Conversation: Blockchain for SMEs–Hype or Opportunity?

Blockchain is a disruptive technology that enables trustful, transparent, and verifiable interactions and transactions. While it is still in its early stages, the potential applications of blockchain are already attracting much attention, as this cross-cutting technology has enormous potential for companies to transform their business models. Indeed, it can be applied to a wide range of sectors way beyond cryptocurrencies, e.g. in supply chain management, contract law or even agriculture. However, there are technical, regulatory and skills-related challenges that still need to be addressed.

32% of the world’s blockchain start-ups are in Europe. Small businesses can benefit from blockchain technologies through enhanced transparency and traceability in the form of easier payment solutions, smart contracts, decentralized cloud storage, supply chain traceability, etc. Therefore, transactions are accelerated, costs are reduced, and security is increased. However, SMEs face multiple barriers to the implementation of blockchain: They are often not aware of the benefits of blockchain, have limited knowledge of data regulation and lack resources to invest in this technology.

To consolidate Europe’s expertise in blockchain and encourage the SMEs to seize the opportunities of blockchain technologies, the European Commission has been funding blockchain projects through the EU’s research programme Horizon 2020, since 2015, investing €185 million. European DIGITAL SME Alliance takes part in Block.IS – one of the initiatives supported by the European Commission.  Block.IS offers the necessary financial, business and technical support for the SMEs willing to develop the innovative blockchain-based solutions in the sectors of agrifood, logistics, and finance.

The aim of this online discussion is to present the perspective of SMEs. Entrepreneurs will present their vision of the development of blockchain technologies, demonstrate their own use cases and applications, whereas a member of the European Parliament will address the issue of regulation.

Speakers:

  • Mikuláš Peksa, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance
  • Petko Karamotchev, DIGITAL SME expert in Blockchain/DLT/Corda and Smart Legal Contracts, Director at INDUSTRIA
  • Jeroen Perquin, Co-Founder & CFO of 2bSMART, Award Winner of the Block.IS First Open Call
  • Enrico Talin, CEO of Commerc.io, Member of Italian DIGITAL SME Alliance, Award Winner of the Block.IS First Open Call

Moderator:

  • SebastianoToffaletti, Secretary-General at European DIGITAL SME Alliance

Tune in on Thursday 7 May, 14.00 CEST by clicking on the icons below!