While launched publicly on December 14th 2016, the Blockchain Association of Ireland began almost a year earlier as an informal discussion group organised through the Coding Value Project and the Quinn Business School in UCD. We were an eclectic panel comprising academics, programmers, bitcoin entrepreneurs, journalists and financial consultants. It was decided that the best way to make meaningful progress would be to form non-profit entity that could act as a neutral meeting point for anyone with an interest in blockchain in Ireland.
The past year has seen an explosion of interest in blockchain technologies globally and here in Ireland. The Blockchain Association of Ireland facilitates Irish business leaders, educators, policy-makers and citizens in learning how blockchain technology can be applied to make Ireland the world’s most blockchain literate nation.
Bitcoin’s blockchain, and other distributed ledger technologies, are an imminent revolution. The finance, insurance and regulatory compliance industries are already facing disruption… but also currency exchange, healthcare, internet-of-things, real-estate, supply chain management, government and retail.
As these technologies converge, the wider societal impact promises to be significant; traditional job titles will change, new laws and regulations will be passed and entire industries will be transformed. The association is not just for multinationals and big business – it is crucial that smaller companies, start-ups and individual contributors are involved; we can only achieve our mission through multi-stakeholder collaboration.
We began running free-to-attend meet-ups every two weeks (or so) and in a short space of time, we have hosted 9 evenings with over 600 registered with approx 70% attending. See more on upcoming Blockchain events here.
We also hosted the Blockchain Summit stage at TechConnect Live in May where we had twelve individual speakers and several panel discussions. The event had in excess of 20,000 attendees throughout the day and our stage was inundated.