Chicago has been a hub for business and innovation for nearly 200 years. From meat packing to bridge technology, Chicago became the place to go to be involved in commerce. The Chicago River allowed for goods to be distributed/redistributed easily across the states and further afield, and by the middle of the 1800’s, with the birth of the Chicago Board of Trade, the city started its journey to become one of the biggest financial centres in the world.
With financial institutions and innovative ideas imbedded in its every fibre, it is no surprise that cryptocurrency, a new way to perceive and collaborate on building a new world economy, has found a home in Chicago. There, entrepreneurs have found a home where they can work on their blockchain projects without the stifling regulation they may find in New York and with less Venture Capital firms to continuously please than Silicon Valley.
I don’t live in Chicago but I did work in the finance industry for a number of years and I spent a lot of time in what I found to be an amazing city. I met my wife there, still have friends who live and work there and I try to stay up to date with what is happening there.
So when I was asked to take a look at ‘The Voice Of Blockchain’ event from the Chicago Blockchain Project (CBP) earlier last week, my interest was immediately piqued.
“Blockchain systems allow a group of people, with no reason to trust each other, to agree on a set of data AND the time the data was entered into the system. An emergent property of blockchain systems is inspiration to act. The system can be engineered in such a way that a positive feedback loop is created between the value of the system and the number of individuals inspired to actively participate.”
At its very essence, blockchain and crypto is all about living in a decentralized, more transparent world where we are all working collaboratively with and for each other. The more I read about CBP the more I learned that it understands this as well as any orgainization I have come across.
“We will reward contribution to projects which align in our ethos to build our city’s future. Through helping others, participation in learning will be experiential. Armed with skills required to compete in the economy of the future, we will establish Chicago as the blockchain capital of the world.”
As any blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiast knows, the industry is not short of its chancers and people trying to take advantage of an excitable public. The ethos behind CBP, however, aligns directly with the technology it is trying to champion.
The Voice Of Blockchain — CBP’s 2 day event happening in Chicago on the 24th and 25th of August, at the historic Navy Pier — is an event that really does stay true to that ethos too. CBP are committed to giving the diverse attendees from all walks of life that are developing, working with or who are just interested in blockchain, the chance to speak to each other and to hear from to leaders in the industry, such as Matthew Roszak, the Co-Founder of Bloq and Rumi Morales, a Partner at Outlier Ventures.
CBP have also just confirmed that the State CTO Jack King and Sunil Thomas, Director of Illinois Blockchain initiative will both be attending.
There are going to be over 100 bloggers, YouTubers and podcasters attending so as to ensure that everyone gets to hear about what has gone on at the event. They even get their own area, ‘Lamboland’ from which to film and interview. CBP clearly want to get their message out to everyone.
One of the biggest draws of the event is that unlike so many other blockchain events, The Voice Of Blockchain will feature no paid for pitches or sponsored speakers, this event isn't for that. There will just be meaningful, in depth conversations about blockchain in its current state and how to move it forward for the good.
To ensure there is a diverse range of exhibitors involved, CBP have a Social Good track so that not-for-profit organizations are also able to contribute to the event without having to pay. The Social Good track will be curated by Sharon Burns, who was CIO of the of the MacArthur Foundation for 14 years and head of the City of Chicago Technology department during Y2K.
It is not just social good projects that will be featured however. CBP want to ensure that projects from a wealth of different industries are featured so as to ensure the full scope of what blockchain can achieve is understood.
There will be exhibitors who focus on Innovation, looking at how blockchain can improve Healthcare and Education, how Smart Cities will change the way we live and even what the future holds for the gaming industry.
Fintech and Markets will also be covered looking at the future of payments and banking in a crypto world, how it will affect regulation and the impact it will have on Geo-Competition.
Last but not least there will be #BUIDL exhibitors who will be delving into how we are to overcome scalability and privacy problems, looking at mining and protocols, and one of my personal major interest’s DAGs.
Also included in the ticket price are developer workshops with certificates that integrate to LinkedIn from CBP’s Academy Partners including Enigma Protocol. Plus, every Attendee gets a copy of the Bitcoin Comic Handbook special Voice of Blockchain edition by Josh Blaylock of Devil’s Due Comics
With over 5000 attendees expected, the event is setup to be a special two days and one that will likely set the bar for events like it in the future.
CBP are trying to cut through all the noise that currently swirls around the blockchain/crypto world and the Voice Of Blockchain will give a voice to the people actually trying to make a difference, and not just a quick buck.
Visit the CBP’s website for more information on who they are, what they do and for more info, including how to get tickets for, the Voice Of Blockchain event.
Disclaimer — This article was sponsored by the Chicago Blockchain Project.