Earlier last month, the Paris Blockchain Week Summit featured the industry’s emerging projects in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Organized by Woorton, Chain Accelerator, and Datalents, the PBWS also received widespread coverage from CNN, Forbes, Reuters, Cointelegraph, among other established media outlets. The 100X Advisors team bumped shoulders with friends and colleagues in the space, old and new; here are some of the team’s biggest takeaways from the 2019 Paris Blockchain Week Summit.
Setting precedent for American investors
As MC for the Techstage and judge for the PBWS Startup Awards, Balina got up-close-and-personal with some of the world’s most promising blockchain projects. Blockstack, a full-stack decentralized computing network, showcased its line of world-class dapps. After filing a Reg-A classification with the SEC and raising 50 million dollars, Blockstack’s priming themselves to properly launch one of the first regulated token sales in the US. For many US-based blockchain companies, (a number of whom have been left out of the space because of regulatory ambiguity), Blockstack’s regulatory compliance could set precedent for future investment opportunities in the United States.
“To have a project that’s building amazing tech and figure a way to get American investors to get involved, that’s big.” –Ian Balina, General Partner of 100X Advisors
With an operational ecosystem and fully-functional suite of dApps, Blockstack shines in its ability to address many of the scalability shortcomings of Ethereum and EOS, as well as security vulnerabilities of other protocols. They’re backed by Y-Combinator, one of the world’s foremost seed-round accelerators who incubated Reddit, AirBnB, Dropbox, and Coinbase. Blockstack’s experience in legacy tech, (coupled with the foresight of blockchain technology’s future), will shed light on rethinking the role dApps will play in the cloud-computing era, according to Balina.
Decentralizing global humanitarian efforts
Unicef gave a talk at Paris Blockchain Week regarding its recent investments in blockchain technology through its Innovation Fund. Six companies, Atix Labs,Onesmart, Prescrypto, Statwig, Utopixar and W3 Engineers, were selected from more than 100 applications across 50 countries. They’re projected to deliver open-sourced prototypes across health-care delivery, affordable access to mobile phone connectivity, and financing social-impact projects in various regions across the world.
“It’s great that such a reputable international organization is investing in blockchain technology.” – Diego Lara, Managing Partner of 100X Advisors
At a high level, the organization aims to implement smart contracts to increase organizational efficiency, create distributed decision-making processes, and evangelizing distributed ledger technology to the United Nations and the countries where UNICEF operates in.
Other noteworthy highlights
Alex Mashinsky, CEO of Celsius and good friend of Balina’s, caught up with 100X Advisors to share his insights on dApps. Mashinsky, whose company has lent out over a billion dollars this past year to promising projects, believes the real value lies within decentralized applications. His stance runs contrary to the widely-held view that platform protocols will be the catalyst for widespread user adoption.
The CEO of eToro recently announced the launching of its crypto exchange, making big waves at the conference. To broaden its user base, eToroX (the name of the exchange) will offer eight stablecoins which include digitized denominations of Japanese yen, Euros, and Swiss francs.
“[eToro makes] the more space more credible- they’re launching a US-exchange and are compliant with regulations,” says Balina.
100X also discussed recent developments of Spatium’s hardware wallet, over dinner. Spatium showcased its credit card-type hardware wallet, and its encryption tech (omitting the need for a private key for users) to 100X Advisors. Having raised substantial equity recently, Spatium is a big player to watch out for in the coming year, according to 100X Advisors.
Security Token Offerings (STOs), garnered considerable attention towards the end of 2018. As the momentum behind STOs fizzled out going into 2019, Balina affirms that the real players will march forward in their development. Balina served as part of the jury for the 2019 PBSW Startup Awards; the winner of this year’s 2019 PBSW Startup Awards was Paris-based equity token project, Toquity.io. The project, powered by Ethereum, aims to create a user-friendly interface to interact with captables, historical events, effects of rounds and equity transactions between parties. Additionally, the platform enables users to track documents, issue & manage stock options, and model new financing rounds, all within the platform.
Next stop: New York City
Going into mid-May, the 100x Advisors team will be visiting Manhattan during this year’s Consensus/NYC Blockchain Week. As part of its World Tour, the 100X team is hosting an event at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. Tone Vays and Oh Hey Matty, both notable influencers within the cryptocurrency space, will be speaking at the 100X World Tour Event. For more information, RSVP here.