The third part of our Euro Tour started in the Netherlands. Our first stop was at The Hague, where we met with Georgina Gomez, Chief Director of the International Journal of Community Currency Research. Georgina’s research covers complementary currency systems, local markets, local production systems and social economy organisations. We had the opportunity to show her the features of the WABA.network platform and explain her how we apply it on our cases of success. She has a vast understanding of the complementary currencies ecosystem, so she was able to provide us with feedback on our projects and connections to keep building WABA.network’s community. In addition, the talk with Georgina was very useful to learn about the current state of community currencies in Europe and their differences with the Latin American cases. We drew many interesting lessons from those previous experiences, which will help us improve our current implementations and maximize the efficiency of those to come.
Our Dutch itinerary continued in Amsterdam, where we met Edgar Kampers, founder at Qoin, who has been designing and implementing complementary currencies for more than 25 years. We had the opportunity to exchange perspectives and lessons from different monetary systems implementation cases, including each of our initiatives. It was good to see that after so many years in the field Edgar is still motivated to get involved in new projects, and that he and his team would be interested in potentially developing a collaborative relationship with us.
Our second meeting in Amsterdam was with Sietse Gronheid, Project Manager at WASTED, one of the only initiatives working with environmental impact reduction that we could learn from throughout our trip. WASTED rewards Amsterdam citizens for sorting their waste to ease its recycling, but its team plans to expand the project to other European cities and apply it to other urban sustainability challenges. Sietse told us about the different stages they went through before establishing themselves as one of the most promising recycling related projects in the country. It was particularly interesting to show him our platform’s features and compare their validation mechanisms with the ones we are designing for our first success cases. We proposed that his team tested an adapted version of our Jelly Coin project during September, so we can get feedback that can help us develop a better and more valuable solution for this kind of initiatives across the globe. Gladly, he told us he would be happy to collaborate with us.
After leaving the Netherlands we arrived in London, England, where our most important activity was our meeting with Eddy Travia, a pioneer Blockchain investor and co-founder & CEO of Coinsilium, a London-based venture builder and start-up accelerator. We had the chance to present our project to Eddy and his colleague Darnell Irozuru. They really liked what we are doing and they are interested in investing in our company, so we agreed to meet again after they can further review our White Paper and business model in depth.
We also attended the Blockchain International Show conference, where we got some interesting inputs on the European blockchain investment ecosystem and on the state of the art of many of the industry’s most interesting projects.
In addition, we were invited to the SVK Crypto blockchain industry meet-up, where we had the chance to listen to top industry leaders like Lory Kehoe, managing director at ConsenSys, Patrick Lowry, CEO of Iconiq Lab, Krzysztof Gagacki, co-founder of IOVO, Jack Yeu, co-Founder of Switcheo Network and Shane Kehoe, co-founder of SVK Crypto. SVK Crypto is a London-based investment fund specialized in blockchain technology. During the event, they announced the creation of a US$50 million fund to fuel the growth and development of the EOS blockchain ecosystem.
During the dinner party that followed the event we also got to speak with Jed Grant, founder of Peer Mountain, a company that offers identity verification and data management solutions for blockchain-based commerce. He provided us with really useful contacts and feedback about our project. During the event we also met the team behind Cryptomizers, a consulting company that aims to adapt blockchain technology to day-to-day business and advises blockchain startups throughout the steps that lead towards an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
Later on, we got invited by ShapeShift’s team to a private event with some VC firms representatives, organized by one of its investors. ShapeShift is a leading digital asset exchange platform which supports dozens of blockchain tokens. We had the chance to better meet their team and to develop meaningful relations, which we are sure will be of great help for us in the future..
Another important meeting in London was the one we had with David Clarke, Policy and Advocacy Adviser at Positive Money, a team of researchers and campaigners created in 2010 that work towards a monetary and banking system that supports a fair, sustainable and democratic economy. They are part of the International Movement for Monetary Reform. We had the opportunity to explain them the fundamentals and the purpose of our project, which we think is a clear implementation example of the reform they advocate for. We agreed on collaborating regarding our communication and educational efforts, and also to assist them with the revision of the blockchain section of a paper they will be publishing in 2019.
Finally, we met with Jacob Piotrowski from GiveBytes, a crowdfunding platform where any early stage project can publish their campaign to get donations, which can be done not only in fiat money but also in computing power (for mining purposes). Jacob told us he is very interested in our project and that he would be happy to collaborate with us in multiple ways, in addition to the fundraising achieved through his platform. The last important highlight of our London trip was the valuable connections with experts and key players of the blockchain European ecosystem that decided to stay tuned and support our project, by joining our Telegram Community.
We arrived in Italy for a short stop in Milan, to join the Bank of the Commons assembly. Apart from learning about different projects involved with this international and multidisciplinary initiative, we started to explore the way in which Moneda PAR (our first success case) and Faircoin (the cryptocurrency adopted by Bank of the Commons) could coexist in La Plata, Argentina. This city will be an interesting testing ground to study the effects of multiple cryptocurrencies interacting with one another. We will keep in touch with the Bank of the Commons to see where our mutual collaboration takes us in the future.
Finally we arrived in Dublin, Ireland, where we attended the MoneyConf to see a wide range of panels and presentations on the state of the art of the blockchain technology and related issues, such as regulation, marketing and its growing adoption by large corporations. We also presented our booth in the main area of the venue, which was very useful to meet a wide range of attendees such as journalists, potential investors and blockchain enthusiasts in general, including Ronan Leonard, the Irish Tech News journalist that made us this really great interview.
Another highlight at the MoneyConf was the possibility to be mentored by Tomás Miranda, from ACT Venture Capital. Talking with him was very useful because he gave us many insights into the way in which VCs look at projects like ours. We had the opportunity to validate our business plan, our communication strategy and our roadmap for the next months. We also talked about the specific challenges that implies running a blockchain project with social impact, as opposed to a more traditional start-up. In addition, we were also able to follow-up with the ShapeShift team, with whom we had already met in Hamburg and London.
Finally, we were invited to present our project in a meet-up organized by the EOS Dublin community. It was very interesting to see so many people enthusiastic about the EOS prospects. The diversity of the participants shows to what extent EOS is encouraging people to be creative and think on new ways of solving real world problems using blockchain technology. We want to thank Sharif Bouktila from EOS Dublin for inviting us to join this amazing community.
During the meet-up me also met Trina from EOS Cafe, a Decentralized Autonomous Corporation (DAC) that promotes the EOS ecosystem by developing dApps, funding projects and organizing hackathons and meetu-ups. She invited us to present our project in a new episode of the Eos Cafe podcast, which will be aired during the next few weeks.
Our European tour is coming to its end, but there are still many important stops ahead in the road. We will soon by participating in seminars, conferences and meet-ups in Spain, France and Italy. So stay tuned if you want to keep up with WABA.network!