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TechCrunch Shenzhen: Tackling pain points in blockchain technology
The amount of financing on Chinese blockchain-related projects in January 2018 alone reached $100 million. Private industries, the central government, local governments, and academia are all invested in the technology and cover sectors from finance, energy, and medical to supply chain, entertainment, and social media.
In the private sector, Chinese internet giants Alibaba and Tencent have been displaying strong initiatives in blockchain development by partnering with the city of Changzhou and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing to advance the medical and logistics sectors, respectively. Local governments have also issued policies to encourage blockchain development, with Shenzhen and Hangzhou launching dedicated funds for blockchain projects. Although of late the government has been clamping down even harder on cryptocurrency speculation, the People’s Bank of China’s filing of over 40 blockchain patent applications suggest the country’s plan for a state-backed digital currency combining the core features of cryptocurrency and the existing monetary system.
Earlier this year, we held TechCrunch International Innovation Summit in Hangzhou, where we invited top representatives from Alibaba, Ant Financial, and Ripple, as well as investment firms and accelerators, to speak about blockchain use cases in the financial sector, blockchain applications to help improve the lives of the less privileged, and blockchain trends in China.
Blockchain development moves fast in China, though. That’s why we are once again holding the summit in November, this time in Shenzhen, with Main Stage and Side Stage speakers exploring the current state of the blockchain industry. Having closely followed recent developments in blockchain technology, we recognize continuing pain points despite great advancement, and hope to address them and contemplate potential solutions at TechCrunch Shenzhen.
Blockchain in the supply chain has many strong points—it’s immutable, tamper-proof, and traceable, meaning any false data along the chain can be traced back to the offender, therefore creating liability and incentive for honesty. The ongoing issue, however, lies in the inability to discourage the initial input of fabricated data at the beginning of the supply chain. This may be where A.I. comes into play, and the integration of the two emerging technologies.
Another admirable application of the blockchain is in energy production. Its decentralized infrastructure would allow energy sources to be placed closer to consumers and thereby minimize energy losses and infrastructure expenditure. However, an existing pain point is that distributed systems are generally only geographically decentralized, still leaving control of the production system in the hands of large utilities, not to mention their unwillingness to give up control over the market, realistically speaking. Furthermore, cryptocurrency regulations in China may pose challenges to peer-to-peer energy trading networks.
The list isn’t exhaustive. At TechCrunch Shenzhen, we will also explore blockchain in IoT, Information Security, and the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in China, among others. We find it our responsibility to take our resource of vast networks of industry experts and bring them together for a productive discussion on how to use technology to better the world. You can help too by joining us at TechCrunch Shenzhen and sharing the experience as a speaker, exhibitor, or onlooker!
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TechCrunch International Innovation Summit’s Main Stage provides special opportunities for the audience to gain knowledge from world-famous speakers. Topics like AI, healthcare, consumption upgrade, and new retail will be discussed during the event. In previous years, the summit brought together elites from various industries, including former Executive Chairman of both Google and Alphabet Eric Schmidt, CEO and Chairman of Sinovation Kai-Fu Lee, Chairman of Alibaba Group Technical Steering Committee and Founder of Alibaba Cloud Dr. Jian Wang, Co-founder of iRobot Colin Angle, Co-founder of ZhenFund Bob Xu, Vice President of Ctrip Huaiyi Zeng, and National Technology Officer of Microsoft China Qing Wei.
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In order to explore in-depth the different fields of innovation, the Side Stages provide insight into emerging trends and technologies. Last year, we had companies from all industries come and share best practices, from autonomous driving and chip algorithms to high-precision maps and blockchain.
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From 2013 to 2018, a total of more than 1,550 exhibitors participated in Startup Alley, with an average of more than 150 each year. Startup Alley brings together international companies and exhibitors from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Israel and other countries and regions to conduct international exchanges. Many startups have recognized TechCrunch International Innovation Summit as the forefront of today’s cutting-edge technological innovation. With its large influence, many companies have chosen to launch and advertise their new products at Startup Alley.
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Last November, we witnessed the impressive success of TechCrunch Beijing held at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology. Modeled on the Silicon Valley style of events, TechCrunch returns to China in November 2018, this time in Shenzhen. As a precursor to the main event, TechNode and TechCrunch are organizing a Hackathon. Hackathons have been a mainstay for TechCrunch Disrupt since they were first started. Each team has 24 hours to complete product design and development. We have invited some of the top names in the industry to judge projects and present the awards.
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