On Wednesday, June 1st, H.E. Nicole Bintner-Bakshian, Ambassador of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; Coach Kathy Kemper, Founder & CEO, Institute for Education (IFE); and IFE Steward Dr. R. David Edelman; co-hosted IFE’s second Blockchain Impact Dinner. The intimate, engaging, and timely conversation “Blockchain Means Business – New Innovations For The Enterprise” was held at the Embassy of Luxembourg in Washington, DC.
Coach Kemper welcomed guests noting that Ambassador Binter-Bakshian holds the distinction of being the Institute For Education’s Blockchain Diplomatic Steward and is the first female Diplomatic Steward in IFE’s thirty-one-year history.
The Ambassador began the conversation by noting that with a population of just over 600,000 people, the nation of Luxembourg is akin to a laboratory for innovation, especially as it relates to new technologies and digital innovation. The Blockchain Impact Dinner series is an opportunity to listen and learn from distinguished leaders working every day at the forefront of the growing blockchain industry. The informal, primarily off-the-record conversation exchanges learnings and offers new ideas for continued public-private engagement and new partnerships. Guests observed Chatham House Rules.
Much has happened in the world since the inaugural IFE Blockchain Impact Dinner held on March 7th. Since that time, ongoing global sanctions against Russia as a result of the war in Ukraine, the reaction to the Biden Administration’s executive order on Responsible Development for Digital Assets, and the market decline in the value of cryptocurrencies, including the crash of the Terra and Luna stablecoins, have contributed to a sense of tumult in the industry. Indeed, it was remarked that these three months had been the most impactful and consequential in the young history of cryptocurrencies. They are also extremely revealing for the future of crypto and other blockchain technologies. More than ever, these events are showing the maturity of an industry that is here to stay.
Expanding beyond the role of crypto, other topics discussed included a lengthy exchange on the minute details of the process for international money flows and transfers; the potential for blockchain innovations to help fix inefficiencies in the healthcare industry and the unique challenges in that industry; the role of the pandemic and government’s response to it in accelerating use of technologies that make it easier for the consumer to buy and sell stocks and coins, and how NFTs are sparking new conversations on assessing (and appraising) the value of assets – digital and tangible alike.
Overall, there was profound agreement that the need for blockchain and business to be trusted – including privacy and security – is paramount. The dinner conversation ended with a profound thought. What if blockchain technology proved to be a proxy for the loss of public trust in institutions (government and non-government) that we have seen in recent years? Could business and technology innovations built on blockchain step in to fill this gap? This will no doubt be a continuing conversation.
Gracious thanks to Embassy chefs, who prepared a delicious three-course dinner of tomato gazpacho with burratina buffalo mozzarella; seared halibut with vegetables in a Luxembourg Riesling sauce; and a Luxembourg seasonal favorite: a rhubarb tartelette. Guests also enjoyed a refreshing 2018 Cuvee du Domaine Vin de Luxembourg AOP Moselle and a 2020 Willful Pinot Noir from Oregon.
Submitted by IFE Fellow Chris Golden, Director of Digital Grassroots Mobilization, Crypto.com
SPOTTED: Luxembourg Ambassador H.E. Nicole Bintner-Bakshian; Coach Kathy Kemper; Dr. R. David Edelman, Director of the IPRI Project on Technology, the Economy, & National Security Massachusetts Institute of Technology, IFE Future of AI Program Founder, and IFE Board of Stewards; Shaun Modi, Capitol, LLC; Justin Slaughter, Paradigm; Meredith Pallante, Filecoin Foundation; Chris Golden, Crypto.com; John Reim, Morgan Stanley; Luxembourg DCM Gilles Bauer; and Luxembourg Counselor Clémence Igot.