Veni, Vidi, Belgrade
Our adventures at the Blockemon Blockchain Conference
It all started like any other work trip at this time of year. An early morning drive under a relentless August sun to Belgrade — a city we’ve visited on many occasions, but this time it was different. We were travelling into the unknown — into the Serbian blockchain scene. Although Blockemon is known as the largest blockchain meetup in the Balkans, it was difficult to gauge just how much of the crypto world has reached the South-Eastern regions of Europe. So our plan was simple — drive there, climb onto the stage, meet some interesting people, and return home before midnight. Just another typical conference, right? Oh, how we were mistaken.
A few espressos and croissants later (and after almost running out of fuel), we were in Belgrade. We found our way to the Belgrade Youth Centre through a maze of roads under renovation, and were suddenly struck by the diverse crowd of people in attendance. Crypto traders, enthusiasts, developers, investors, and marketers from not only Croatia and Serbia, but the United States, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Russia, Germany, and New Zealand were all awaiting the day’s lectures. We immediately knew our expectations would be surpassed.
After meeting team members from GameCredits, one of the main sponsors of the event, Blockemon host, Nikola Djokić welcomed us. We soon realized there was a noticeably active crypto community in Belgrade — simply based on the sheer number of meetups, conferences and hackathons happening in the Serbian capital. Without a doubt, Belgrade is a place you cannot ignore when looking at the European blockchain scene.
It was time for the lectures to get underway. Microsoft, GameCredits, BraveNewCoin, Lykke, Papyrus — it was exciting to hear fresh insights and ideas from leading names in the industry. We noticed a trend as most people were mentioning inter-blockchain solutions together with standardization protocols as a way of making different blockchains communicate — similar to what was discussed at CoinAgenda.
As our 4pm time slot arrived and after a brief introduction from our host, we were on the stage and ready to rock. Head of Communications, Dino Pasalic provided the introductions and set a lighthearted tone with the tired crowd, setting up the discussion. Chief Technology Officer, Nikola Jokic discussed the current challenges facing digital asset management, explaining DAPowerPlay’s vision and providing insight into how we want to solve these challenges. After an active Q&A session regarding the platform and some positive reactions from the audience, we were notified about a surprise lecture from IBM regarding their HyperLedger solution from Bill LeVoir-Barry, IBM Client Technical Leader / Games / Media / Energy / Telco — Sales North America. Yeah, it’s a mouthful — but hey, that’s really his job title and one of the more interesting lectures provided at the conference, if you ask us.
It was time to close the curtains and officially end Blockemon 2017. The discussion rapidly spilled outside the venue where we met more of the diverse crowd that was in attendance. As we were preparing for our return home, the Blockemon guys had one final surprise for us — a speakers dinner at Franš, a famous (and delicious) Belgrade restaurant. Nobrainer. We were there.
After a couple hours of drinks and discussing the future of the blockchain industry, it was time to go back home. We were running on a few hours of sleep for nearly the entire day, but Belgrade had other ideas in store. After the dinner wrapped up, we heard about an invite-only guerrilla party for the IT community that was in attendance. Turned out this was in a forest and phones were forbidden. So naturally, we had to go. We got our gps coordinates and headed north — our ride back home to Zagreb would have to wait a few more hours.
Special shoutout to Nikola Djokic and the whole GameCredits team for a superbly organised conference, Ioannis Menelaou from Lykke, Tomaž Čevak and Branimir Rakić from Origin Trail (awesome party, guys), Dmitry Lee from Papyrus, Konstantin Goldstein from Microsoft, Drazen Kapusta from Cotrugli, Bill LeVoir-Barry from IBM, and all the other great people we met in Belgrade. The blockchain industry is alive and well in the Balkans thanks to all of you guys, and we’re proud to be part of this passionate and innovative community. It was our pleasure to meet all of you and we hope to see you all in Zagreb very soon.
We hope you guys enjoyed this little anecdote about our adventures in Belgrade last weekend. We wanted to give you some insight into this great conference and provide something a little less technical for a change (although that content will continue leading up to the ICO on Sept. 19th and once DAPowerPlay platform launches.). In an effort for all of you to get to know us better, we’ve decided to keep posting more personal pieces such as this one from time to time.