Concluding the 2018 Blockchain Summit — Three Days of Bold Ideas and Concrete Calls to Action

By Valery Vavilov

The fourth annual Blockchain Summit ended Tuesday in beautiful Morocco, and I headed home with an even stronger belief that this community is making the world a better place — for all of us.

Gathered at Sir Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot outside Marrakesh, a diverse and dynamic group of men and women from almost every continent met for three days with one simple goal: To think, boldly and creatively, about the many ways blockchain technology can address some of the biggest challenges people face today — and then to make positive change happen.

With our friend Bill Tai, the Bitfury Group was honored to co-host this world-class group of technologists, regulators, artists, government ministers, activists, lawmakers, academics, business leaders, investors and environmentalists. I now consider all of them my friends.

From L to R: Sheila Warren, WEF; Jack Brockway, Entrepreneur and photographer; Valery Vavilov, Bitfury; Matt Sorum, ArtBit & Guns N’ Roses; Antoine Dresch, Korelya Capital; and Nicole Shanahan, ClearAccessIP

We spent three mornings in relaxed but fascinating forums, listening to some of the world’s brightest minds share their unique perspectives on the topics that drive their passions.

On Day One, we talked about how government officials can design balanced regulations that recognize the benefits of cryptocurrencies and enable them to continue to grow. We discussed how blockchain can help artists control their intellectual property more effectively. And we heard how blockchain is moving money across networks faster, cheaper and more easily.

On Day Two, we learned that blockchain is helping African nations leap-frog other markets by empowering people to interact more easily with the rest of the world. We discovered that governments in the Middle East can use blockchain to improve services and lift citizens out of poverty in ways that can rebuild trust and deter terrorism. And we heard from women entrepreneurs who are driving the blockchain community with game-changing initiatives.

From L to R: Chase Koch, Koch Disruptive Technologies; Katie Haun, Andreesen Horowitz; Elizabeth Stark, Lightning Labs; and Sergey Brin, Google

On Day Three, we discussed the essential role that blockchain technology can play in protecting the environment and endangered species.

We spent our afternoons and evenings at the Kasbah identifying ways to put our talk into action — to transform these ground-breaking concepts into bold new solutions that will make life better for all future generations.

At some point this week, during one of the many wonderful conversations I had with our guests, I realized something both simple and profound: If every one of us does just a little bit of good, and we encourage everyone else to do good, together we will do a lot of good and as a result we will change the world for better — bit by bit.

Great job, everyone. Now, let’s really get to work!

From L to R: Richard Branson; Gigi Brisson, Ocean Elders; Jody Rebak, CryptoKitties; Bill Tai, ACTAI Global; and Staci Warden, Milken