On March 22, our company will host the second Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Tallinn. The interest in the last event (which took place on March 9, 2017) and new steps taken by Estonia for cryptocurrency adoption and integration of blockchain services signalize that this conference trend stays topical.
Leader in implementing blockchain in state administration
In Europe, Estonia is known thanks to the introduction of digital identification based on blockchain. This is a country where every individual received digital identity and the first state in the world that offered electronic residency based on blockchain. Entrepreneur and blockchain expert Don Tapscott, co-author of The Blockchain Revolution, named Estonia one of the leaders in distributed technologies at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
In 2017, Estonia was among the first to announce the conduct of the “national ICO”. The plan was not fulfilled but became a precedent. Today national digital currencies are issued in Venezuela and Marshall Islands; similar projects were also discussed in Turkey, Israel, Indonesia, and Russia.
Companies and startups
Blockchain is also used in healthcare, banking sector, exchange trading, and notarial system in Estonia. There are pilot projects or operational services that deploy distributed ledgers in each of those fields. Thus, in November of 2017, Bitnation used blockchain technology in the notarial system. Due to the consolidation with the Estonian governmental program e-Residency, participants of Bitnation project gained access to notarial services that were shifted to blockchain (marriage, birth certificates, and some types of commercial contracts). Citizens and residents of Estonia can use Bitnation’s notarial services from any part of the world. Moreover, medical records of the Estonians were shifted to blockchain back in 2016 as part of the project launched by the Estonian eHealth Foundation and Guardtime startup.
Apart from large blockchain companies that collaborate with the government, Estonia also has many startups that work with the technology. They include Polybius Bank payment system and exchange for startups Funderbeam.
Cryptocurrencies and mining
The firm belief “blockchain rather than bitcoin”, common for the governments of many European countries, was also true for Estonia: the country’s government showed a negative attitude to cryptocurrencies and recommended individuals to stay away from them until 2015. In addition, bitcoin exchange BTC.ee, whose owner spoke about the pressure from public authorities, was closed several years ago.
Everything changed in 2015 when cryptocurrencies were officially acknowledged a payment means in the European Union and exempt from tax. In Estonia, bitcoin is also a payment means today. Country leaders also changed their stance, as they saw the cryptocurrency potential and even arrived at the decision to issue a national token.
As for mining, Estonia is not on the list of countries “profitable” for this kind of business (it does not have cheap sources of power), which is the reason why there are no large mining farms. However, the advantages of the jurisdiction attracted the cloud mining service HashCoins.
New meetings at familiar places
Smile-Expo always looks for new promising venues for events. Our company also analyzes past conferences and tracks the activity of our target audience in the hosting countries. Estonia is the country where the government and citizens show huge interest in the topics of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. That is why our company is organizing Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Tallinn and plans an even more intensive program, and new topical themes for discussion.
2018 will be the richest in events for our blockchain audience. Our company is planning to organize 30 conferences dedicated to cryptocurrencies and decentralized technologies. Some of them will take place in cities that we are already well acquainted with: Moscow, Kyiv, Saint Petersburg, Prague, and Tallinn.