Reaching for the Skies at London’s Level 39

From angel investors and venture capitalists to enterprise leaders and blockchain developers, the SkyLedger community was out in full force for last week’s SkyLedger conference held at the Level 39 incubator on London’s Canary Wharf.

A new vision for start ups
Kicking off proceedings, ShellPay CEO, Jane Zhang, gave an account of the scope of her ambitions for SkyLedger, including the creation of a global ecosystem designed to encourage blockchain entrepreneurs.

Known as Sky Palaces, the incubators will provide entrepreneurs with the resources they need to get their ideas up and running, with ShellPay acting as a resource hub that’s available if needed. With several SkyPalaces expected to be created in China, Zhang explained that the PRC is the ideal crypto testing ground because “any business that can get one million customers in China, can get them anywhere.”

A new world of funding

Following Jane’s introductory talk, founder of Blockchain News, entrepreneur and serial ICO adviser, Richard Kastelein, spoke about the effects of ICOs on the VC community, how they’d shaken up the traditional Silicon Valley funding model and stripped the idea of equity from the funding equation.

That said, with regulators taking an ever greater interest, he predicted a shift towards the securitisation of tokens, a move that would bring equity back into play and so “will bring the big guns back.”

As a result, “we’re going to tokenize most of the world and it won’t be long before you see baskets of tokens traded as ETFs.”

The tokenization of the world’s economies is a key factor at play in Kastelein’s mind and so he is planning a Tokenomics conference in Malta later this year. 100 invited experts (50 women and 50 men), will gather for the roundtable event to discuss the future of a tokenized world.

Importantly for crypto enthusiasts, Kastelein remains “fairly bullish about the future of our industry,” and in line with the Tokenomics vision of the future, he believes that “innovation investment needs to be democratized. It should be easy to put forward an idea and source investment for it.”

A new token market

After Richard, David Yue, Managing Partner of Meredith Capital to to the stage to look at the opportunities and challenges facing financing in the crypto world.

He explained that “it’s difficult for funds to invest in blockchain because it is in its early stages but that if Bitcoin can secure its network and product, it could remain a good choice for investors.”

He also pointed out that “governments love blockchain technologies but don’t like the liquidity part of it!”

Given that ICO funding is now dominant and has “surpassed angel and seed funding,” VC’s are now wondering what they can do to become involved in early investment.

As a response, Yue explained that he is working with Jane Zhang and Brandon Smietana on Sky Fund, “a new token market” that operates in four parts: direct project investment, secondary investment such as ETFs, investment banking and asset management. All with the aim of encouraging investment in early stage crypto enterprise.

A new standard of coin

Brandon Smietana, aka Synth, extremely well known in the SkyLedger community and recognised for the role he played as a Bitcoin developer, as well as being the brains behind the setting up of Sky Ledger, is today Chief Scientist at ShellPay. He took to the stage in London to look at the future of blockchain, cryptocurrencies and SkyCoin and explained that SkyLedger was started as a response to the problems with Bitcoin.

Noting that blockchain is just a database that doesn’t need tokens to operate, he explained how the technology had matured in the past year to the point that we’re now seeing it integrated into business and industry.

Bitcoin itself, he explained would not revisit the growth rates of the past years and that “most growth will be from new coins.”

As one of those new coins, “SkyCoin can do over 300 transactions per second on different blockchains and that whilst fast, the next generation of blockchain technologies needs to be as fast as AliPay.”

The important thing about SkyCoin, he pointed out, is that “blocks can be increased to any size for any rate of transactions, more than 500 per second.”

Given the issues with Bitcoin and Ether’s paltry 30 transactions per second, such rates really do set a new level of performance.

Ultimately, Smietana predicts that “Bitcoin is too conflicted and will die,” and its demise will be aided by its proof of work mechanism, which “is too expensive”.

“People will wonder why they’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to run Bitcoin when SkyLedger can do thousands of transactions for very little cost.”

Referring to the crypto bubble, he offered words of warning for crypto developers:

“To survive the bubble, your coin has to be useful. It must have substance.”

And with those wise words, the conference broke for lunch!



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