AIBC Summit kicks off with 6000 strong crowd
High spirits and compelling content marks first day of AIBC Summit
The third edition of Malta’s biggest blockchain and AI conference opened its doors today to a crowd 6000 strong – beating anticipated figures by a significant amount. Following the launch of innovative legislation in 2018, Malta has found a comfortable niche in the global economy as a hub for blockchain and emerging technology, bringing stability and security through a forward-thinking regulatory framework.
The summit attracted over 150 quality exhibitors, resulting in high energy on the expo floor which lasted long into the day, while 700 investors brought opportunity to delegates looking to forge solid business relationships.
The benefits of access to investors was made clear in a talk by panellist David Orban, who believed that investor interest had dipped in 2018 and 2019, mostly because of how regulators have put a spoke in the regulation wheel.
“Recognising that the investor and entrepreneurial community has to work together with the regulators in implementing solutions that are able to achieve this without hampering innovation, has the potential of reigniting the level of enthusiasm and capitalising on the entrepreneurial spirit that drove 2018,” he said.
Two conferences ran throughout the day, with a number of well known faces gracing the stage. In his second visit to AIBC Summit, Bobby Lee brought his unique brand of enthusiasm to a well-received keynote, as he debated the qualities needed to make a great wallet for mass adoption. In his interview with AIBC Summit he went on to say, “What we’ve done is we’ve turned cryptocurrency, with a wallet solution that’s not software-based or hardware-based and we make it physical, so you can hold it in your hand, you can see it, touch it and feel it – you can even smell it.”
Other highlights included Gordon Einstein’s keynote on controversial digital currency Libra. “What makes Libra interesting and threatening is that it’s backed by, but not exchangeable for, a basket of what are believed to be low volatility currencies and low volatility assets,” he said.
Brendan McKittrick, founder of Aerobloc brought a new twist to blockchain use cases, speaking about the tech solutions that were available to the aviation industry. “There’s an abundance of technology, but little change – this is the challenge,” he said. He also emphasised that blockchain is focused on community and trust – two fundamental tenets for civilisation.
The AIBC workshops also drew significant interest, with key figures speaking out on a plethora of industry hot topics.
The challenge that we’ve had in the blockchain space is that we’ve had a lot of conversations around what is possible and that has come with a lot of scepticism – in a country like Bermuda we’re doing a lot more than just talking – we’re actually implementing some of the stuff which is fundamental for the future of blockchain,” said Michelle Chivunga.
Michelle also highlighted Africa’s evolving marketplaces, “Africa is so dynamic at the moment, especially in fintech – mobile money payment across sub Saharan Africa is probably the largest we’ve ever had in the world.”
There were key moments to be found on the home front too. Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri said, “I must take this opportunity to appeal to our banking institutions to adapt and adopt to this new reality; they must make the necessary effort to see change as opportunity and not as a threat and to become enablers for this new sector to continue to flourish.”
MRU Patel also had thoughts to share on the island’s future, opining that “If Malta can just sort out a more crypto-friendly, a more blockchain-friendly island and set those standards with values it will really explode.”
The summit also saw Photocert take home the prize as winners for the AI Start-Up Pitch, a coup which sees them gain valuable time with investors and an array of valuable extras to help them develop their budding business, such as media exposure and office space.
Tune in to the AIBC live feed for more content as the second day of the conference kicks off tomorrow with must-watch moments with grammy winning artist and crypto entrepreneur Akon, venture investor and founder of Universa, Alexander Borodich, while investor Anthony Pompliano joins via video call.