Last week, November 26-27, in Tallin, Estonia, insights about the latest achievements in blockchain and cryptocurrencies gathered the annual Moontec Blockchain Summit. Last year they had massive success, bringing in more than 2000 attendants and representatives from large companies like IBM and Microsoft. This year, they had a similar line-up. The emphasis was on blockchain technologies in combination with governments. Also, multiple presentations were dedicated for Estonia’s “new” e-residency platform of which Estonians are very proud of. One of the keynote speakers this year was “DataDash” or Nicholas Merten. The overall feeling was filled with passion, excitement, and willingness to learn. This year was special because the organizers prohibited ICO pitches in that way leading the summit to a more focused environment.
Multiple representatives from Estonia’s e-residency platform stormed the conference. They all shared their broad experience since its launch in 2014. Kaspar Korjus, the managing director, led his presentation more philosophically and shared a few interesting facts. For example, E-residency has seen a direct increase in applications since the United Kingdom voted for Brexit. Apparently, business owners in Britain are frustrated about their future, so to avoid possible problems with taxation they register within Estonia’s new business residency. It is easy to set up. Applicants can do it from a distance, meaning the companies don’t have to leave their area of operation. Also, another shocking fact is that if the applications keep coming and the cost for maintaining an e-residency account is 100 Euros/month, then Estonia wouldn’t need to tax people in 10 years. Kaspar’s presentation ended with an inspiring quote: “I believe nations are becoming more independent from its own physical land, citizens, services, revenue and start serving humans as never before.”
Ott Vatter, the deputy director of e-residency, shared the story of est-coin – the phenomena which introduced Estonia to the wider blockchain and crypto audience. Still, many people know what Estonia is, just because of this subject. It projects Estonia in a very crypto-friendly light, although the country lately would suit the nickname “the least crypto-friendly country” instead.
So Mr. Vatter told the story of how Estonia got so popular among crypto people. Initially, est-coin was meant for e-residency implementation as a small figure, but the Estonian media portrayed it in a completely different light. They accused that Vatter and his team wants to implement est-coin within the government and make it a national currency. The whole world picked it up rather quickly and shared it, respectively.
Blockchain in governments
The overall feel after listening to all the presentations on blockchain in relevance with governments was that – it already is being used full-time. Governments from all around the world are seeking the best aspects of adopting blockchain the best way there possibly is. For example, Daniel Gasteiger, the founder and CEO of Procivis AG, shared what various governments around the world are using blockchain for. Sweden, Georgia and other countries have blockchain powered land registries. South Korea invests in e-voting and certification issuance. Japan is processing government tenders through blockchain, and the United Arab Emirates, in general, are Blockchain pioneers.
Just like mentioned before, governments are already exploring what blockchain can and cannot do, so the question after this summit was – are we going to need cryptocurrencies anymore? The real use-case here is only for blockchain.
The venue itself was small but unique. It was an old soviet heating factory. Brick walls, huge metal subjects, and enormously high ceilings embellished the summit. There weren’t that many companies with stands to show off their working field. Change, CoinMetro, Taitoss, WinWin Solutions, Delta Heroes, and BTCBIT were the only companies with actual stands. There were two stages – The main stage was called Universe stage, and the small one was called the Moon stage. During launch breaks, the organizers thoughtfully anticipated many types of foods for every kind of food lover. So the attendants could network without any problems.
This year’s hype was built up for this summit because of the last year’s success. One of the biggest let downs was the absence of the main keynote speaker – Taavi Roivas, ex-prime minister of Estonia. He canceled his speech, because of his work in the government.
Judging by last years success and the big attendance, we expected something similar, but got struck by a different picture. There was nothing close to 2000 attendants, and if one stage was full, then that meant that the rest of the venue was close to empty. Not speaking in direct numbers, but it honestly looked like the event lacked some audience.
However, then if you give it a more logical thought – it makes sense. Last year the organizers opened this summit during December when the biggest bull-run in crypto history occurred. Naturally, it gathered many audiences because everyone was at hype and thought that all the ICOs are going to bring in moons and lambos. However, now, after a year of constant money losing, the audience is getting pickier on what to attend. It was clearly in the air, as already mentioned before, the main topics were about blockchain technologies, not cryptocurrencies. Everybody is hodling, speaking about buidl, and are in high expectations on spedning his or her assets when the mass adoption comes. Looking from this point of view – Moontec has become more like an industry checkpoint. By attending Moontec, you can see and feel how the industry has developed over the course of one year. Can’t wait and see how the summit is going to look like next year.
Photos by Best Coin Investments