Being one flight away from each Dubai and London, Istanbul is the “monetary capital” of Turkey and a well-liked vacation spot for occasions and organizations. Its handy location additionally helps organizers customise their occasions to align with the particular wants of Japanese or Western cultures — which felt just like the case at Istanbul Blockchain Week 2023.
IBW 2023 noticed 1000’s of native and worldwide fans be a part of the dialog on crypto, blockchain and Web3 on Aug. 22 and 23 on the Hilton Istanbul Bomonti. Tailor-made to replicate the varied discussions throughout the Web3 ecosystem, the occasion’s agenda was crammed with keynotes about synthetic intelligence (AI), regulation, Web3 gaming and blockchain use instances from the actual world.
Except for the new subjects to seize the worldwide viewers, IBW 2023 additionally featured region-specific talks, similar to on Islamic finance and a Shariah-compliant Web3 economic system. The explosive development of crypto and Web3 within the United Arab Emirates, particularly in Dubai, mixed with the UAE’s curiosity within the Turkish market created a handy time-frame for organizer EAK Digital to carry this 12 months’s occasion, simply 9 months after IBW 2022.
Having the occasion in August in Istanbul was a strategic determination, in keeping with Erhan Korhaliller, founder and CEO of EAK Digital. He defined that it’s far too scorching to have any occasions in summer season in Dubai, so that they introduced Istanbul as a neighboring worldwide hub for main gamers from the UAE — and their tactic paid off:
“Now we have over 25 cubicles this 12 months. A hackathon with a $50,000 prize. […] Having the federal government representatives and large banks with us right here throughout a bear market is essential.”
Except for the agenda for the primary stage, the occasion corridor was filled with blockchain and crypto fans from numerous backgrounds networking, holding roundtable discussions and workshops, getting themselves scanned for the metaverse, or just chatting and taking selfies with Desi, the conversational AI robotic from SingularityNET and Yaya Labs.
Whereas AI, central financial institution digital currencies (CBDCs) and Web3-friendly fan tokens featured prominently in the primary corridor, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have been notably lacking. Final 12 months, there was an entire day and an exhibition devoted to NFTs.
“As organizers, we needs to be versatile and adaptive to what the market is telling us,” defined Korhaliller. “NFT buying and selling is like 99% down. The curiosity clearly isn’t right here, and due to this fact, we’re not doing an NFT Day this 12 months.”
Islamic finance hackathon
Just like final 12 months, the primary stage was divided into a number of occasions to carry speeches, workshops and the IstanHack hackathon concurrently.
As keynote audio system introduced their arguments round essential components of Islamic finance, a crowded solid of younger builders coded towards time to create working options that aligned with the general mission of the occasion — selling moral finance and sustainable growth for folks dissatisfied with conventional banking.
Islamic finance has a goal market of 1.9 billion folks, most of whom are unhappy with conventional finance companies because of the involvement of curiosity. “Curiosity is forbidden in Islam,” defined Tansel Kaya, an IstanHack juror and founding father of Mindstone Blockchain Labs. He informed Cointelegraph that extra than simply the massive prize, “the hackathon served as an eye-opener for the younger expertise trying to develop one thing past your run-of-the-mill DeFi yield merchandise.”
AI takes the stage
AI was a scorching subject, each on and off stage, throughout Istanbul Blockchain Week, with collaborating firms demonstrating their tackle how Web3 and AI might be in sync. Throughout his speech titled “The Way forward for Decentralised Generative AI on Blockchain,” SingularityNET chief advertising and marketing officer Loic Claveau famous that for the primary time in historical past, folks have the power to personal their knowledge.
“AI could be very data-intensive,” he stated, including, “It must run a ton of information to have the ability to work as you utilize one thing like ChatGPT. It’s a Massive Tech monopoly. […] All the massive behemoths of the tech world, they run they usually do it.”
Based on Claveua, AI builders who work with a comparatively smaller workforce have two choices at this level: Working for Massive Tech or promoting their subsequent massive concepts to Massive Tech. “That’s the way in which to maneuver ahead in your profession and get into the very fascinating tasks.”
Crypto adoption: Slowly however certainly
Cointelegraph Turkey was one of many media companions of the occasion as nicely. “Right here in Istanbul, we’re nonetheless experiencing the impression of a chronic bear market, similar to the remainder of the world,” commented Eray Dengiz, CEO of Cointelegraph Turkey and Kriptomeda.
He underscored the significance of the lively participation from the Turkish banking ecosystem, with main Turkish banks similar to Garanti BBVA, Akbank and Yapi Kredi attending a panel for CBDCs.
— Cointelegraph Türkiye (@CointelegraphTR) August 23, 2023
A primary-timer to a crypto occasion held in Turkey was Addy Crezee, founding father of NFT ticketing platform Ozaru and the previous CEO of Cointelegraph’s personal international occasion, BlockShow. Crezee moderated a panel about crypto finance at IBW 2023.
“Clearly, finance is the most important subject right here in Turkey,” he informed Cointelegraph. “If you come out of the aircraft, you see all of the adverts from all of the completely different exchanges. I used to be impressed.”
Highlighting the general progress the crypto ecosystem has achieved by way of adoption and reaching extra folks in lower than a decade, Crezee summarized:
“I keep in mind attending crypto occasions, primarily about Bitcoin, in 2014 or 2015. There have been lower than 100 folks. At the moment, when an occasion attracts lower than a thousand folks, it’s thought of fairly small.”