Post release autumn 2017
In 2018, the crypto industry will set new records, Russia will get closer to ICO regulation, and the improvement of the IT security will become the main task of startups that issue tokens. These and other theses were highlighted at the crypto industry’s largest exhibition and conference Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Moscow that took place on November 15-16.
Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Moscow in figures:
• 3200 sq.m. – exhibition area;
• 2000+ guests;
• 64 exhibitors;
• 40 speakers.
The event was attended by field-specific media, representatives of federal television channels, and experts of the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation.
What did speakers discuss?
According to the head of the workgroup on the assessment of cryptocurrency turnover risks in the Russian Federation, whose presentation attracted a capacity crowd, “regulation of ICOs will be definitely established in Russia”. At the same time, the speaker expressed concerns that only 10-20% ICO projects would manage to fulfil the liabilities to investors in 2018. “We will witness a serious market decline, drop of trust in ICOs, and the hype will have a negative nature,” Elina Sidorenko said.
She added that the Central Bank had recently held an intense legal session dedicated to the status of cryptocurrency tokens. “In the end, we have drawn a conclusion that a token is not a separate legal entity. A token is a technological entity and our task is to supplement it with a legal form,” the speaker said.
As for cryptocurrencies, Elina Sidorenko said that lawmakers changed the posture based on which the new laws would be drafted. Whereas in summer economic advantages of digital currencies were discussed, today the analysis of cryptocurrency risks is conducted from the standpoint of the legalization of proceeds of crime, terrorism financing, and disruption of political stability. “As a result, cryptocurrencies won’t be totally anonymous in Russia. Mechanisms will be developed, allowing for the identification of transactors. However, it isn’t clear yet whether the approach will be centralized or decentralized,” Elina Sidorenko said.
Marina Guryeva, CEO of the aggregator for cryptocurrency investment data and blockchain projects Cyber Fund, presented information on the growth of the crypto industry over the last year. According to the demonstrated diagrams, the whole industry has shown an incredible increase in 2017. Only in the first 10 months, Bitcoin price has grown by over 400% and market capitalization – by $63.8 billion. However, Ethereum has shown a far more impressive growth over the same period, adding over 4000% to its price and $28 billion to the market cap.
A separate diagram was dedicated to ICOs, showing that 30 out of 69 ICOs that raised over $10 million in 2017 could not be considered 100% transparent. One of the main criteria for defining the transparency was the possibility to check the address and balance of the ICO wallet.
Nevertheless, the speaker expressed confidence that in general the crypto industry was on the rise and that new records were waiting for it the next year.
Ilya Sachkov was talking of security problems in the field of ICO and blockchain. He is a CEO of Group-IB engaged in the IT security and cybercrime protection. According to the speaker, different attacks on ICOs, made throughout the world, result in 10% of raised funds going to hackers. “Over 50 ICO projects asked us for help. Overall, more than $25 million were stolen from them. I think that companies should spend on security audit from $100 000 to $400 000,” Ilya said.
According to Kirill Ivkushkin, deputy head of FinTech Association for blockchain development, the Russian platform Masterchain keeps growing actively. The speaker said that after several months of work, the development team launched a version of Masterchain intended for internal use. The next steps will include the elaboration of documentation and GOST cryptography certification for the platform, as well as expanding Masterchain’s functionality for financial institutions.
“In the future, any Masterchain transaction will be considered as documentation. Subsequently, it will be a ground to protect your interests in court. New legal precedents will appear and Masterchain’s records will become a far more reliable evidence for the Russian court than records of other platforms,” Kirill Ivkushkin said.
This time, the exhibition area was record-breakingly large: 3200 square meters that housed 64 companies with booths. GoWeb, 51ASIC, TeraHash, Manli, and Asic Trade brought mining hardware – not a single Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference has seen so much equipment. Alongside hardware, there were solutions for building your own mining farm, including a cooling system.
Bitlish cryptocurrency exchange presented their own functional cryptomat. Zetta media network had the biggest booth open for guests from all sides.
Event organizer, international company Smile-Expo, will hold three more events from the Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference series by the end of the year: in Cyprus, Malta, and Slovenia. There are plans to beat the record set by the conference in Moscow the next year.