Primer on 2018 World Blockchain Summit Happening in Nairobi

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A recently released research note from Citi revealed that Kenya is one of the countries with the highest per capita holding of bitcoin, indicating the increasing appeal for cryptocurrency investments.

For Kenyans who invested in the cryptocurrency much earlier, the returns have been nothing short of phenomenal having gained more than 1000 percent in 2017 alone. While the greater majority of people and even investors are only familiar with bitcoin as a digital currency, only a few actually understand how the underlying blockchain technology works or how it can be utilized in other applications.

Luckily, Nairobi will be hosting this year’s World Blockchain Summit giving participants a chance to learn from a wide selection of speakers about how this technology could be specifically adopted for the African market.

The Blockchain summit scheduled for 22 – 23 March will not only give insight into the possible use cases of blockchain, but will also involve other equally exciting events. For instance, there will be a startup exhibition featuring blockchain startups from all over the world highlighting their innovative technologies in a bid to help them secure funding from investors.

Startups will also be given the opportunity to explain their solutions via a six-minute elevator pitch with the best idea being selected by a panel of seasoned investors. In addition to this, both global technology innovators and emerging startups will be given the opportunity to showcase their blockchain based technology and products.

Interestingly, during Kenya’s first bitcoin meetup back in December organized by Blockchain Association of Kenya, chairman Michael Kimani revealed that Kenyans were already trading approximately sh. 60 million worth of bitcoins on a weekly basis, in spite of warnings from the Central Bank.

What this clearly illustrates is the fact that a huge number Kenyan investors have been willing to take on additional risk for higher returns without doing proper due diligence, so attending this event would help shed more light on a lot of important issues for anyone seriously considering any cryptocurrency as an investment.

If you are interested in what the big picture could eventually look like, one digital security expert Neil Blazevic says he sees blockchain as the more important innovation as compared to cryptocurrencies.

Mr Blazevic explains, “If African developers, entrepreneurs, and governments can leverage blockchain technologies, they may have a shot at tackling some of the continent’s most intractable problems of the unbanked masses, digital identities, untrusted voting systems, to name only a few applications.”

While this is just one expert’s theory, the summit will allow participants to get far more diverse views as well as a high level picture of the future of blockchain. For Kenyan innovators, this could be the opportune moment to put their ideas in front of a global audience since applications for pitches are still open until February 1.

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