Zurich: Blockchain Leadership Summit Features Growing International Government Interest

President Putin’s economic adviser and Prince Michael of Liechtenstein both stood out among a wide-ranging host of blockchain thought leaders and industry experts who discussed possible future initiatives to an international audience.

  • News from Switzerland recently confirmed that blockchain technology is still impressing some high-level government officials, while reaffirming that the country is a hotbed of blockchain leadership and development.

    Over 500 industry professionals, experts, and government officials recently descended upon the Dolder Grand Hotel in Zurich for the Blockchain Leadership Summit. The event took place on March 9, 2018, and featured over thirty speakers from a variety of international institutions, ecosystem companies, and individual enthusiasts before concluding with an evening gala and cryptocurrency auction.

    The Russian president’s economic adviser, Sergey Glazyev, delivered the opening keynote remotely:

    “I’m sure that under the present technological revolution we shall see more opportunities for blockchain technologies in the various spheres of our lives. We have a discussion now in our country considering the use of blockchain in government procurements, registration processes, and some other spheres where the openness and correctness of all transactions is very important. We consider blockchain technology as a very important tool to fight corruption and financial frauds.”

    Glazyev’s commentary of continuing Russian interests in both the government and private sector are an indication that the technology is still viewed in a progressive and optimistic light by the nation.

    Glazyev continued, saying, “At the moment, we have a very sophisticated and difficult situation in the worldwide financial system. We see the financial bubbles which appear in the United States and create uncertainty for the worldwide financial system. We see the seven-year cycle of financial crashes already in place. We see a lot of discussions concerning the substitution of the present fiat currencies by gold and by other financial instruments.”

    Looking for the silver lining that may possibly be afforded by blockchain and digital currencies, he said, “Everywhere, the business community is looking for more stable and more open instruments for investments, transactions, and reserves. The digital technologies give us an opportunity to create a principal new monetary instrument. We have a discussion now in our Eurasian Economic Union about the use of digital technologies in national currencies. If you combine the technologies with monetary instruments, perhaps we shall have new money. Money which will be as good and comfortable as the present money.”

    Following Glazyev’s keynote, Prince Michael of Liechtenstein took the stage alongside a panel of experts. After indicating that the preservation of wealth is a leading priority in Liechtenstein’s financial sector, he detailed what blockchain technology could mean for his nation:

    “Blockchain is an ideal tool in order to take the transactions, to have the story of the transactions, and therefore to record value. This is a key thing for our wealth preservation business. We see the opportunity to develop, like in Switzerland, a hub for cryptocurrencies. Our regulators … created a regulatory laboratory in order to regulate it, but not over-regulate it.”

    The prince’s comments are likely to be taken as a reassurance that, while cryptocurrencies remain largely unregulated, his financially-focused country recognizes the potential of both blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

    Prince Michael’s sentiments about striking a balance for cryptocurrency regulation that isn’t too heavy handed could be echoed next week by the G20 in Argentina, as member nations discuss how to handle a decentralized financial technology that operates on a supranational level.  

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