Slush Tokyo, one of Japans largest tech conferences which bring together startups, investors and large businesses where cryptocurrency and AI stole the show.
This year Slush featured speakers, panel discussions, and startups that are rapidly moving into the fast-growing world of cryptocurrency and AI.
Unlike the current banking system, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies can be traded without any central authority.
Blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin, has created a new funding mechanism called ICO (Initial Coin Offering).
Antti Sonninen the CEO of Slush Tokyo said: “This is the fourth time we are conducting this event.” He also added that “In 2015 we had more gaming companies, in 2016 more virtual reality, but this is the year of artificial intelligence and blockchain.”
The most active presenter at the conference was Ripple who have created their own cryptocurrency and payment system. Stefan Thomas the CTO at Ripple said “There are some companies in cryptocurrencies that are maturing, but there are also some based on speculation. At Ripple, we have always taken a long-term approach to keeping things simple and trying to focus on our payment system.”
A large number of companies and keynote speakers discussed Initial coin offerings, a popular way to receive funding in the cryptocurrency space.
Regulators from all around the world are looking into companies that are raising tremendous amounts of funding. They are then using those funds to enrich themselves and not into funding their businesses.
TenX raised $80million in just seven minutes through an Initial Coin Offering. Toby Hoenisch the CEO and co-founder of TenX said that “The regulators in Japan are ahead of the curve. I have really big hopes that they can figure out how to protect people from fraud but still set a good baseline to support innovation.”
With over 600 startups and 200 investors, Slush Tokyo conference drew around 6,000 participants and cryptocurrency was the topic of choice for many keynote speakers.
One of the speakers at the conference was Taizo Son, brother of billionaire Masayoshi Son, the founder of Softbank Group Corp.
Slush started as a small conference in Helsinki back in 2008 and has since grown to include events in Tokyo, Shanghai, and Singapore.