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Reflecting the impressive wave of curiosity in blockchain technology in Switzerland, Palexpo SA is organising the 1st Geneva Annual Blockchain Congress in close collaboration with the Canton of Geneva.

Palexpo Congress center

This independent annual convention will be held on 21 January 2019 at the Palexpo Convention Centre. The event will provide the decision-makers of the region with a day to examine this “major new technology”. The name of the event, From lab to market, will be illustrated through the presentation of blockchain solutions applicable to four fields of activity: identity and e-government; education; FinTechs; and commodity trading and the supply chain.

Next digital revolution is imminent

“The next digital revolution is imminent. After the Internet, which has profoundly changed our societies, blockchain technology is about to become one of the pillars of tomorrow’s economy. A figurehead of “Crypto Lake”, the Canton of Geneva has already initiated several pioneer projects – both internally and externally – in the field. It is proud to found the Geneva Annual Blockchain Congress, reinforcing existing blockchains on a local scale and fostering the growth of a true regional “Blockchain Valley,” states Mr Pierre Maudet, Councillor to the State in charge of the Geneva economy.

Geneva, French-speaking Switzerland and Switzerland as a whole offer a unique platform thanks to the extent of its economic ecosystem and the quality of work being carried out by academic researchers and start-ups, not to mention the support and involvement of the public authorities.

In the words of Claude Membrez, General Director of Palexpo SA, “The objective of Palexpo is to provide a neutral ground for discussion and networking among professionals; throw new light on the current economic, technological and social trends; and promote Geneva and its region.” Holding the Geneva Annual Blockchain Congress will only reinforce this position.

From lab to market

Aimed at leaders of the private and public sectors and international organisations, this convention will present the concrete applications of blockchain solutions and will examine their consequences on business models of the market economy. Therefore, for this first edition, four fields of activity will be addressed: identity and egovernment; education; FinTechs; and raw material trade and the supply chain. These will be covered in their interprofessional aspects, including governance, legality and ethics.

The history of Blockchain

Technology or revolution, the Blockchain concept is creating a buzz all over the world. Defined as an information storage and transmission technology – one that is traceable and secure, and that does not require a central control body –, the first blockchain appeared in 2008 with the bitcoin digital currency, developed by an unknown individual working under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The blockchain is the underlying structure of the bitcoin. While the blockchain and bitcoin were developed in tandem, today a number of organisations (companies, governments, etc.) are considering the use of blockchain technology for purposes other than digital currency.

Members of the steering committee

The Geneva Annual Blockchain Congress is supported by a steering committee including representatives of the public and private spheres:

  • Directorate General for Economic Developement, Research and innovation
  • Nagib Aouini, Cyber security director of ELCA
  • Sahra Benaouda Brean, Independent contractor at SBConsulting
  • Lamine Brahimi, Co-Founder & Managing partner of the Taurus group
  • Olivier Depierre, Co-Founder & Partner, DLT Law
  • Antonio Gambardella, Director of Fongit
  • Alain Jeannet, Business Development Director and Event and Conference Manager of Ringier Axel Springer Suisse SA
  • Jean-Henry Morin, Professor at the University of Geneva – Centre Universitaire Informatique
  • Marco Piermartiri, Operational Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services of Geneva (CCIG)
  • Vincent Pignon, Founder and CEO of Wecan Group
  • Sébastien Ruche, Economic Journalist of the newspaper Le Temps

Date: Monday 21st January 
Time: 08:30-17:30
Venue: Centre Palexpo Geneva, Route François-Peyrot 30, 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex

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