The first ever Blockchain Summit, held at Richard Branson’s private island Necker Island, was attended by many influential figures from the Bitcoin industry.
The group, described by the summit’s website as consisting of “the greatest minds in digital innovation,” examined various projects that would use the blockchain technology.
A number of non-tech experts were present at the Summit. The experts shared the belief that in order for blockchain-based innovations to succeed, they will require people who understand social, cultural, and political realities.
Peruvian economist and well-known anti-poverty crusader Hernando de Soto spoke on the challenge of assigning property to the poor in developing countries, while social media expert Oliver Luckett talked about how viral content on social media seems to follow trends found in Biology.
“When accomplished people with diverse background can be placed in an unstructured environment where barriers are stripped away, the interaction that occurs allows the spontaneous and serendipitous mixing of ideas that can reformulate themselves into amazing action plans,” said Venture Capitalist and co-organizer of the event, Bill Tai.
De Soto elaborated on how people’s property rights in the mineral-rich areas of Peru are dissolved into communal holdings, before being transferred to multinational mining companies through a process Soto described as “artisanal blockchain”.
Those attending the event then came up with ideas on how to put up the assets of such individuals’ onto the blockchain. The idea is that by inscribing people’s personal claims into the indelible public ledger that is the blockchain, nobody can deprive them off their rights.
Entrepreneur John Edge, spoke of his “ID 2020? project, working alongside international child welfare organizations to form a worldwide blockchain-based record of digitized birth certificates that will protect children from human traffickers.
His pitch was enhanced by a live Skype video from actress Lucy Liu, who has directed multiple documentaries on child prostitution.
Consultant Paul Brody of Ernst Young talked about his work at previous employer IBM, which was to create a blockchain-based framework for appliances and automated devices to safely transact between each other in the “Internet of Things” of the future.
A light bulb, developed by BitFury, which can mine Bitcoin was also revealed at the event.