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Finance 2.0 - Crypto '17

On September 14th the Swiss fintech scene gathered at the 3rd Finance 2.0 conference on cryptofinance celebrated in Zurich.

With the popularity of Bitcoin, ether and other altcoins at unprecedented levels, great attention is turning to the technology behind the scenes: Blockchain. Time calls for a reflection on the real impact that crypto-finance is having in the industries, and what is still to come.

The event had the invaluable collaboration of Dr. Konrad Hummler as the keynote speaker. Hummler shared his view on the potential of the blockchain technology to reshape any industry, and to disrupt socioeconomic interactions by the radical deduction of transaction costs that it enables. In the same line of thought, high expectations on blockchain as a solution for financial inclusion were shared by various speakers.

Not surprisingly, the bubble of Bitcoin was among the most discussed points. Tone Vays gave a speech on the topic, supported by a nice interactive presentation following the historic prices of Bitcoin.

Investors had their turn, with talks around opening crypto assets to institutional investors, regulation in Switzerland and the Crypto Valley, exchanges and secure storage of assets, and, closing the event, a round table on initial coin offerings (ICO).

A couple of interesting blockchain real case applications were presented, like a data integrity system for the highly regulated supply chains in the pharma industry, or a social network using a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) and cryptocurrency rewards.

There was also a place for technical topics, from improved security protocols to formal verification of smart contracts, extremely interesting given the irreversible nature of the smart contracts in blockchains.

Here a complete list of the talks held and speakers.

In conclusion, although Bitcoin and blockchain have been around for a few years now, it is widely acknowledged that we are still in the early days of this technology. There are yet few mature applications, but the perception of its extraordinary disruptive potential is shared by many. There is also an increasing interest in crypto assets from investors, also institutional ones, despite the high uncertainty and lack of regulation to date.