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EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum
News article10 September 20197 min read

Convergence Speaker and Agenda Announcements / Observatory newsletter July/August edition

Convergence Speaker and Agenda Announcements / Observatory newsletter July-August edition

Official Newsletter of the European Union Blockchain Observatory & Forum

We are pleased to present you with this edition of the newsletter of the European Union Blockchain Observatory & Forum. Today we bring you more in-depth announcements about the Convergence event as well as our regular Observatory news udpates.


Convergence lifts off!

Announcing first speakers and agenda

As one of the organisers of Convergence - The Global Blockchain Congress, we at the EU Blockchain Observatory are thrilled to present a first glimpse of our program and our initial list of speakers.

If you already have your ticket, we look forward to seeing you in Málaga! And if not, there is still time to register online.

Speakers that matter

Policy makers, politicians and practitioners

Our goal is to bring the global community together for an intense exploration of convergent trends in blockchain technology, regulation and research, as well as of blockchain’s impact on the economy, business, and society as a whole.

With this in mind, we are happy to announce our first set of speakers:

  • Roberto Viola, Director General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CNECT), European Commission
  • Egil Levits, President of Latvia, former Judge of the European Court of Justice 
  • Eva Kaili, Member of the European Parliament
  • Denis Robitaille, World Bank Group Vice President, Information and Technology Solutions, and WBG Chief Information Officer
  • Enrique Factor Santoveña, Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD)
  • Haroldo Jayme Martins Froés Cruz, CTO, Banco Central do Brasil
  • Masanori Kusunoki, CTO, Head of Technology and Design Division, Japan Digital Design, Inc., Executive Advisor to Government CIO of Japan  
  • Dr. Bitange Ndemo, Chair of the Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence Taskforce, Government of Kenya 
  • Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology, World Economic Forum
  • Jekaterina Govina, Bank of Lithuania
  • Núria Ávalos, Director of Blockchain, RPA and Digital Experimentation, Repsol
  • Christoph Steck, Director Public Policy and Internet, Telefónica
  • Ken Timsit, ConsenSys
  • Stefan Junestrand, CEO, Grupo Tecma Red

And this is only the beginning. Stay tuned and we will keep you posted as we add new speakers and participants from the worldwide blockchain industry, regulators, policy makers, C-Suite influencers and members of the social impact community.

View the speaker list online (updated continuously).

Globally relevant participation

Major public and private sector organisations from around the world

A wide range of global organisations, companies, governments, blockchain startups and universities have confirmed their participation at Convergence. Among those being announced today are:

  • Central Banks: European Central Bank, Spanish Central Bank, Bank of Lithuania, Central Bank of Brazil
  • Regulators: European Data Protection Board, Autorité des Marchés Financiers France, Japanese Financial Services Authority, Spanish Data Protection Agency 
  • Key European Organisations: European Commission, European Parliament, European Economic and Social Committee, the EU Blockchain Partnership (EBP), which includes representatives working on blockchain from all EU Member States as well as Norway and Liechtenstein
  • Governments: All EU Member States, Norway and Liechtenstein will be represented through the EBP; as well as  individual representatives of the governments of Brazil and Kenya
  • Blockchain Companies and Organisations: ConsenSys, IOTA, IBM, uPort, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance  
  • Corporations: Telefónica, Repsol, Everis/NTT
  • International Organisations: World Bank, World Economic Forum
  • International Standards Bodies: IEEE, ISO (TC 307), ITU
  • Associations: IoT Congress, IASP (International Association of Science Parks)
  • Academia: University of Málaga, University of South Korea, Frankfurt School Blockchain Center

Further speakers and organisations, as well as sponsors, will be communicated over the next several weeks. Up-to-date information on the agenda and participants can be found on the event website at

A “convergent” program

Agenda aims at the big picture

With well over 50 sessions spread across four stages, plus a large exhibition hall, there will be plenty to do and see in Málaga.

Whether it’s discussing how blockchains and distributed ledger technology are likely to shape society over the mid- to long-term, how blockchain is converging with other emergent technologies like AI and IoT to create powerful new platforms and business models, or how the idea of blockchain-based decentralisation is already transforming thinking among central bankers, lawyers, and our contemporary “data monopolists,” you will find plenty to ponder (and participate in!).

Main agenda items include:

  • The future of blockchain. How DLT technology may shape society for the better and become the underpinning element of a decentralised society.
  • Technological convergence. How blockchain may work in concert with other technologies to resolve current and emerging problems.
  • Blockchain and sustainability. Understanding and sharing knowledge about how DLT technology may reach across social impact, sustainability, and environmental issues. 
  • Stablecoins and Central Bank Digital Currencies. A look at the roles, opportunities and challenges stablecoins present for the future of money along with the viability and potential of central bank backed digital currencies and the associated regulatory minefield. 
  • Blockchain platforms and the disruption of data monopolies. The potential of DLT and blockchain technology to disrupt - or reinforce - the platform society.
  • Technology, law and ethics. A look at how emerging technologies like AI, blockchain, biotechnology, neurotechnology and ICT are set to fundamentally transform human beings and societies, and the most important legal-ethical challenges associated with them. 
  • Interoperability and standards for blockchain technology. Highlighting the technical and non-technical challenges faced in achieving the global standardisation of blockchain
  • Blockchain and privacy. Share with the audience the primary challenges faced by the blockchain industry when it comes to complying with data protection regulations and highlighting existing privacy-preserving technologies that can help.

For details of the full program, be sure to keep checking the website.

Global Blockchain Challenge

Help us hack a better world

If you like solving problems in a cross-disciplinary way, then you may want to come to Málaga on November 11 and take part in the Global Blockchain Challenge. This is an open innovation initiative to bring together developers, regulators and business people to address challenges around the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Objectives (SDGs) and deliver impactful, cross-disciplinary blockchain-based solutions.

With members of the European Parliament as mentors, prizes including a European Acceleration Ticket worth 10,000 euros, and the expectation of exciting, innovative but also well thought-through and practical solutions to important problems, there is certainly a lot at stake!

See the website for more information on the Global Blockchain Challenge and how you can sponsor a team.

Be a part of it

Curious? Intrigued? Raring to go? There are many different ways to get involved.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Observatory updates

Have your say

We are currently running two blockchain-related surveys, and as always are keen to have your opinion.

Our blockchain skills survey is still running. If you haven’t yet, have your say on what skills are needed for the blockchain ecosystem on our online form

The Observatory’s Supply Chain Sub-Working Group is currently running a survey geared to judging the state of knowledge about and readiness to deploy blockchain in the supply chain ecosystem. Anyone with an interest in this space is encouraged to fill it out. 

#EUBlockchain publications

With the summer break behind us, we continue work on our publications. We have the following planned for this fall:

  • Legal and regulatory recognition of blockchains
  • Supply chain
  • Convergence of blockchain with AI and IoT
  • Blockchain governance
  • Digital assets

Our academic partners are currently working on the following themes as well:

  • Blockchain in education
  • Blockchain and cyber security / privacy
  • More as the publications come online.

#EUBlockchain events

September is a big month for events, with - due to scheduling necessities - two workshops.

  • On September 4th, we held our workshop on Use cases in healthcare. 
  • On September 11th, we will be in Paris for a workshop Use cases in financial services. You can check out the agenda - and try for a last minute registration - here.

More on these two events soon.

#EUBlockchain Online Community 

As usual, our online forum remains active. Here are some of the issues that caught the attention of our community since last we wrote:

Thank you!

As always, we would like to thank everyone who has been active in contributing to the Observatory. None of this would be possible without the participation of all of you in our community.

With best regards,
The EU Blockchain Observatory & Forum.


Publication date
10 September 2019