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Mallorca is a stunning island off the coast of Spain, a popular destination for millions and millions of tourists each year. The island is also home to Gate2Chain, a development suite allowing businesses and individuals to connect to the BSV blockchain and harness its potential.
On December 1, 2022, Gate2Chain organized an event in Palma, consisting of a half-day conference, a networking lunch and series of meetings in the afternoon and next day. The Gate2Chain Blockchain, Tourism and the Future of the Internet Conference was designed to educate the local tourism industry and interested parties on how blockchain tech can improve the way they do business.
Speaker Latif Ladid, President of the IPv6 Forum, described the conference as a “full house” and confirmed there were “many experts from the government, the regulator and industry, academia, research, and obviously surrounded by some of the best people we have in BSV and IPv6.”
Gate2Chain’s Co-Founder and COO Joe Holles de Peyer was instrumental in organizing the conference, inviting key players from the island, and serving as the conference chair on the day.
“There is a huge tourism industry based in Mallorca, but that has tentacles all over the world and they’re always in need of innovation,” Holles de Peyer told CoinGeek.
“Tourism is an industry that works on very small margins, large, very large volume, especially on this island. There’s just so much Bitcoin can do for the industry. It’s massive,” he said.
The first half of the conference sessions was dedicated to “the big picture” with Dr. Craig Wright as the keynote, with the second half featuring more straightforward, down to earth examples of clear things that blockchain is doing today that could impact the tourism industry.
“It’s an interesting region. There’s a lot of tourism in here and there’s a variety of different goals between eco-tourism right up to luxury tourism and being able to manage all those different areas and have the data for it will allow them to differentiate and create opportunities,” Dr. Wright said.
Dr. Wright’s keynote focused on where BSV blockchain technology fits into the tourism industry, specially within Mallorca. He did a wonderful job tailoring his words for an audience that is newer to blockchain technology, providing relevant examples that were easy to relate to.
“There are rules in Europe for controlling personal data, so it means keeping it all within the existing regulations and also protecting your customers. So you don’t want to have information leaked about them and so setting systems up correctly is always critical,” he pointed out.
“When storing identity attributes, etc, etc, there’d be abilities to make personal information that could be shared with different places you’re staying. All you do is you have one identity and then all the information you want to share is transferred across anywhere you’re going. You can share across each of the loyalty programmes,” Dr. Wright explained.
“Now, the benefit of that, of course, is just being able to, again, easily control your data. A better recordkeeping system would be nice as well. Going back even further in years, having more information about your flights, being able to have automatic ticketing that actually works,” he added.
Another stand-out speaker was Dr. Agatha Slater, Blockchain Practice Leader, Central and Eastern Europe, for IBM. She talked about some use cases for web3 and blockchain, specifically for the tourism industry in Spain and where IBM fits into the picture.
“I see it as blockchain enabling a technology stack that can open up opportunities for new use cases. And these ‘blockchain enablers’ as I call them are identity, tokenization, traceability and payments. And if you put all that together, suddenly you have really cool opportunities on how you can engage with your customers,” she said.
“When we’re talking about these new economies, we’re still a bit far away from that end game. But enterprises, to be honest, to become relevant, to stay relevant, they need to start experiencing with the space now,” Dr. Slater added.
Something that made the Gate2Chain conference stand out from the rest was the focus on benefits and impact vs. the actual technology itself. For the audience Gate2Chain gathered for the conference and meetings, this approach was a great success.
“We tend to bury ourselves into the technology and forgetting what are the benefits and what is the impact. And the impact is more important to people, especially if you get, let’s say, governments and regulators and so on and so forth. They shy away from technology,” explained Ladid.
“So you have to show them, how it will have impact on society and how it will have impact on the economy and so forth. Then they become interested because they understand what’s at stake,” he added.
When it comes to the blockchain tech itself, according to Dr. Slater, it’s up to the technology provider or service provider (such as IBM) to select the right blockchain for the problems the provider is looking to solve.
“We believe that BSV and the whole BSV ecosystem is a very good fit for enterprises. Enterprises care about scalability. They care about low transaction fees. BSV has that, so we’re actually very excited to talk to them about BSV when it comes to that,” Dr. Slater confirmed.
Something else that made this event stand out from the rest was its location and the VIP treatment we all received. VIP speakers plus media were invited to stay at a private villa in Valldemossa, a stunning village just outside of Palma. The group was treated to five-star meals thanks to a dedicated chef and activities such as horseback riding, olive oil tasting, four wheeling, shopping and touring around the island.
“We’re very lucky to have been hosted by some famous people in this place, especially Bruno, together with the Bart and Joe. And they have been working on this ecosystem to make it better in the future and I think they are doing a very good job in this place,” shared Ladid.
“Hosting us in their famous place, all everything taken care of was magic and then attracting all the stakeholders to come over here and all of them are enthusiastic and want to do something,” he said.
Holles de Peyer agreed it was a very special experience and feels it’s important to create environments like this for the magic to happen.
“It’s all the synergies and all that sort of stuff that is difficult to plan or to quantify, all those little things that develop in just relaxing and chatting. It’s been really, really productive,” he confirmed.
Watch: London Blockchain Conference 2023: Bringing government and enterprise onto the blockchain
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