By Tania Hardy

An event in late November hosted by IMD ACE Zug attracted IMD Alumni and guests looking to learn more about blockchain and its potential applications. Crypto Valley Association (CVA) and Lykke corp. jointly presented on cryptocurrencies, ICO’s (Initital Coin Offering), blockchain technology and its applications.

Tom Lyons, Chair of the Communications Working Group of the CVA, opened the event with an overview of the association’s activities in bringing together crypto pioneers, industry experts, and investors in a thriving ecosystem. The CVA has experienced tremendous growth in members over the past year as it continues to gain support from industry associations, financial institutions, local government, and most recently a corporate partnership with KPMG.

With ICO volumes growing from US$256.4 Million in 2016 to USD$3.22 Trillion in 2017, ICO regulation is needed to protect investors, in which the CVA strongly advocates. This was a fitting lead-in to Lykke Corp’s presentation on blockchain technology and the concept that every asset and every service can be turned into a digital token and can become a means of payment.

While the cryptocurrencies market cap development may show characteristics of a bubble, Richard Olsen, CEO of Lykke Corp. believes the blockchain technology behind the cryptocurrencies is here to stay as we have only just scratched the surface of the potential applications of the technologies. Lykke Corp is building a global marketplace where users can exchange financial assets such as cryptocurrencies or fiat currency securely with immediate settlement from any mobile device.

An example of a use case presented by Lykke is the IATA coin case study, in which the IATA corporate coin would be a base currency for the aviation industry to settle worldwide payments for airlines and business partners using blockchain technology, which lowers transaction fees and speeds up settlements, resulting in lower risks.

The event closed with a very engaged Q&A session, in which participants showed a keen interest in the future of blockchain, but sentiments of uncertainty persists due to the lack of regulation and highly speculative nature of ICO’s.