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Highlights from PBWS 2022

Have you missed Europe’s biggest blockchain conference in Paris? Don’t worry, we have got you covered.
Milena Matevosyan
October 4, 2023
Table of contents

Going back to real-life conferences for the first time after COVID-19 🤩

It has been a really long while since the last time we all had the chance to travel to another part of the world to listen to some of the most remarkable insights and breakthroughs of the web3 experts. And finally, we have the chance to experience making valuable connections and hearing about new exciting startups & ambitious teams all in person again! Isn’t that exciting? 

After almost 2 years of break, Paris Blockchain Summit Week returned stronger & did not let down any of our expectations. 6000 people, out of which more than 350 were speakers, which made 144 thought-provoking panel discussions, and keynotes possible. I am not even yet mentioning the many side events organized by the biggest players in blockchain, such as Bianance, Coinbase, Algorand, and many many more.

It was a captivating experience being a part of the Paris Blockchain Week with our startup. And in case you have missed it, the pleasure would be ours to walk you through some of our favorite highlights over the week in Paris. So let’s dive right in. 

Roald, the founder of aviate labs, enjoying the expo at PBWS 😊

My favorite talk: Michael Chobanian how technology enables saving lives in Ukraine

PBWS is definitely the place to learn about some of the newest developments in the sector from the most knowledgeable players of the scene. However, as it is a bit difficult to share all the insightful talks we got the chance to hear, I will be sharing with you this one story that really touched my heart. It is a perfect application of blockchain technology creating social impact.

All of us have at least heard about the devastating things currently happening in Ukraine. It is heartbreaking that people still have to live through warring times during such a tech-immersive age. 

Michael Chobanian, the President of the Ukrainian Blockchain Association, together with his dedicated team of forward-thinkers, immediately undertook action to put together a plan on how to move money faster to organize the purchase of food and other essentials for the Ukrainian people and the soldiers.

Michael was the leader of this initiative of creating the world's first governmental crypto fund. 

Michael Chobanian giving a keynote on how Blockchain in Saving Lives in Ukraine

It was touching and full of optimism when Michael mentioned the following lines during his talk: ' We are the crypto guys, we are the ones thinking about the 'future,' followed by 'Blockchain is the future, it is not about now’. And, he is absolutely right! 

As a result, the National Bank of Ukraine now has an account on the FTX exchange. And according to their stats from April 2022, they managed to raise over 70 Million euros through the government's crypto fund to serve its purpose of saving human lives. 

And we all are very well aware of the problems with traditional finance. Fiat transactions take time. It takes approximately 4 days to settle a transaction and get the money to reach its beneficiary in Ukraine. While with crypto, it only takes 10 minutes.  

Now Ukraine has the most enormous crypto adoption per capita: before the war, only 12% of Ukraine's population had access to crypto; now, the number has reached more than 50%.

Another insightful takeaway from Michael's speech emphasized the importance of having ‘good and clever young people’ in the government as Michael phrases. In their case, it was all thanks to the Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, that initiated the creation of the world's first government crypto fund. 

This is very sensitive but, at the same time, a heart-warming story of how much web3 technologies have got in store for us for making impact that matters. The system will eventually be able to change thanks to these people.

Processes and procedures to implement blockchain in a corporate setting - A panel moderated by Laura K. Inamedinova 🎙

As a startup that offers blockchain solutions for enterprises, we know how hard it can be to work together with the corporate community to implement blockchain solutions for their setting. Laura did a wonderful job moderating a panel with Sam Wellalage (Founder of WorkinCrypto.Global), Trevor Butterworth (Co-Founder of Indicio) and Antonio Saraanen (CSO at Qtum) to walk the audience through the best-practices and challenges in the industry. 

Main takeaway:  🏋🏻‍♀️ We need champions and continuous learning

Blockchain for corporate setting is still a bit scary and fairly new, as a lot of things might go wrong there, and there obviously is a higher stake of loss.

So one important step towards being able to implement blockchain in the right way is through prioritizing education and internal communication.

There is a need for ‘champions’ as Laura mentions during the discussion, who would be able to talk to the internal stakeholders and make sure that the great ideas don’t get shut down, because of fears and stigmatized views. 

Let’s talk about the atmosphere 🎷

Alright, alright, alright. Now let’s talk about the actual experience of what it felt like to be in the heart of Europe to discuss the future of blockchain. Well, if you imagine a conference, you usually think of people dressed-up in a corporate fashion with classical suits, tightly buttoned shirts and a pair of heels or oxfords. Let me tell you that PBWS was one of the most well-dressed conferences I have ever attended. Unique sense of style in the true decentralized fashion. The interactions with the people go so seamlessly. You can clearly witness that everyone at the conference is at the same wavelength, no matter if they come from a corporate financial, legal or developer background. It is so beautiful to see how a completely diverse group of people come together with their unique paths to reshape the web. 

Immense level of enthusiasm is present at the conference, making it easy to do business and find the people you need to further pursue your projects! I want to say this from the name of our whole team of aviate labs, we had an absolute blast at the conference. It is uniquely one of the few conferences that have the right proportion of insightful keynotes & panels, networking events, fantastic company expo & of course, last, but not least parties! We started off strongly at the Kick-off party organized by Coinbase. Fellow techno lovers, you can get excited, as famous DJ Kaskade, Klingande & Sara Costa were there setting up the mood to unwind & celebrate the power of the web3 community.

Coinbase’s Kick-off Party for PBWS 🍸| Image by Stephen Kervoelen

Looking forward to coming back even stronger in 2023! 🚀

The impressions out of the conference were a ton. It was a memorable experience to network and chat with many talented, visionary people. Wrapping up the Paris Blockchain Week was, without a doubt, a bit sad, but we look forward to being back on PBWS2023 again next year!

Sincere, wholehearted thanks from aviate labs to the PBWS’s amazing crew Charlie, Karim, from Woorton & Appoline from PBWS  (and of course, the very humble but hard working team of Woorton), who I got to know personally at the conference. You are doing a fantastic job of bringing together a spectacular line-up of people in such a superb location. The expectations for the next PBWS are now at the level of the moon, don’t let us down, guys! 😉

Bonus: we have prepared a special footage of PBWS2022 from the perspective of aviate labs. We hope you have fun watching our startup’s little adventure at one of the biggest blockchain conferences in Europe!

Thanks for reading our mini-diary, fellow aviators, & till the next release!