Turkey is set to host the first and probably most substantial blockchain event of 2020, another step to establish the country as a new frontier for blockchain innovation, following the growth and influx of blockchain companies, solutions and startups coming out of the country.
It’s less than a fortnight until Blockchain Economy kicks off in Istanbul, bringing together 3,000 attendees for two days of talks, networking events, and media opportunities. Crypto luminaries including John McAfee, formerly of antivirus giant McAfee (MFE) and Tom Lee will be speaking at the second edition of the largest blockchain conference of MENA and Eurasia, which will attract fintech and blockchain advocates from more than 60 countries.
The Bitcherry and Bitpanda-sponsored event will explore issues such as citizenship beyond borders, digital identities, and blockchain security. The line-up for the event reads like a who’s who of crypto, including representatives of mining giant Bitmain, Blockchain.com founder Nicolas Cary, Lennix Lai of OKEx and AVA labs founder Emin Gün Sirer.
2020 is shaping up to be a landmark year for Turkish blockchain development, as the country positions itself as a leader for driving real world adoption of crypto technology. In a year when Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) Libra currency is aiming to launch, Twitter’s (NASDAQ:TWTR) Jack Dorsey is investing in Lightning Labs and nations such as China are pressing ahead with central bank digital currencies, crypto assets are very much under the spotlight.
Planting the Blockchain Flag in Fertile Soil
Bifurcating Europe and Asia, Turkey is optimally positioned for connecting East and West and facilitating global commerce. Istanbul, its largest city, has dominated trade routes and international trade for millennia, and Turkey’s embrace of blockchain can be seen as an extension of this trend.
Last year, several major crypto companies established a presence on Turkish soil including Huobi, which is committed to attracting Turkish citizens to its global exchange. So too is Binance, which added Turkish lira support in January, enabling users to purchase BTC, ETH, BNB, and XRP with TRY using Visa (NYSE: V).
A Packed Program of Events
As Turkey’s first major crypto event of the year, Blockchain Economy will raise the bar that subsequent conferences must meet. Aside from a packed program of events at the event proper, Blockchain Economy will supply a smorgasbord of side events that will put the fun in ‘crypto fundamentals.’ These include a Bitcoin Bus tour of Istanbul, and a closing party aboard a luxury yacht that will tour the Bosphorus strait. There’s also a VIP Networking and Award Dinner for leading speakers, investors, competition winners and sponsors scheduled for February 20.
Turkish citizens have long been advocates of bitcoin, using it for remittance, as a safe haven asset, and a hedge against fiat volatility. Now, key government officials and businesses have given the greenlight to projects that utilize technology derived from Bitcoin’s blockchain. With crypto assets proving themselves as a medium of exchange, and as a springboard for enterprise innovation, the scene is set for an eclectic Blockchain Economy conference in Istanbul on February 20. Should the event live up to expectations, it will cement Turkey’s reputation as a new frontier for blockchain adoption.