Last week over 3,000 CEOs, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, crypto investors, attorneys and blockchain developers congregated in Boston’s Seaport District at Token Fest to explore and debate the impact of blockchain and crypto investing. The city of Boston is often referenced as the birthplace of the American Revolution and it would be easy to draw a parallel to the crypto revolution many say is on the horizon (or already here). However, most attendees weren’t discussing revolution but rather adoption.
Jon Najarian giving the Token Fest keynote
CNBC Broadcaster and investor Jon Najarian kicked off the conference with the opening keynote titled “When will Cryptos Go Mainstream?” highlighting the tremendous progress that’s transformed the ICO markets over the past two years and the mountains still left to climb. While mainstream embrace has begun, there have been very public hiccups along the way. Najarian argues that these growing pains are necessary for the industry to continue to mature exponentially. Najarian suggested that continually increasing institutional interest, investment and regulatory debates around custodial holdings will help expedite regulation of KYC/AML.
Hot Industries for Blockchain
Programming around adoption and potential impact included banking, finance, healthcare and energy industries. At the “Blockchain for Global Health” session, each panelist discussed how his or her project was tackling one small part of an egregiously broken system, whether it be patient access, quality of care or restrictive cost.
And while many pontificated around the impact they hope to make in the future, Fawad Butt, Chief Data Governance Officer at healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente, highlighted blockchain patient data-sharing projects that he and his team are implementing today to boost efficiencies and streamline patient care, as well as what would be required from a regulatory standpoint to drive further adoption within the industry.
Tangible real-world use cases were not restricted to the healthcare industry; Joanna Hubbard, COO & Co-Founder of Electron, detailed pilot programs with multinational gas and electric companies such as National Grid as they work to leverage blockchain technology to confront some of the energy industry’s biggest challenges (decarbonization, smart grid transition, community allocation).
Enterprise Blockchain Landscape Panel at Token Fest
The Importance of Speed and User Experience
But it’s all about the end-user, right? The emphasis on user experience was evident from the steady stream of tech demos and workshops. The GoChain team demoed their high-speed network protocol as they transferred their GO token in real time via Telegram to a lucky conference attendee. The transaction took maybe 5 seconds. Related: We just partnered with GoChain!
James Todaro, CEO of MedCredits, took the audience through patient and doctor on-boarding for Hippocrates, their first mobile dApp on the MedCredits platform connecting patients to dermatologists for fast diagnoses of skin ailments at a fraction of the traditional cost.
In our conversations with other Token Fest attendees, speakers and exhibitors alike, many agreed that adoption and efforts by enterprises and end-users have grown leaps and bounds since last year. However, clear hurdles still remain. Lack of clear and supportive regulation slows down innovation and adoption. Blockchain is still not “user-friendly”; cumbersome user interfaces, multistep transactions and laggy networks discourage many from diving deeper into the blockchain phenomenon. There’s still much work to be done!
Did you attend Token Fest? What stood out to you? We’d love to hear from you.