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Recap: DC Blockchain Summit

Last month, Georgetown University hosted the DC Blockchain Summit, a sold out event that featured discussions from more than 70 global thought leaders on a range of topics, including: key market developments, initial coin offerings, bitcoin futures and ETFs, trading and investing in cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, and current regulatory trends. The event, which was co-hosted by the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Georgetown University's Center For Financial Markets and Policy, attracted more than 600 participants from around the world.

The three-day event kicked off on Tuesday, March 6th with a Code-a-Thon, where teams competed across three verticals: payments, regtech, and digital identity. Seek Refuge took home the top prize for its solution to provide a dignified journey for refugees.

Day two featured presentations, panels, and fireside chats with a number of crypto-currency and blockchain thought leaders and industry experts. Perianne Boring (Chamber of Digital Commerce) and Dr. Reena Aggarwal (Center for Financial Markets and Policy) kicked the day off, followed by keynotes from Jihan Wu (Bitmain) and James Sullivan (US Department of Commerce). 

Mark Fisk (IBM) and Marcel Jemino (US Office of Personnel Mgmt) discussed insights into how the US Office of Personnel Mgmt is enabling more secure and transparent employee digital records leveraging IBM's blockchain technology solutions. 

James Wo and Kilian Rausch of Exchange Union presented the first decentralized network bridging digital asset exchanges. Exchange Union technologies, combined with the XUC token, allow exchanges to make instant, trustless trades directly with one another in a secure and decentralized environment. 

Tyler Jenks (Very) shared a variety of use cases in the agricultural supply chain, including an example of how blockchain, when combined with the internet of things (IoT), can be used to prove where agricultural products come from. A use case, that Tyler argues, could be very beneficial in the Champagne industry. 

Later in the afternoon, Rohit Tandon highlighted the importance of enterprise blockchain solutions and how companies can leverage the technology to disrupt their respective industries. The session focused on enterprise level uses cases, as well as how companies can integrate blockchain solutions with their existing IT systems to empower their organizations in the short [and long] term.

In a very relevant discussion to Georgetown FinTech members, PeerNova's Gangesh Ganesan described how practical applications of blockchain technology are transforming major financial institutions, sharing how PeerNova's Cuneiform platform can solve verification and audit challenges that exist today. By leveraging crytographic proof, Cuneiform is able to enforce discernible assertion of data and its lineage.

Aaron Kleiner (Microsoft) announced a new white paper that centers around cybersecurity policy in a blockchain world. Blockchain is a powerful innovation that is poised to bring substantial positive change to a variety of industries. Entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers are increasingly interested in blockchain technology not only for its potential to transform the way we conduct business, but also for its inherent cyber security benefits. The paper, which was co-sponsored by Microsoft and the Chamber of Digital Commerce, intends to kick off a dialogue between industry and regulators about the steps necessary to improve cybersecurity and advance blockchain usage in the financial services industry.

Click here for a more detailed description of the speakers and panels.

Click here for videos from the event. 

Click here for photos from the event.

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