Many tech enthusiasts will remember 2018 as the year of the blockchain. While interest in digital currencies – the original use case for the blockchain – was not as pronounced as 2017, blockchain technology received unprecedented attention, funding, and adoption.
Indeed, corporate and government investment in blockchain technology exceeded $2 billion, and an overwhelming 84% of companies indicate that they have at least some involvement in blockchain technology.
What’s more, with blockchain technology widely expected to play a significant role in technological infrastructure moving forward, those trends will continue in 2019. The International Data Corporation anticipates that investment in blockchain technology will approach $10 billion in just a few years.
For those looking to participate in the development and proliferation of blockchain technology, numerous blockchain conferences inspire new thought and encourage innovation. Here are five can’t miss conferences to add to your schedule.
1. Japan Blockchain Conference, January 30th – 31st, Tokyo
This two-day event hosted at the Pacifico Yokohama in Japan and sponsored by Forbes and IBM, brings together nearly fifty distinguished presenters who will discuss best practices related to developing and implementing blockchain-based applications. Japan is a world leader in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, in all aspects: regulation, trading, adoption and more.
In addition to presentations from several legislators and prominent CEOs, the Japan Blockchain Conference features John McAfee, founder of the much-lauded McAfee security software and well-known crypto evangelist. Other high-profile names including Tim Draper and Charles Hoskinson of Cardano are scheduled to present.
Ultimately, with an extensive collection of investors, media, venture companies, and interested individuals, this exhibition is an opportunity to develop and foster strategic partnerships that can promote growth and innovation throughout 2019 while also showcasing new blockchain products.
2. Consensus, May 13th – May 15th, New York City
The 5th annual Consensus conference is one of the largest and most famous conferences on the calendar. Hosted at the Hilton and Sheridan hotels in Midtown and Times Square respectively, Consensus features a flurry of presenters, workshops, and publicity moments that are all directed toward the expansion of blockchain technology.
Attendance has grown each year, and event organizers anticipate that this year’s conference to be the biggest yet, with more than 10,000 people expected to attend.
3. World Economic Fourm Economic Forum Annual Meeting, January 22nd – 25th, Davos, Switzerland
Although the event’s speakers have yet to be announced, Consensus features well over 100 speakers with Jack Dorsey, Joseph Lubin, Dan Morehead taking the stage at last year’s conference.
The 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting is has just begun in Davos, with the world’s richest and most powerful business and political leaders gathering in one place. At last year's summit - cryptocurrencies, mostly bitcoin, were highly criticized for being used for illicit purposes. The progress crypto has made when it comes to regulation and recent enforcement measures might lead to a different approach this year, but bias exists, and it will be no surprise to see the same criticisms resurface.
Around the event, the Global Blockchain Business Council will be holding a 3-day summit focusing on utilizing blockchain technology in the public sector, in a sustainable and decentralized way.
In addition, MIT Connection Science and its collaborators are organizing a Blockchain + AI + Human oriented events. For example, the event will see a panel about blockchain and AI with Endor co-founders and MIT researchers Dr. Yaniv Altshuler & Prof. Alex Pentland.
Even though it's not one specific event, it is still a great opportunity to learn about the future of the industry, and the entire economic world will be attending Davos.
4. DC Blockchain Summit, March 6th – 7th, Washington, DC
As its location indicates, the DC blockchain summit brings together a unique collection of policymakers, academics, executives, and startups who are developing the blockchain economy. Featuring several congressional representatives as well as prominent executives from companies including Ripple, Fidelity Investments, and Cisco, DC Blockchain Summit is focused on the important next steps for blockchain integration.
This year’s conference features three members of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, a collection of legislators pursuing the blockchain’s impact on government systems and related industries including data ownership and healthcare.
5. Blockchain Summit London, June 25th – 26th, London
With crypto and blockchain regulations playing an influential role in the technology’s expansion, these discussions are a critical component to effective blockchain adoption.
Featuring more than 200 speakers, 5,000 attendees, and 80 exhibitions, Blockchain Summit London is one of most well-attended and prolific events this year.
The conference has a specific business agenda, connecting tech and business innovators in a collaborative environment focused on the expansion of blockchain technology.
To be sure, the blockchain sector has changed dramatically since it first came into vogue, and, with some of the most forward-thinking blockchain companies in the world all in one place, Blockchain Summit London strives to help developers, entrepreneurs, and enterprise executives prepare for the decentralized future.