It was an active week here in the Valley — and we were right there, in the thick of things.
On Wednesday, the 22nd of November, over 600 people — including startup founders (like us), investors, lawyers (happy to see…), corporate crypto explorers and blockchain experts — gathered in Zug for the first-ever Blockchain Summit — Crypto Valley. It was the single largest blockchain event ever held in Crypto Valley, and it was indeed a unique event.
From our perspective — the most exciting aspect was the varied mix of attendees — not only “crypto heads” or “corporate suits” — but some of both. Moreover, this is (part of) what makes Crypto Valley very special. It is also one of the outstanding features of Contract Vault — bringing together technical and non-technical people, legal experts and non-legal users. We like to think that Contract Vault is a good reflection of the values of the place it was born.
One of the highlights of the Summit was a keynote from William Mougayar — best-selling author of “The Business Blockchain” and organiser of The Token Summit. His remarks on “Building Tokenized Economies” resonated with both the already “crypto-converted” and the newbies in the crowd and provided valuable insights on where the world of tokens is — and should be — headed.
Where he may have lost a few friends, was with his clear and unequivocal statements about when and why tokens should be issued. The “Acid Test” asks the following questions:
- What would happen without the token?
- Why do you need a blockchain?
- What is the blockchain enabling that was not possible before?
We were glad to see this candid take on the subject — and with Contract Vault we feel confident that we pass this test. (Stay tuned for a separate post on this…)
On the legal side of things, we were pleased to meet Stephen Palley — who attended the Summit as a speaker and lively, on-stage sparring partner for MME’s Luka Mueller. They were just two of the many other lawyers in attendance — with a good number of others from local firms such as Baer & Karrer, Wenger & Vieli, MML and Grunder Law.
Overall, taking Contract Vault into the heart of the most diverse crowd ever to assemble around the blockchain/crypto topic in Switzerland left us with several clear impressions:
1) Businesses are not quite ready for blockchain technology. The majority of large corporations — despite their commitment to blockchain tech — are still struggling to come to terms with the new paradigms and business models that are an essential part of a decentralised future.
2) The opposite also holds true. Blockchain technology is not quite ready for business. Not all blockchain technology companies have sound business plans or practical, real-world use-cases. Many of them are still stuck in — to borrow Mougayar’s term — the “Token 1.0” era.
3) The merging of “old” and “new” paradigms and technology will likely be messy. Even as more blockchain projects come to fruition and mature — the transition between business (as we know it) and blockchain will not be as simple as flipping a switch. Many projects present at the Summit were clear examples of old models and ideas spruced up with a blockchain — and even the good ones often often demonstrated “clunky” user experiences.
4) The true democratisation of services is not here yet. Many claims have been made about blockchain levelling the playing field and cutting out the middleman — and it is true. However, with institutional investors dumping funds into ICOs and corporates focused on building permissioned and private blockchains — true “egalitarianism” with blockchain killer applications is still a way off.
So at the end of the day — what does it all mean? Contract Vault is ideally positioned to address many of these points — bringing old and new together, offering access to services on an equal level and merging blockchain and business elegantly.
No — we are not perfect…yet. However, the Blockchain Summit was a good milestone on our journey to getting there!
Join us in transforming the world of legal and smart contracts! Get updates on our movement to make (smart) contracts “truly smart”.