During the COALA Blockchain Workshop NYC, experts in decentralized cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, academics, investors and lawyers discussed the opportunities and challenges related to blockchain technology and decentralization, as well as their impact on current social, economic and political order.
Held at New York University’s Stern School of Business on April 04 and 05, the event brought together 150 experts to discuss the rapid reach and exponential applications of blockchain technology and its disruptive potential across multiple industries.
Attendees predicted an exponential rise in the applications of blockchain, even in areas far outside of finance and traditional applications of technology.
“Decentralization is hitting energy, manufacturing, food, health, learning, security, even governance and policy making itself; it’s not only finance,” David Orban, managing director of Network Society Ventures, said at the COALA Blockchain Workshop NYC.
“When bitcoin and blockchain are getting the finger pointed at them with people saying ‘it’s just a fad’ – well, it’s not. It’s part of a deep, broad wave of huge changes, where the opportunity for enormous wealth creation is concrete and present now.”
According to Greg McMullen, chief policy officer at Ascribe, blockchain platforms are emerging at fast pace and it is now time to start thinking about the potential applications, but also how we can address the problems in the market today.
Since early 2015, COALA (Coalition of Automated Legal Application) has been hosting Blockchain Workshops around the world in an attempt to stimulate discussions around blockchain technology, smart contracts and decentralized applications. Prior to the Blockchain Workshop NYC 2016, COALA has hosted events in Massachusetts at Harvard and MIT, in California at Stanford, and in London, Hong Kong and Sydney.
Vlad Zamfir, researcher at the Ethereum Project, has been attending COALA Blockchain Workshops since January 2015. He said:
“I think it’s important for people working in projects in this space to synchronize on different issues, not just around tech, but at the intersection of tech and society.”
“COALA allows us to talk to the regulators, the policy makers, the investors and other developers so that we see our work in a broader context. It gives me a place where I can think about the impact of this technology on society.”
Led by a team of researchers and lawyers, COALA is an international multidisciplinary collaborative research and development initiative aimed at creating a global dialogue involving multiple stakeholders (governments, academia, industry, civil society) in the blockchain ecosystem, as well as bringing awareness and clarity in the field.
The organization is also in charge of a number of working groups dedicated on topics that include Identity and Privacy, Cryptographic Tokens, Regulatory Oversight, Security and Governance, Blockchain Economics, Smart Contracts, Distributed Autonomous Organizations and Intellectual Property.