European Blockchain Week 2021 (EBCW 2021) was one of the soundest events in the framework of Slovenian Presidency of the Council of EU. Co-organized by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, in collaboration with Digital Innovation Hub Blockchain for Trusted Data Ecosystems, Digital Innovation Hub Slovenia, Slovenian Digial Centre, BTC City, together with European Commission, EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, INATBA – International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications, Blockchain Alliance Europe, Blockchain for Europe and many other partners, it achieved great success, backed by more than 100 panelists, more than 25 panels, workshops and roundtables and more than 1200 participants from 86 countries worldwide.
Following the key messages of EBCW 2021, of which the most important were the following.
- Enhancement of aplication of advanced digital technologies in Slovenia and Europe, with the purpose of strengthening of the resilience within green and digital economy and society, the objectives followed by Next Generation EU and European Green Deal.
- Showcasing the leading role of Slovenia in the area of Blockchain technologies and AI, while at the same time it creates stronger blockchain ecosystem, which is important partner in the field of transfer of knowledge, development and application of technological solutions and creation of regulatory solutions to adapt the legislation to the requirements of the new technologies.
- Deployment of the advanced digital technologies shall not remain in the domain of SME and startups only but shal play an important role in the transformation of large and traditional companies, which transform their business processes in cooperation with SMEs and startups.
- An opportunity to strengthen the commitment on the use of advanced digital technologies in Slovenia and EU, which in the period after COVID-19 pandemics will enable faster economic and social recovery.
The conference brought up clear conclusion, that Blockchain and AI are here to stay and significntly contrubute to the European Green deal, predominantly in the areas of Energy Efficiency, Circular Economy, have positive impact on the mitigating of Climate changes and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals – SDG 2030.
Further, Policy Dialogue shall be strengthened in certain areas of intervention, as well as the integration of Blockchain and AI solutions into EU strategic and policy documents is needed as important tool in the design and implementation of common European legislation, regarding blockchain based eID – Self Sovereign identity, Digital finance package based on DLT/Blockchain technology.
In the field of Blockchain ecosystems there is ongoing transfer of knowledge and supporting activities for blockchain projects, various forms of startup engagement has been developed. While ecosystems shall be further strengthened on the European level and globally, there is an opportunity for cross-border and cross-region cooperation, which can be enabled through interregional partnerships, such as EU-Africa partnership on stakeholders level and interoperable infrastructure on technologicl level, such as integrated national blockchain infrastructures and upgrading of European blockchain services infrastructure.
Strengthening the knowledge of Blockchain technology is one of the main driver for launching of the first national nonfungible token (NFT) for promotional purposes of Slovenia on EXPO Dubai 2021. This pioneering project is the product of the cooperation between Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of Slovenia, Spirit Slovenia – public agency fort he promotion of entrepreneurship and investment, and Technology park Ljubljana, which will in pilot phase promote our activities connected to EXPO. At least 5 presentations of companies and 5 of tourism destinations will be presented in pilot phase. The SloExpo2020 NFT Tokens are Ethereum ERC721 standard smart contract deployed on Tolar Hashnet blockchain and with metadata and eclusive content saved on IPFS decentralized storage. Each token series is limited in quanbtity, has an issuer and urls to cover image, thumbnail image, 3D files or panoramic image. This will contribute to Slovenia to maintain leading position in the field of digital technologies.