Held at Inaya Putri, Bali, the XBlockchain Summit 2018 is a two-day conference that engaged leading players of the cryptospace in debate.
Last Monday, the CG team flew down to Bali, Island of the Gods, to attend the XBlockchain Summit. Co-organised by Pundi X, the event was an opportunity for attendees to discuss the direction of the space, be exposed to a multitude of ideas, technology and products, and converse with individuals experienced in different facets of blockchain, cryptocurrency and trading.
Over the course of two days, an international panel comprising crypto-savvy individuals and influential leaders such as Stephen Chia, the Regional Head of Southeast Asia, NEM.io Foundation, Corry Anestia, Senior Tech Writer of Daily Social, Finance Minister of Lithuania, Vilius Sapoka, Pitt Huang, co-founder and CTO of Pundi X, Ryan Lye, founder of CryptoGrinders, and many others, took the stage to share their opinions on thought-provoking topics. These topics sparked much interest and questions from the audience. Indeed, the conversations at the main stage were fruitful, with different opinions heard by the world via the event’s live stream.
Key Topics from the Main Stage:
The Future of Cryptocurrencies: Will They be Accessible to the Mainstream?
With such a high inertia to blockchain mainstream adoption, how can disruptive technology be accessible to the masses in the near future? The panelists for this topic listed a good ecosystem and stability of cryptocurrency as factors for adoption, as well as the presence of strong use cases. The fine balance between security and usability was also mentioned by Wilson Wu, head of Business Development Asia, FBG Capital, as he recognised consumers’ demands for a process that is easily accessible, and yet still secure. He talked about the hassle people may encounter when ensuring their security by 2FA (2 Factor Authentication), which may impede blockchain technology from being welcomed with open arms. David Kao, head of Singapore, Binance, also pointed out that the majority of the public who are not familiar with crypto may face difficulties getting their money in and out of crypto, which may hinder mainstream adoption. To overcome this barrier, Binance is planning to offer fiat-to-crypto trading. As one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, recognising the current imperfections and actively trying to bridge the gaps helps the space to mature.
CryptoGrinders’ founder, Ryan Lye, with David Kao, Head of Singapore, Binance after their interview
Pushing Past the Skeptics: Charting Blockchain Adoption in APAC
As mentioned by Julian Gorman, Vice President of GSMA, some countries, like Myanmar, may be more reluctant to try new things (blockchain technology included), and instead only adopt the modern technology when it has been proven and tested multiple times.
This reluctance to adoption could possibly be exacerbated by behavior of the cryptospace at the end of 2017: immense hype had propelled ICOs to global awareness in a short time span, which was immediately followed by a brutal bear market that lasted from the start of 2018 till time of writing. Skeptics at the sidelines who witnessed the downfall of many ICOs could potentially have grown even more wary about using the technology.
Along this same vein of thought, the panel discussed the parties that should facilitate adoption, even in the face of skeptics, and brought up several lingering questions for the audience.
“People are seeing past the hype and thinking about what we can do with cryptocurrencies. What is the technology good for? What can we do with total transparency and trust? How do you implement that?”
- Simon Stephen, Co-founder, Mogu.
Diamonds formed under pressure, or diamonds still in the rough?
While the bear market battleground saw some prominent projects rise above others, this one question still remains — are industries finally eager to adopt blockchain technology, or are these projects still waiting to be discovered? Gorman alluded to this question, applauding financial service industries for spearheading adoption, but also citing the growing interest in blockchain technology across the telecom industry, being part of that industry himself.
‘As an industry, there’s a lot of waiting and seeing’.
It seems that the telco industry is still hesitant in roping the technology into mainstream adoption. On the other side, however, the Pundi X team has already set the wheels in motion by marrying blockchain technology and everyday communication in the form of their newest project, Function X, and the XPhone. Check out the unveiling of the XPhone, the blockchain-powered phone, here.
Out of the main stage, booths championing various causes, including Poseidon’s environmental vision and Mogu’s big data big ideas, peppered the event hallway.
Mogu’s Smart Router on display
In addition, conference goers received XPASS cards on their first day, and had the chance to check out the XPOS device and activate their cards. The XPOS device was the very first product of the Pundi X team, along with their XPASS. The device provides multiple POS solutions for retailers, who can use the XPOS to facilitate transactions in cryptocurrency. It even accepts VISA/Master Card, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
Conference attendee using the XPOS device
Our team also had the chance to get up close and personal with some of the speakers from the event, including Stephen Chia, David Kao, and Pitt Huang. We even got our hands on the XPhone prototype, experiencing the seamless interface of Function X, well, first-hand.
Catch our exclusive interviews on our YouTube channel!
The XBlockchain Summit was an eye-opening conference that brought individuals and teams of different backgrounds and visions together. While the bear market might still be plaguing us, it was heartwarming to see so many people still passionate about the space and its untapped potential.
Kudos to the event organisers for such a well-planned event that allowed attendees to engage in deep discussion and more excitingly, be part of the evolution of the space. The introduction of f(x) and the XPhone were major milestones that demonstrated an actual use case of blockchain technology, and we look forward to seeing more projects follow in their footsteps.
CryptoGrinders is proud to be an official media partner for XBlockchain Summit 2018.
Till next time!