Johannesburg, South Africa – March 9th, 2018. It was my first time in South Africa. As a matter of fact, it was my first time in Africa at all. I flew more than 25 hours from Buenos Aires to Johannesburg to speak and participate in the Blockchain Africa Conference. During my journey, I had plenty of time to think about what my experience would be like, but really didn’t know what to expect.
The first day of the conference arrived and I was set to go. Microsoft’s Johannesburg office was the perfect venue for the event that brought in a packed house. The Master of Ceremonies, Lorien Gamaroff, CEO of Bankymoon and CEO of Centbee, welcomed the audience then passed the baton to Ripple Labs CTO, Stefan Thomas.This couldn’t had started better with two industry leaders hitting the stage.
The first half of the first day was coming to an end. Lunch time was around the corner and I was working on the final notes of my presentation. I was utterly impressed with everything I had found: amazing keynotes, super interesting panel discussions, sharp organization and a growing local ecosystem. The journey was just starting, and I was excited to see what else was in store.
After lunch it was time for my keynote and I stepped on stage after a warm presentation by Lorien. A full auditorium, cameras on and 400 people completely focused on me and my words. I was ready to share with the audience RSK vision, past, present and future. I was surprised to find that the local community knew a lot about our project and welcomed the latest news with open arms. After the presentation concluded, Lorien addressed some interesting questions to further the understanding of RSK.
The day continued with great talks, one after the other. I couldn’t have been more fascinated about the maturing ecosystem and how the conference had grown since its first edition, four years ago. I was surrounded by tech experts, industry leaders, change agents, and doers. It was a first class event. South Africa had caught me at ground zero.
The second day brought all of us the same impressive level of speakers. I was happy knowing I was going back home with a clearer picture about South Africa’s ecosystem: it was full of tech leaders, savvy people and most important, people committed to moving and creating new projects forward.
After a two-day event, I was coming back home with new partners and new friends. I was glad to have found a large community, with shared values, talking our same language. Blockchain technologies are here to stay, welcome disruption.
Chief Business Development Officer @ RSK
Special thanks to the host, our international partners: Sonya Kuhnel (Blockchain Academy), Theo Sauls (Blockchain Africa Conference), Nasreen Saunders (Blockchain Academy), Microsoft South Africa and the MC Lorien Gamaroff (Centbee).