GHANA BLOCKCHAIN CONFERENCE 2019, MY FIRST CONFERENCE AS A NULS BLOCKCHAIN ADVOCATE
dates: 28, November 2019
location: Accra, Ghana 🇬🇭
announcements: website, brochure, @iamgeorgepro
NULS present: George Pro
The venue of the conference is two and a half hours drive from where am currently doing my internship to become a professional teacher ( Swedru-Accra). To get there on time in order to catch every bit of information and excitement of the event, I wake up around 4:00 AM at Swedru and head to the bus station. The bus set off exactly 5:00 AM around 7:30 AM I was in Accra, I took Uber from Keneshi to Accra residential area, Golden Tulip hotel to be specific where the event is going to be held. I was charmed and thrilled by the serenity of the place and their well-arranged environment couple with the warm reception I was given made feel confident and ready for the task ahead. I was directed to a place not far from the entrance. The women at the front desk smile while checking my ticket and ask me some few questions to build familiarity. At the front desk were some photographers who gave me three to four shots. Just when I was about to enter the conference room I saw backdrop at the lefthand of me nicely design and well placed with the inscription of various sponsors and Ghana blockchain conference 2019 boldly written in it, I was then directed to that place for another countless shot by the photographers. The official time for the events is 9:00 AM it was 8:47 AM when I finally entered the conference room, a well-arranged place to be occupied by over 300 participants. Few people were around (50–60 people) by the time I entered the room. The usher directed me to a seat at the far front. 9:15 AM the program officially started I turn back and to my surprise the place was full to capacity. Enough of the stories let’s get back to business.
There have been many initiatives since the first Ghana blockchain conference in 2017 and this conference was used to take stock and stimulate additional growth in the industry. The conference brought together blockchain community, world-class experts, policymakers and technology leaders to intensify our understanding of these new trends that are shaping global business. This annual Blockchain conference provided a platform which fostered collaboration between stakeholders, government agencies, financial institutions and blockchain community as a whole. Further, the conference featured plenary sessions, keynote presentation, Lightening presentation, Panel discussions and exhibition focusing on blockchain technology and its applications. Speakers and practitioners shared best practices and delegate had first-hand demos on some of the tools and solutions. The conference was preceded by a two days’ Blockchain Training workshop which covered a wide range of of topics including cryptography, Development of blockchain solutions, Bitcoin Policy, Ethereum Smart contracts, Blockchain usages as well as other crucial issues.
Expectations and Goals
This was the first event I have attended in Africa since I joined the NULS blockchain as a NulStar. I was particularly keen on the event because I anticipated that it would attract a wide swath of attendants from Africa and Europe that we’re curious about Ghana, a country that has been historically open to outside investors, but has recently made substantive reforms to open up its country and markets to the rest of the world including China, with a great policy by the government dubbed year of return. I thought it would be a great opportunity to not only get a feel for a position on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, but also a great place to meet progressive Africans who were aligned with the values of NULS and building solutions that could present opportunities for collaboration with NULS or other entities in the NULS ecosystem. My hope was to leave the Conference with a handful of new connections that could blossom into valuable long term relationships that would benefit NULS
The event turned out to exceed my expectations. I want to share information on the top connections I made and why I think they could be valuable. It is my hope that this would give the community some sense of where I am beginning to see opportunities for NULS to engage, and provide some background and context in support.
Mr Vitus Abrigo, Head of Fintech Ghana Dotcom and CEO of Stamp.Africa. They are building a utility token for the DNS ecosystem system in Africa using blockchain technology. I spoke and interacted with him during the coffee and tea break about NULS and he was very excited and optimistic about NULS infrastructure. Am looking forward to connecting to him in order for him to use NULS POCM for such project since they will release their own token. He also made mention that funding the project has been a great challenge for the team even though they are on the move and consistently making progress to make such a dream a reality.
Another greater connection I made was with Mr Kingsley Tetteh Baako. They have developed a system to register all land in Ghana on the blockchain to prevent a conflict that normally arises due to multiple sales of land by landowners and rampant change of names of ownership coupled with corruption in the acquisition of land in Ghana. During a one on one conversation with the CEO, he made mention that even though they have gotten some support from the government to pilot this project they are still looking for a great blockchain platform to use. I am still speaking to him am hoping that our negotiations will yield fruition and NULS blockchain infrastructure will be considered.
It was a great opportunity when I met the director for Blockchain Academy, Professor Nii Quaynor
Blockchain Academy is an online and offline education platform in Ghana that educate the general populace on blockchain technology. They have a very large audience offline since they have certified Blockchain educators and have been invited into various institutions in Ghana that is both private and public to educate workers on blockchain technology and its use cases. I am looking forward of NULS partnerships with them in the future in order to touch their large audience base for the seamless spread of Nuls blockchain and its applications in Ghana and to the whole of West of Africa since they have great connections with other countries in West Africa as well. Speaking to their Chairman he said “I will be happy to have you guys come on board. We normally talk about blockchain in general without alluding to any specific project, you guys coming on board will help, at least we would have a project coming from within us to talk about in our various meetings and conferences”. Collaborations with entities like Blockchain Academy would give us insights into the pulse of the broader market and deep understanding of the problems that exist and organizations looking to solve them.
This was a fascinating, a crypto vending machine developed by me Mr Isaac Armah Mensah lecturer at University of Cape Coast and head of fintech Ghana Dotcom. The Machine allows users to deposit fiat into their respective cryptocurrency wallet in seamless manner without going through a lot of processes. Currently the vending machine support btc and ethereum. It accepts fiat and can deposit the equivalent in users blockchain wallet, it also uses an API that enables the machine to use real-time coin prices. The vending machine also issues a receipt to the user after the transaction is done.
I plan to follow-up with a number of the key contacts I made during the conference over the next few weeks and months. I think building relationships and awareness with key entrepreneurs and organizations across Africa would be an efficient way to plug into ecosystems, and continually iterate on a strategy and approach.