[BLOG] European Blockchain Week 2021: Great Success for Slovenia and Blockchain Community
In the framework of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of EU, our country hosted European Blockchain Week 2021, which took place from 20. to 24. September 2021. The event, co-organized by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology in collaboration with many partners, including Blockchain Alliance Europe, achieved great success and was backed by more than 100 panellists, 25 panels, workshops, and roundtables, gathering more than 1200 participants from 86 countries worldwide.
Throughout the week, we participated in various meetings while we implemented our program on Friday. As Slovenia already has the reputation of a highly advanced country in the crypto and blockchain sphere, we started our event with an introductory presentation by our president Tanja Bivic that took us across crucial milestones in the community and business development.
We then proceeded with Panel 9: Blockchain through Slovenian use cases in which most successful domestic projects and companies had a chance to present their significant achievements. For example, Luka Planinc, general counsel of Eligma, discusses the future of payments and the importance of crypto assets. CTO and founder of BC Vault, Alen Šalamun, emphasized the importance of security in owning crypto assets because the biggest challenge is still the loss of seed words for an individual. Founder of Crypto Water, Jure Pirc, tackled sustainable water transparency backed by blockchain timestamps. In contrast, Jan Gerl, representative of Netis, presented the modular design of the AceBlock blockchain infrastructure, which is intended for faster, easier and cost-effective development of blockchain solutions for companies. He specifically focused on active projects such as Tourism 4.0 and Gen-I, which used the technology to upgrade their applications for tourist identification and e-mobility, respectively. The last to appear on stage was Tomi Iljaš, a representative of Arctur and the Tourism 4.0 project initiator.
The debate that followed focused on the challenges that the crypto and blockchain industry faces at home and in other EU countries and worldwide. Guests highlighted the need for more clarity and stability, which should not interfere with the development of blockchain solutions themselves. At the same time, the challenge they see is the regulation of decentralized systems because they do not have a single authority. An even more significant and broader problem is the lack of adequately educated staff and the brain drain to countries and companies that can afford significantly higher wages. In this context, as a country, we can remain competitive only with an appropriate state policy that provides a supportive environment for startups and offers more funding opportunities.
A Panel 10: Financing your Blockchain project followed, where several guests (Nena Dokuzov — Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Kristjan Zemljič — Global Disruption; Egdijus Jarasunas — F6S, Paul Stefanut — DT2Invest, Iceberg Plus, Marcin Reztecki — Polish Blockchain Coalition and Urška Starc Peceny — Arctur/Tourism 4.0) talked about how to raise funds for innovative blockchain projects successfully.
We are happy and proud that there are solid and relevant crypto and blockchain companies in Slovenia that strengthen their reputation at home and abroad day-by-day despite many legislative obstacles. However, we urge our country to recognize this opportunity in time and give our industry even more support, as it can be one of the critical drivers of development at this crucial time in history.
We also look forward to more such events at state-level and high-profile stories as the time is ripe to see the results of many successful blockchain projects that will slowly but surely improve the security, reliability and speed of many online business processes and widely open the door to digitization.