Throughout 2022, blockchain innovation continued to break into the mainstream. Celebrating the work done on it this past year, the Cardano Foundation hosted its Cardano Summit 2022. Some of the topics discussed included the future of blockchain, its sustainability and much more.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain have had a turbulent year. Following the all-time highs achieved last November, the ensuing crypto bear market that took place, in addition to the various crashes and hacks seen this past year, sent investor confidence on a rollercoaster of emotions.
In spite of all this, the Cardano Foundation hosted its event in Lausanne, Switzerland, from Saturday 19 to Monday 21 November. The event had over 100K+ attendees (including virtual), 80+ speakers, 50+ locations, 40+ sessions, and 15+ workshops. Speaking about its success, The Fintech Times sat down with Frederik Gregaard, CEO of the Cardano Foundation. He explained how the event acted as an escape from the mayhem experienced in Q4’22:
“With cryptocurrencies’ value dropping 80 per cent, regulatory uncertainty and firing rounds, there has been a lot of mayhem in the world this past year. In Q4’22, I walked into a room in Lausanne with 1200 people from all around the world, who used their own money, their own time, to go to expensive Switzerland, to a small city called Lausanne, and the only thing they wanted to do was talk about how do we build, grow, and work together in a hope of changing the world? And to be honest that that was just so amazing!
“Based on the media and Twitter and all those things, part of me thought this may not live up to our expectations. In reality, there turned out to be so much hope from those who attended. People were offering resources and saying ‘what can we do to help?’ Everyone’s attitude screamed ‘let’s build!’ ‘Let’s do this!’ That was completely mind-blowing.”
Day 1 highlights
Day one saw presentations and updates from those Building Cardano, all culminating in an evening where guests enjoyed the inaugural Cardano Summit Awards ceremony. The topics discussed included blockchain for good, and the future of the technology
A panel titled “Blockchain and banking: the future of financial services” looked at how tech may be integrated into banking and financial services.
Panellists included Jacek Trzmiel, head of business development at Coinfirm; Godefroy Schrago, managing partner of FiveT Fintech; Lamine Brahimi, managing partner and co-founder of Taurus SA; Christian Rau, senior vice president crypto and fintech enablement Europe at Mastercard, and Dominic Castley, CMO and managing director at Sygnum Bank. It was moderated by Sandro Knöpfel, head of financial and regulated institutions at the Cardano Foundation.
The panel agreed there was a necessity to build trust in the sector, having lost it this past year. Castley said: “I think there has been a setback in trust in the industry. We need to be glass-half-full entrepreneurs and build it back as quickly as we can.”
“Financial institutions need to understand how blockchain analytics and AML work. These organisations cannot ignore the fact they have clients that want to digital assets from crypto-relevant entities, and that’s where companies like ours are needed,” concluded Trzmiel.
The day continued with other panels analysing the impact blockchain can have on the environment with a panel titled “Blockchain for good” and another later in the day: “Climate-focused value chains in the age of Web3”. Both discussed how web3 was connecting changemakers around the world towards measurable impact in achieving sustainable development goals.
This was in addition to discovering how climate-focused accounting methodologies, fintech initiatives, and digital solutions interact with blockchain technology can solve urgent challenges.
Day 2 highlights
Day two offered a showcase of community projects building on Cardano, featuring workshops, presentations, panels and more. Towards the middle of the day, amidst the celebrations for the ballot award winners, a panel titled “Building your brand on blockchain” explained how the panellists had created their product, taken it to the market, and built their audience.
In an era where support is a must for a company’s success, the panellists, which included Bullish Dumpling—winner of the Cardano Summit Award for educational influencer—, Lenna and Issy (ClayNation), and Hosky—winner of the award for NFT project, the panellists emphasized how the Cardano community constantly offers support, encouragement, feedback, and comradery.
“Hosky is a doggo-led community and brand, ClayNation is woman-led, and Dumpling is food-led. Cardano is highly diversified and everyone here is welcome!”
Looking to the future
The Cardano Summit was a resounding success. One of the main reasons for this was the in-depth conversations that took place. Gregaard added his thoughts on the types of chats taking place at events like the Summit:
“Discussions are becoming very relevant and very deep. The regulatory understanding, the economic understanding, the technological understanding… is unprecedented! Especially when you compare it to three/four years ago.
“The average person who interacts with the Cardano blockchain is asking me complex questions. This is great because they are about public cryptography and how hashes work. They do this so they can go back to the companies they work for and explain blockchain’s use cases. As a result, they can suggest how it could be used in their own scenario. Taking into account the lack of education on blockchain out there, I think that’s just simply astonishing.”