An evening dedicated to Blockchain & ICOs

On June 7, nearly 2 years after the Lift16 Conference (February, 2016) with Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum, with a session dedicated to Blockchain Applications Beyond the Financial Sector, we gathered 4 startups and 50 participants for an intimate event at Flux Laboratory.

We discussed and explored subjects of concerns and interests around the potentiality and pitfalls that are offered by Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs): How to navigate in a fast moving environment? Why consider an ICO for your business development? What are the key challenges and opportunities when tapping into crowd sales? How to build a real community with concrete engagement and support from believers? Post-funding, how to deliver the technology and business promises? What are the profiles of ICO investors?

To discuss this subject we invited SonoCoin and Apelab, two Geneva-based startups that are currently preparing their ICO, as well as Vetri and Proxeus, that recently raised millions via this new form of crowd sales.

First, and foremost, we welcomed the Economic Development Officer from the State of Geneva, who presented the ICO Guide that had just been published by the State of Geneva. It’s important to note that it’s the first state to propose a guide on ICOs. Given the growing interest from various actors for blockchain technology and distributed registries, as well as for ICOs in Geneva, DG DERI presented this guide in order to support and qualify ICO projects with a view to their installation in Geneva, regardless of their degree of advancement. As Switzerland is already a main Blockchain actor, Geneva aims to be a hub for companies wanting to launch an ICO.

Gregoire Notz, the Executive Director of the Notz Stucki Group, shared his personal perspectives on the subject by contextualizing the current state of development, talking about the volatility of the market and rebounding on Michael Kleiner’s talk to speak about the regulations and the implication of banking in all processes. We invited Gregoire for two different reasons; not only does he often invest in Crypto and Blockchain projects, which he has been mining for 3 years now, but as he is also a great speaker to showcase the relationship between banks and the crypto world.

Next up, was Yves-Alain Petitjean, CEO & Founder of Vetri, has been one of the main players in Eastern Switzerland to work with governments and regulators to adopt new technologies around digital identity, e-voting and the digitization process. Vetri didn’t consider doing an ICO at first, as they were concerned about the possible negative impact that it could have on the company because of the media. During his talk, he focused primarily on the 2 year-path leading to Valid’s ICO and his experience of the overall process, weighing the pros and cons.

Mathieu Amsler, a Business Development at Proxeus, took back from Yves-Alain Petitjean, sharing his views on the POST part of the ICO. He explained how he created an accountability system to pay invoices and use the 25 million raised in cryptocurrencies through their utility token. Their XES token can be used by individuals or companies to facilitate smooth transactions across the Proxeus ecosystem, XES is the underpinning means of exchange for all of the technology’s use cases. Mathieu covered the use cases they developed so far such as securing all Diplomas from the University of Basel using the blockchain. He also shared Proxeus’ vision to be the Wordpress for Blockchain by giving any companies the possibility to add this  to their workflow.

We then welcomed two startups on the stage, currently preparing their ICO. Emilie Joly, the CEO & Co-founder of Apelab, presented their Spatial Stories project that consists of a challenge based XR (Cross/Multiple realities) platform for creators. It consists of a Work Platform built on the blockchain which will allow XR creators to easily access jobs and challenges directly within a headset, inside the Unity game engine and on the Web 3.0. She also shared their progress towards their ICO scheduled for the end of the year.

SonoCoin, also presented their innovative audio-transmissible cryptocurrency. Leonid Afanasyev, the Founder, started by explaining the Russian origins of the project and how Blockchain projects in Russia are developing very fast. Evan Dean then developed more technical aspects of the project by explaining their differentiation strategy using a mix of sound-based payment systems (like Alipay or LISNR) & Blockchain-based payment systems (like Bitcoin or Ripple). He highlighted the possible use cases in industries such as retail, transportation, gaming, media, venues, and advertisement.

We concluded the evening with a networking cocktail party where all the participants had the opportunity to meet and exchange meaning on this innovational subject.

Have a look at some of the event’s picture below:

 from whitepaper to delivery