The event offered blockchain entrepreneurs and developers from many countries the largest venue in the Baltics to meet up and discuss the future of the technology.

On 9 March, the Estonian capital hosted a large-scale conference dedicated to blockchain technologies and cryptocurrency development – Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Tallinn. The event was attended by 250 people from 20 countries.

The event is organised by Smile-Expo – a company with a long experience of holding blockchain conferences in Russia, Ukraine and the Czech Republic. It chose to expand to the Estonian market due to the favourable IT environment in the country and support for blockchain projects in the Govtech sector.

Among the principal speakers were Jon Matonis, Founding Director at Bitcoin Foundation, Kaspar Korjus, e-Residency Managing Director, Karolina Marzantowicz, Distinguished Engineer at Polish branch of IBM, Kaidi Ruusalepp, Founder of Funderbeam, plus 14 more crypto experts and blockchain project managers. They presented cases of blockchain implementation for business processes.

“It’s hard to imagine a better place than Tallinn to discuss blockchain. Here is the motherland of digital community,” said Kaspar Korjus, head of the unprecedented e-residence project, which is regarded as a new landmark of the Estonian Govtech. Thanks to the project, 18 000 people and 1 300 companies from 136 countries have become Estonian residents.

“Blockchain itself does not have value without cohesion with digital identity, legal environment and efficient governance. Only by bringing it all together will we understand the real impact of blockchain technology,” added Kaspar Korjus.

The discussion covered a variety of topics considering the advance of the new industry: regulatory issues, cryptocurrency acceptance, benefits of private and public blockchains and key players of the blockchain market.

“Blockchain technology will change digital economy”, stated Karolina Marzantowicz from the Polish branch of IBM. She stressed that financiers should be more open for cooperation in this field. “Financial institutions are aware of the advantages of the blockchain, but banks are not key players in this market.”

“Banks are slow to implement blockchain for regulatory reasons”, noted Jüri Laur, Head of the Payment Service at the leading Estonian bank LHV. “There is no point to use blockchain just for the sake of using it. Blockchain without cryptocurrencies is only half the battle.”

One of the tasks of crypto community is to reveal the benefits of bitcoin and blockchain for a customer. “It’s a challenge to change consumers’ attitudes, especially in the financial sphere,” said Eric Benz, CEO at Cryptopay. But, in his opinion, the advantage retained by bitcoin is the convenience and safety of storing assets.

The following Blockchain & Bitcoin conferences will take place this spring in Moscow and Prague. Later on in September, in the Ukrainian capital, the organiser company will hold the largest blockchain event in Eastern Europe.