Educate yourself on blockchain technology which is transforming businesses around the globe.
What began as an experiment in buying Bitcoin for a holiday led two brothers to explore blockchain technology and eventually organise a blockchain conference – Blocfest 2018 – which will feature more than 30 international speakers.
Gwei Tze-Co, 49, started investing in Bitcoin four years ago, ahead of a trip to Brazil to attend the 2014 World Cup.
“I was planning to go to Argentina after the World Cup and read that the currency situation was so bad there that you could use Bitcoin instead. I bought some but didn’t end up using it,” he says.
But that initial investment got him hooked on blockchain and cryptocurrency, especially Ethereum.
Meanwhile, Gwei Hway, 43, who is a programmer and has worked in tech firms for the last 20 years, was drawn to blockchain and cryptocurrency because of his brother’s fascination for them.
Tze-Co says in Malaysia blockchain is still an emerging technology though a few good projects by local founders have been launched.
“However, lots of people just use blockchain and cryptocurrency for hype. To put it bluntly, there’s a lot of scams and many Malaysians are falling for them,” he says.
He says that a conference with legitimate speakers sharing their experience could go a long way in educating people on how blockchain can make a difference in their businesses.
He adds that once a person better understands blockchain technology and especially how it’s used in business, it will be easier for him or her to identify the fake ones.
This is one of the reasons the brothers are organising Blocfest through their company, Blockchain Asia Sdn Bhd, which is scheduled to take place at the Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, on Sept 26 and 27.
The two-day conference will focus on the potential of blockchain technology in South-East Asia and feature speakers from various backgrounds, including blockchain entrepreneurs, developers, global investors, academics and enthusiasts.
Discussions at the conference will be divided into three streams – Regulatory, Academic and Enterprise.
Regulatory will help you understand the current regulatory landscape and what’s in store in the future for blockchain; Academy will tackle academic concepts and their impact on blockchain; and Enterprise will highlight technological aspects of blockchain and potential use-case scenarios.
Hway expects half the attendees to come from enterprises which aren’t too familiar with blockchain technology but are exploring how it could be relevant to them, while the remaining will be investors, academics and experts in the field.
“Networking is definitely a big part of the conference, and as many solution providers will be present in the exhibition halls, we expect a lot of companies to ink deals or find partnerships,” he says.
Joining the conversation will be regulators from countries that have begun to explore the issue, including Taiwanese Member of Parliament Jason Hsu, better known as the Crypto Congressman due to his staunch support for the technology, and a representative from the Philippines’ Cagayan Economic Zone Authority which spearheads the country’s financial technology efforts.
Tze-Co says there have been talks to get Malaysian regulators to participate and share their thoughts on the laws required to facilitate blockchain in Malaysia but the discussion is ongoing.
Other key speakers that will be at Blocfest are cryptofinance platform Fusion’s founder Dejun Qian, blockchain veteran and ProximaX Ltd founder Lon Wong, anti-counterfeit system Wabi’s CEO Alexander Busarov, and dating marketplace Viola.AI’s CEO Violet Lim.
In addition to Blocfest, attendees can also take part in several other events during the KL Blockchain Week, which will be held between Sept 24 and 27, including a hackathon.
Those interested in attending Blocfest can get 40% off VIP tickets priced at US$450 (RM1,860) or normal tickets priced at US$375 (RM1,550) by keying in the promo code BLOC40D during checkout but this offer is only available for a limited time. Visit www.blocfest.asia for more information.