Technology implementers, innovators and influencers in blockchain and DLT, alongside delegates from international organizations and representatives of local government met at the Blockchain for Development: The Future Now Forum in Cluj, Romania. The one-day event was a novelty for the tech community in both Romania and the whole of Southeast Europe..
Tech professionals from Romania and abroad met on November the 7th with innovators, influencers in blockchain and DLT, delegates from international organizations and local government representatives to address the potential of the oft-hyped technologies beyond their widespread use in digital currencies.
The Blockchain for Development: The Future is Now Forum featured speakers coming from diverse fields: Alastair Marke, Regional Director for Western Europe, Blockchain Commission for Sustainable Development; Danny Curran, Director of Growth (Europe) at AID:Tech; Nena Dokuzov, head of Project Group of New Economy and Blockchain Technologies, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Slovenia; Paul Brie, CEO at Teleport HQ; Ioana Frincu, Chief Operations Officer, Under Development Office, and others.
The speakers discussed a wide range of topics including decentralized data, smart contracts, health records storage, digital identity, social credits, international remittances, self-sovereign identity and showcased blockchain-based projects tackling common international development issues such as international aid transparency and traceability, climate change induced poverty, data loss and data theft, political corruption and others.
“Looking at what DevelopmentAid does and the connections that the organization has with a lot of people within the blockchain sector was what interested me to attend the event and I got a lot more from it than I expected. The people I’ve been chatting with want to get involved and work with blockchain, but they’re not sure what approach to take, so it was excellent to be here today to meet with these people, to network with them and to explore opportunities for the future,” said Danny Curran, AID:Tech.
“I really like getting to talk more about blockchain and that it is not just cryptocurrencies. Today, I had the opportunity to share some use cases of distributed technologies, which gives people a better understanding of what can be achieved through them. As I said, blockchain is not a universal solution to all of our problems, it is part of the solution,” added Ioana Frincu from Under Development Office.
The Blockchain for Development Forum was organized by DevelopmentAid in partnership with the Romanian Association for Electronic and Software Industry (ARIES), Transilvania Branch. “It was a great honor to be approached by DevelopmentAid and to be asked to partner at this event, because blockchain technologies are the new hype in Cluj, but also all over the world. In Cluj there are many companies and IT people, IT experts are interested in learning more about blockchain and DLT and identifying projects in which blockchain can be applied.” explained Bianca Muntean, Executive Director at ARIES. “Blockchain builds trust. It gives the public authorities the chance to be transparent and to regain the trust of citizens in their way of doing things. As a result, citizens can see exactly where their investment is going, therefore it leads to building a healthy society,” concluded Ms. Muntean.
The event was also supported by Cluj-Napoca City Hall. “In Cluj, we are very happy to have the ingredients that the blockchain needs, meaning a strong IT component, academia, but also local government involvement. For me, discovering the element of transparency and of trust is something we can rely on with the core values of our strategy for the development of the city,” added Emilia Botezan, Head of International Affairs and Foreign Investment Department, Cluj-Napoca City Hall.
DevelopmentAid is a leading, innovative membership organization providing comprehensive information services for the international developmental sector. By providing a nexus of funding opportunities, expertise and carefully curated data, the organization specializes in connecting donors, agencies, consultancy firms, NGOs and individual consultants working for international development.