New York City was buzzing this past weekend with the inaugural BlockchainWeekend NYC 2019 (Nov 7-10). In partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) BlockchainWeekend featured projects from a wide range of NY based companies, startups, entrepreneurs with over 50 events taking place across all five boroughs. Creating a platform of decentralized events, the weekend was filled with workshops, panels, hackathons, and networking. With NYC at the forefront of technology and innovation, it comes as no surprise that everyone was excited to get involved.
Starting the weekend off was an opening reception hosted by Gemini, the biggest New York based crypto exchange. Opening up their headquarters, they gave out free books about journey of Cofounders’ the Winklevoss brothers to the crypto space. Every attendee got some Gemini swag, and wine and beer was flowing freely through conversations. Gemini’s Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto, gave opening remarks on how it was great to be a part of the BlockchainWeekend initiative.
“Blockchain Weekend celebrates so much of what we love about New York: the coming together of technology and the people and companies who build it. The implications of and potential for blockchain—and cryptocurrency—continue to grow and its foothold in the financial world demands that New York be a leader in its development and growth. Blockchain Weekend is an encouraging step in that direction, and we applaud the leadership of forward-looking companies like Gemini and other New York blockchain companies for being a part of it.”
Julie Samuels, Executive Director
On the same day was a discussion led by Civic Hall + ConsenSys on the ways to diversify blockchain space with people from every sector. Featuring a workshop, the event allowed for guests to fully take part and deepen the conversation.
There was also a networking happy hour hosted by Starta Ventures to explore blockchain (the very same Starta Ventures whose accelerator raised 5 million through ICO in 2017); they opened their doors for guests to mingle and learn about new projects, and to discuss where blockchain technology is headed. All three events took place simultaneously and all three were sold out. This just show the need and importance for initiatives like BlockchainWeekend to take place
“New York City needed an initiative like this to allow anyone to uncover and get involved in the blockchain space. It is poised to grow at a rapid pace over the coming years. BlockchainWeekend was founded on the idea of decentralization and making blockchain accessible to all. With support from EDCNYC, we were able to connect the city’s tech ecosystem in a more personal way, and we believe this is just the beginning”
Managing Director. BlockchainWeekend
The main event of the weekend was the BlockchainWeekend Summit on November 7th. Connecting all aspects of the blockchain space from future tech to healthcare, the Summit featured panels, networking and live projects. The lineup of speakers included a mix of members of the City’s government to leaders in the tech industry. The event keynotes included: Karen Bhatia (SVP of NYCEDC), Ben Kallos (New York City Council Member), Clyde Vanel (New York State Assemblyman), Mark Jaffe (President of New York Chamber of Commerce), Andy Saldaña (Founder & Executive Director of NY Tech Alliance), David Weild (Former Vice Chairman of NASDAQ). Live projects included 3box, Quadency, TaxMap and Columbia’s IBM Accelerator.
“The BlockchainWeekend Summit was a great place to hear about new projects and initiatives going on right here in New York City. I was able to both learn and network with leaders in the blockchain space. It’s exciting to be a part of this inaugural weekend.”
One of the highlights of the Summit was the panel on “Blockchain in Healthcare.” Heart surgeons, Dr. Lishan Aklog and Dr. Daniel Engelmen of HealthChain Solutions discussed the importance of optimizing supply chain for a high-end medical device ecosystem with blockchain technology as a viable solution. “There is a necessity for blockchain technologies in different sectors, but especially in healthcare that not only beneficial financially, but could potentially have life saving implications” said panelist Peter Borovykh, a blockchain architect at BlockchainDriven. The discussion was both refreshing and informative, and put a spotlight on how Blockchain technology can be used throughout industries. The panel in itself highlighted the diversity of the blockchain space and represented the wide range of projects taking place.
An exciting weekend bringing together NYC’s tech ecosystem, BlockchainWeekend had an event for everyone New product showcases by Ngrave; education sessions on DApps, cryptocurrency and smart contracts; as well as various panels, workshops and hackathons.
“The Blockchain Weekend was fantastic. With 50 events to choose from, it was able to meet any criteria that a person would want. Networking with other attendees was invaluable. The depth of knowledge of the attendees at Blockchain Live was impressive. Participation in the future will be required by all who seek to move the needle for blockchain technology.”
Founder, The Blockchain Academy
The purpose of the weekend was to represent the depth of projects across the diverse tech community of NYC by providing an accessible platform for all to get involved. The unity of projects and participation, has surpassed everyone’s expectations. The ground spring of new projects and talents that formed itself around the BlockchainWeekend has been very impressive. BlockchainWeekend NYC has even inspired events globally, with Blockchain Future Vision in New Delhi, India that took place over the same weekend. Connecting ideas across the span of the earth and enabling innovation cross continentality to flourish.
Paul is a Scottish finance expert who moved to New York in 2002 to trade on Wall Street, and has been a blockchain and cryptocurrency advocate since 2013. He is a well-respected member of the global blockchain community, and has worked with banks and other large corporations on integrating blockchain technology into their businesses.