The Bahamas Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference (BBCC) 2018 was officially launched by the Office of the Prime Minister on Thursday morning at the Pelican Bay Resort.
A number of government officials and private entities, inclusive of president of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), Ian Rolle; Director of Customer Experience of Aliv, (title sponsor for the upcoming conference), Allison Levarity and Minister of State the Office of the Prime Minister, Sen. J. Kwasi Thompson were present for the event.
Noting that The Bahamas, in particular Grand Bahama, is poised to embrace the technology sector moving forward, Sen. Thompson said, The Bahamas Government has made a commitment to revolutionize this northern island to allow it to become the Silicon Valley, of sort, in this region.
According to Sen. Thompson, technology is indeed the wave of the future.
“Our goal is to reach and to bring to Grand Bahama representatives from over 500 countries. That is one of the reasons that this conference is so important.
“I am honored to be here this morning to officially present the BBCC, which will take place next month. Upon taking office last year, the government dedicated itself to making The Bahamas a premier place to do business. We believe that Grand Bahama is uniquely suited to become an internationally recognized technology and innovation hub.
“That is a theme, a message that we want everyone – from the little child in Grand Bahama, to the senior citizen in Grand Bahama – to continue to press forward that message. As such, we have set out to establish Grand Bahama as this region’s Silicon Valley,” said the Minister of State for GB.
“In November of last year, the Office of the Prime Minister along with our partners hosted the very first Technology Summit, playing host to some of the finest minds of technology and innovation worldwide.
“The Technology Summit was instrumental in beginning the strategic planning process of building a technology sector in The Bahamas. The government has since begun implementing recommendations of the Steering Committee, to make this technology hub a reality. I want to particularly thank Dr. Donovan Moxey, who heads our GB Technology Hub Steering Committee.
“One such recommendation, which we are now implementing, is the hosting of a major international conference which will bring hundreds of tech companies to Grand Bahama,” said Sen. Thompson.
“The committee also recommended that this conference take the form of a venture conference, to establish The Bahamas as a global player in introducing venture investors to the seed stage and early stage companies. Basically, putting the entrepreneur together with the investor, seeking to make and build relationships,” he explained.
GBPA President Rolle, shared his excitement in the transformation of Grand Bahama as a technologically advanced destination.
“This is a topic that I am very, very passionate about, technology. And I believe that if we are not embracing the technology in areas of our specialties, we are truly missing the boat.
“I was in Singapore recently and there was a presenter who spoke about the possibilities of blockchain, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Freeport and Grand Bahama.
“I am very pleased to be here today for the official launch for the BBCC. This is a most welcomed game changer to our island and sure to be a trail blazing event. Residents of Grand Bahama, in a few short weeks, will have the opportunity to learn from and network with some of the world’s leading experts in blockchain and cryptocurrency technology.
“I strongly encourage our community and residents to support this initiative. There are many who may not see what the hype is when it comes to this particular industry. But I believe they would be doing themselves a grave injustice to simply ignore it, because they do not understand it,” said Rolle.
“I live by the golden rule, work smarter and not harder. Though we are not the first to create these technology systems, neither the first to accept these concepts and implement them, we change the narrative for our economy – firstly, by educating ourselves in the knowledge that other developed countries have adopted, we have leveled the playing field. Secondly, by embracing the change. The world of blockchain and cryptocurrency will forge concepts such as transparency, verification and the decentralization of funds in our daily transactions.
“It will create much needed methods of fund raising and trade for entrepreneurship and venture expansion.
“Blockchain and cryptocurrency technology also presents a solution to this well-known problem we have of counterfeit funds being produced and duplicated,” noted Rolle.
“Imagine a Bahamas where there was no black market and all funds were able to be accounted for, through virtually protected measures.
“Bill Gates in his wisdom stated, ‘The future of money is digital currency.’ We have to make this technology work for us. I applaud the government, especially our Minister of State, Sen. Kwasi Thompson, for opening doors for further investment opportunities in the technology sector. The Tech Summit, last year, was a brilliant start and this conference is an indication that you will continue to raise the bar.
“You can count on the GBPA to continue to make Freeport the most attractive city in terms of incentives and infrastructure, to both local and foreign tech investors. The GBPA’s goal is to sign many license agreements, uniting both our vision and the Minister of State for Grand Bahama, in seeing our beloved island become the tech hub for the entire Caribbean.”
Speaking on behalf of Aliv, Levarity pledged the company’s commitment to the success of the event as they are the title sponsor.
“Aliv is delighted to announce that it has come on board as the title sponsor of the BBCC next month. We like to think that we are the front-runners when it comes to innovation, technology and finance, and anything that deals with the same we definitely will be a part of. The event promises to connect entrepreneurs to industry leaders, thus creating opportunities and access to resources and knowledge.
“It will also allow attendees to network, gain a better insight into the regulatory framework that The Bahamas has established for cryptocurrencies, Initial Coin Offerings (ICO’s) and exchanges; as well as to see the collective 40 stars of technology in the blockchain and cryptocurrency arena, present their innovative investment opportunities.
“At Aliv, we believe in the promotion of advancement, finance and technology in as many ways as possible, and no doubt the Government of The Bahamas cannot be overlooked and must be supported by corporate Bahamas,” Levarity stated.
“This event is very important for the economy of Grand Bahama, because the idea is to focus on the development of Freeport as one of the major technology hubs in this region. Anything that will boost the economy and put Freeport to the forefront is always a plus, and something that we at Aliv would want to be a part of. For this reason and many others, we have committed to sponsoring this event, not only this year, but possibly in years to come,” said Levarity.
Organizers of the BBCC2018 recommend that interested persons take advantage of early registration by logging onto www.blockchainbahamasconference.com.
The event is scheduled for June 20 - 22 in the Conference Room of the Grand Lucayan Resort.