Radical Digitization elements from the SICTIC Blockchain Investor Day

Efi Pylarinou is the founder of Efi Pylarinou Advisory and a Fintech/Blockchain influencer – No.3 influencer in the finance sector by Refinitiv Global Social Media 2019.

I had the pleasure to moderate the annual SICTIC Blockchain investor event which was a collaborative initiative to highlight and support innovation. SICTIC and its event partners, Innosuisse and Trust Square, its annual corporate partners, its corporate co-investors, and its probono board members, made this possible.

My picks from the 3-hour event are from my heart.

The inspirational keynote from Richard Olsen, founder and CEO of Lykke, directed mainly to the innovators, was from his learnings as an entrepreneur and visionary. He made it clear that crises are and have been the only normal. They vary in nature and reach, but expect them and develop adaptive thinking and leadership. He made an analogy that stuck in my mind because it is a guide for startups, for intrapreneurs, and for the `in the meantime` that we often find ourselves.

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He spoke about the importance of designing a `food chain` rather than a standalone product or service. He only briefly touched upon the Open Initiative that Lykke is seeding. Lykke is the father and godmother of four initiatives that are focused on genuine digitalization in four areas. They have conceived the four ideas and will reward (50kchf) a team in each of these four to start building it.

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My `adopted` one is the `Real-time information` system.  A free, open real-time trustworthy dashboard with a variety of data at different granularity levels. This real-time information system is free and revenues are generated from the forecasting, alpha-generating, and actionable decision-making value created. The Open Initiatives vision is very broad and encompasses real-time information that is geared towards governments, businesses, all the way down to individuals. For me this is important because it addresses the conventional fear and risk of technology (data & AI) being used as weapons from governments and or businesses against the people. As Jurgen Schmidhuber[1], the father of AI, claims in a couple of years corporations will be selling to us (individuals) AI that is tailored made for each one of us.

All this needs the open data layer that the Open Initiative has set out to look for. Lykke wants to be part of the solution and has chosen a first stance.

The startups that presented their value proposition where either using blockchain as a technology to solve a problem or building a piece of the puzzle for the digital assets space.

My three picks are again from my heart and deliberately diverse (gender, country, and scope).

AdHash is a high energy team based in Bulgaria aiming to fix the online advertising problems. They are serving advertisers and publishers and using blockchain technology to disintermediate the existing gatekeeps. Adriana Taseva`s, co-founder and COO, pitch was great.

  • AdHash points out that tech middlemen consume more than 70% of publishers’ ad revenues.
  • Advertising Fraud is growing! In 2018, $19 B were lost on ad fraud.

In a way, the AdHash protocol wants to be the alternative intermediary that is secure and transparent. They will charge 3% but they will mitigate fraud and offer several efficiencies.

Heymate was no stranger to me since I had met the Brazilian founder and CEO, Philip Tote, in Zug. Blockchain is being deployed by Heymate to digitalization the Gig economy by building a transparent and p2p marketplace for talent acquisition. They are starting with two big Gig markets, in Brazil and Germany, and have chosen to launch on Telegram (not exclusive). They call themselves the Digital Handshake.

VALK was also familiar, as Antione Loth, cofounder of Valk, had reached out to me during the lockdown. Valk is addressing the inefficiencies in the private (unlisted) financial markets. Their infrastructure is built on Corda and is an enterprise Saas solution for investment professionals.

Their white-label solution aggregates and automates all the tasks and processes that are done today manually for the endless variety of unlisted financial products.  Valk has digitized the asset management and investment workflows.

[1]  Jurgen Schmidhuber, is also co-founder and chief scientist of AI startup NNAISENSE.

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