Takeaways from the Blockchain Expo
First day back in the office after the Blockchain Expo and this is what we learnt. Some of this information is coming from 3rd parties and hasn’t been fact checked so take with a pinch of salt.
- 70%+ of blockchain startup funding this year has been via venture capital and the rest from ICO. (This was a statement from a venture capital fund.) Venture capital isn’t something we’ve considered in the past but perhaps we should be looking into more. Our initial marketing budget for the ICO is $20k USD which rules out spending on things like certain ICO listing websites who charge a lot of money for a listing but also have a very targeted audience. We could potentially do a private deal with a VC or fund prior to the ICO to raise some funds to increase the ICO budget.
- The Blockchain Expo was a bolt-on conference to the original IoT (Internet of Things) Exhibition but there seemed to be more blockchain exhibitors and attendees than both the IoT and AI sides combined. It really shows how fast this industry is growing.
- According to one leaflet we picked up only 20% of digital ad spend is actually received by publishers and end users, the rest is swallowed up by networks and middle men. Again this needs to be fact checked but if it’s true then there is the potential for publishers to earn 5x what they are currently making. That screams out at and industry ripe for disruption.
- A lot of talk was about development moving away from protocols and blockchains and onto real life applications. The theory is that stage one of the industry development was the protocols , stage two the smart contracts, stage three the frameworks to integrate with, stage four the decentralized applications that will be used by consumers. Steem was given as an example of a project that is consumer focused and I agree that this is one of the few crypto projects that actually has real use. The current opportunity is for applications built on top of existing blockchain technology according to some opinions.
- The industry is very male dominated. It reminds me a little of what affiliate conferences used to be like ten years ago, a lot of introverted young guys who are making serious money. It is clear that the blockchain industry is still in it’s infancy and it hasn’t been fully commercialized yet. A problem that affects us and the industry as a whole is that if everyone comes from similar backgrounds then the thought processes and ideas they come up with when working as a team are all very similar. The potential of someone coming in with a different mindset would be extremely valuable to any project. But…
- You can’t hire blockchain developers for love or money. This was repeated a lot and I think it’s true because anyone who has been working in blockchain for a while and is good at what they do is most likely now unemployable. If you can code smart contracts or develop blockchain tech then you should really be charging whatever you want and have your pick of the projects that you want to work for/with.
Overall the show was good. Some of the presenters were a bit pitchy and were just doing self-promotion rather than offering any interesting content to their presentations (this may have been because we only had the free passes which gave access to half the presentations). Both the impromptu and formal meetings we had were very productive and we came away really pleased and excited for the future.
And finally some photos from the exhibition.