based businesses and nowadays these businesses have a significant portion of Armenia’s GDP. And also Igityan noted the importance of legislation and governance to create the prolific platform for the development of tech-oriented companies within Armenia.

The second plenary talk hosted most influential blockchain associations of eastern Europe and Iran. Yuri Pripachkin the presidents of RACIB, Michael Chobanian the president of UBA (Ukrainian blockchain association), Vigen Arushanian the president of Nooor, Stanslav Basko, CEO of Belarus Blockchain Association and Dr. Mohammad Davatgar, Managing Director of IBL (Iran Blockchain Labs) discussed about the impact of emerging technologies such as blockchain on global trade. 

After the second plenary session the Iranian, Russian and Armenian delegations signed a tripartite MOU. 

“Mutual consultations and expertise sharing are to be held under the framework of the agreement. Such cooperation shows that international blockchain community considers Armenia both as a knowledge hub and as the most active player in blockchain development in the region”, said Vigen Arushanyan.

“Tokenization and Investments” was the third plenary session’s topic where Ralph Liu, founder of Mulechain (an interesting blockchain-based startup in logistics) alongside Artur Eloyan from Double Sirius Capital (A Venture Capital firm from Armenia), Leonid Morozovskiy, co-founder of DAS Index and Elena Gutsu, co-founder of DT Moldova Association illustrated the tokenized economy and its impact in investment. 

Meanwhile at the Komtas Room, a couple of talks were held by Wolfgang Fengler, Lead Economist from World Bank (Topic: Big Data and Big Trends), Asset Kassymbalinov, senior manager at PWC (Topic: Blockchain Pitfalls), Pavel Aramyan (Topic: Challenging Blockchain Scalability), Armen Rostomian, Co-founder of GRUV (Topic: Rethinking Digital Collectibles) and Vasily Bannikov, project manager at Group-B (Topic Crypto Crimes: 2019 Trends).

Instantly after the lunch break, plenary session with “Innovative Payment Systems” topic continued in Master Hall. The brand new payment methods which are empowered by blockchain technology was the main topic of speakers. Tigran Davtyan, CEO of InecoBank, Victor Goncharuk VP of RACIB, Vitali Bodnar, CEO of BTC-Alph alongside with Tachat Igityan, Ralph Liu discussed the peer to peer payments without any geographical restriction. 

The final plenary session of the first day was dedicated to “Legal Frameworks and Regulations” where the legal consultation firms’ representatives talked about the legal aspect of blockchain technology. 

At the Komitas Room, Dr. Davatgar from IBL presented Iran and IBL’s opportunities in the field of Blockchain. Misha Aghamalyan from Hex Division explained the power of Blockchain Technology in Real Estate and he mentioned that by removing middle-agents, the emerging technology will “disrupt” the traditional real estate industry.

The first day ended with a cultural program where the blockchain enthusiast found the opportunity to network.

It’s worth to mention that 13 people from Iran participated in the event. 

More than 90 media outlets covered the ChainPoint18 and TechRasa from Iran was among the media partners of the two-day conference. 

The Second Day

During the second day of the event, speakers talked about the topics such as blockchain-based Crowdfunding methods, P2P delivery and Warehousing.

The most significant part of the Komitas Room talks was held by Ralph Liu. He presented MuleChain, a startup with a disrupting idea in logistics and delivery methods. 

Taxing of Cryptocurrencies was one of the controversial topics of the second day Master Hall plenary sessions. Dimitry Kirillov, attorney at A-PRO Law Office alongside with Artem Afian Managing Partner of Juscutum Law Firm, Benjamin Kirschbaum head of blockchain of WInheller and Gevorg Hakobyan Managing Partner of Elawphant Law Firm had a constructive discussion about how governments can deploy effective tax mechanism on Cryptocurrencies. 

As usual, education was one of the topics of ChainPoint where the experts emphasized the importance of education to build a vast community of blockchain specialists and spread the blockchain interdisciplinary knowledge in the world.

“The Armenian Tech Ecosystem” was the last topic of plenary talks in ChainPoint. Hambarzum Kaghkestsyan and Davit Baghdasaryan of 2Hz, who’d been working in a number of Silicon Valley startups, explained the human resource capabilities of Armenians in the IT sector. 

The Final part of the Chainpoint contained a pitch session for 8 Armenian startups. Gruv (Blockchain-Based Music Streaming Platform), Arcnet (Blockchain and AI-based system for career building), De-Stream (Decentralized Live-Streaming platform), WireStock (a platform for stock photographers to upload photos and license across multiple marketplaces) compete in 2 different sections and a group of international investors chose the best startups. 

The prize of the Pitching Session was a joint acceleration program via Nooor and FastToken.

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