Being one flight away from each Dubai and London, Istanbul is the “financial capital” of Turkey and a preferred vacation spot for occasions and organizations. Its handy location additionally helps organizers customise their occasions to align with the particular wants of Eastern or Western cultures — which felt just like the case at Istanbul Blockchain Week 2023.
IBW 2023 noticed hundreds of native and worldwide lovers be part of the dialog on crypto, blockchain and Web3 on Aug. 22 and 23 at the Hilton Istanbul Bomonti. Tailored to replicate the assorted discussions throughout the Web3 ecosystem, the occasion’s agenda was full of keynotes about artificial intelligence (AI), regulation, Web3 gaming and blockchain use instances from the true world.
Aside from the recent matters to seize the worldwide viewers, IBW 2023 additionally featured region-specific talks, corresponding to on Islamic finance and a Shariah-compliant Web3 financial system. The explosive progress of crypto and Web3 within the United Arab Emirates, particularly in Dubai, mixed with the UAE’s curiosity within the Turkish market created a handy time-frame for organizer EAK Digital to carry this 12 months’s occasion, simply nine months after IBW 2022.
Having the occasion in August in Istanbul was a strategic choice, in keeping with Erhan Korhaliller, founder and CEO of EAK Digital. He defined that it’s far too scorching to have any occasions in summer season in Dubai, in order that they introduced Istanbul as a neighboring worldwide hub for main gamers from the UAE — and their tactic paid off:
“We have over 25 booths this year. A hackathon with a $50,000 prize. […] Having the government representatives and big banks with us here during a bear market is very important.”
Aside from the agenda for the primary stage, the occasion corridor was full of blockchain and crypto lovers from numerous backgrounds networking, holding roundtable discussions and workshops, getting themselves scanned for the metaverse, or just chatting and taking selfies with Desi, the conversational AI robotic from SingularityNET and Yaya Labs.
While AI, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and Web3-friendly fan tokens featured prominently in the primary corridor, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) had been notably lacking. Last 12 months, there was an entire day and an exhibition devoted to NFTs.
“As organizers, we should be flexible and adaptive to what the market is telling us,” defined Korhaliller. “NFT trading is like 99% down. The interest clearly is not here, and therefore, we’re not doing an NFT Day this year.”
Islamic finance hackathon
Similar to final 12 months, the primary stage was divided into a number of occasions to carry speeches, workshops and the IstanHack hackathon concurrently.
As keynote audio system introduced their arguments round essential parts of Islamic finance, a crowded solid of younger builders coded towards time to create working options that aligned with the general mission of the occasion — selling moral finance and sustainable improvement for individuals dissatisfied with conventional banking.
Islamic finance has a goal market of 1.9 billion individuals, most of whom are unhappy with conventional finance providers as a result of involvement of curiosity. “Interest is forbidden in Islam,” defined Tansel Kaya, an IstanHack juror and founding father of Mindstone Blockchain Labs. He informed Cointelegraph that extra than simply the large prize, “the hackathon served as an eye-opener for the young talent looking to develop something beyond your run-of-the-mill DeFi yield products.”
AI takes the stage
AI was a scorching subject, each on and off stage, throughout Istanbul Blockchain Week, with collaborating firms demonstrating their take on how Web3 and AI could be in sync. During his speech titled “The Future of Decentralised Generative AI on Blockchain,” SingularityNET chief advertising officer Loic Claveau famous that for the primary time in historical past, individuals have the flexibility to personal their information.
“AI is very data-intensive,” he stated, including, “It needs to run a ton of data to be able to work as you use something like ChatGPT. It is a Big Tech monopoly. […] All the big behemoths of the tech world, they run and they do it.”
According to Claveua, AI builders who work with a comparatively smaller workforce have two choices at this level: Working for Big Tech or promoting their subsequent large concepts to Big Tech. “That’s the way to move forward in your career and get into the very interesting projects.”
Crypto adoption: Slowly however absolutely
Cointelegraph Turkey was one of many media companions of the occasion as nicely. “Here in Istanbul, we are still experiencing the impact of a prolonged bear market, just like the rest of the world,” commented Eray Dengiz, CEO of Cointelegraph Turkey and Kriptomeda.
He underscored the significance of the energetic participation from the Turkish banking ecosystem, with main Turkish banks corresponding to Garanti BBVA, Akbank and Yapi Kredi attending a panel for CBDCs.
— Cointelegraph Türkiye (@CointelegraphTR) August 23, 2023
A primary-timer to a crypto occasion held in Turkey was Addy Crezee, founding father of NFT ticketing platform Ozaru and the previous CEO of Cointelegraph’s personal world occasion, BlockShow. Crezee moderated a panel about crypto finance at IBW 2023.
“Obviously, finance is the biggest topic here in Turkey,” he informed Cointelegraph. “When you come out of the plane, you see all the ads from all the different exchanges. I was impressed.”
Highlighting the general progress the crypto ecosystem has achieved when it comes to adoption and reaching extra individuals in lower than a decade, Crezee summarized:
“I remember attending crypto events, mainly about Bitcoin, in 2014 or 2015. There were less than a hundred people. Today, when an event attracts less than a thousand people, it’s considered pretty small.”
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