ABOUT BLOCKCHAIN AFRICA CONFERENCE 2021

From Hype to Mainstream

Bitcoin Events hosted its 7th Annual Blockchain Africa Conference on March 18-19, 2021 and for the first time, virtually.  The event shattered all previous records, attracting 5,729 attendees from over 160 countries. The event drew together a diverse group of delegates, featuring attendees hailing from a range of multiple industries and disciplines such as finance, payments, venture capital, government, and information technology who were at hand to gain insights from 55+ expert speakers.

The theme of this year’s event, “From Hype to Mainstream”, served to illustrate the prevailing sentiment within blockchain technologies, with blockchain participants increasingly shifting away from initial experiments and towards the development of robust, enterprise-ready solutions.  The conference featured a series of world-class speakers to help elaborate on the current trends within the sector, including Charles Hoskinson, Founder of Cardano; Sandra Ro, CEO of Global Blockchain Business Council; Ben Zhou, Co-Founder and CEO of Bybit; Mariana Gospodinova, General Manager of EU Operations for Crypto.com; and Stani Kulechov, Founder and CEO of Aave.

A key highlight of the two-day event was a high-level dialogue, hosted in partnership with the Global Policy House, focused on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). Delving into topics such as the future of money within a future digital economy, CBDCs as a catalyst for the African Continental Free Trade Area and whether CBDCs could contribute to currency stability on the African continent, the conversation proved to be extremely timely in light of the various ongoing digital currency experiments taking place by governments around the world.

In addition to the impressive line-up of speakers and industry luminaries, the Blockchain Africa Conference touched upon several pertinent topics, including a closer look into the rising demand for blockchain-enabled products, the effect of regulation in certain jurisdictions as well as an exciting fireside chat hosted by Peter McCormack, Host of What Bitcoin Did, on retail and institutional investment in cryptocurrencies.

Attendees
Speakers
Countries

Who Attended?

Speaker Videos

Watch the speaker videos below or visit our YouTube channel here.

Charles Hoskinson


Founder and CEO of IOHK (Input Output Hong Kong) and Founder of Cardano
Keynote Address

Mariana Gospodinova


General Manager of European Operations for Crypto.com
Keynote Address: CeFi and DeFi

Ben Zhou


Co-founder and CEO at Bybit
Keynote Address: Crypto: A Rising Tide That Lifts All Boats

Stani Kulechov


Founder and CEO of Aave
Keynote Address: Introducing the Aave Protocol: Liquidity Unlocked

Sam Bankman-Fried


CEO and Founder at FTX
Keynote Address: Serum: The Decentralised Financial Ecosystem of the Future

Sandra Ro


CEO at the Global Blockchain Business Council
Keynote Address: State of Blockchain

Denelle Dixon and Richard Lema


Denelle Dixon: CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation | Richard Lema: Co-Founder and COO of ClickPesa
Keynote Address: The Stellar Network: Connecting Global Financial Infrastructure

Michael Awori and Atul Patel


Michael Awori: Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) | Atul Patel: Co-founder of dltedgers
Blockchain and Trade Finance

Pretty Kubyane


COO and Co-Founder of Coronet Blockchain
Using Blockchain for Food Security and Financial Inclusion

Herco Steyn


Senior Fintech Specialist in the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) Fintech Unit
A Holistic Approach to Crypto Asset Regulation in South Africa

Richard Ells


Founder at Electroneum and Founder and CEO at Anytask.com
Empowering a Generation with Crypto

Dr. Steven Waterhouse


CEO and Co-founder of Orchid
Decentralisation is the New Encryption

Alex Mashinsky


Founder and CEO of the Celsius Network
All Roads Lead to Decentralisation

Nathaniel Luz


Lead at Dash Nigeria
Future of Cryptocurrency: Adoption or Bust!

John Velissarios


Accenture Global Managing Director Blockchain and Multiparty Systems – Digital Assets, Custody and CBDC Lead
Financial Ecosystems 2.0 and The Role of CBDCs

Sheila Warren


Head of Blockchain and Data Policy; Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum’s Presidio Principles

David Gitonga


Managing Editor at BitcoinKE
How Digital Blockchain Education is Helping to Grow the Ecosystem

Dr. Uche Okonkwo


Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Intelligent Systems, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Blockchain and the Future of Service and Information Monetization: From Barter to DigBarter

Yael Tamar


Co-CEO and Co-founder of SolidBlock
Institutional Adoption of Tokenisation

Chuta Chimezie


Founder of Blockchain Nigeria User Group and Advisor at Kinesis Money (West Africa region)
Building the Infrastructure of Financial Self-Sovereignty for Africa

Alex MCDougall


Co-founder of Bicameral Ventures
Here Comes the Open Lending Era

Dominik Ernst


CEO at Acria Network
Bridging the Blockchain and the Real World

Rocelo Lopes


CEO and Founder of Stratum Blockchain Group
How Stablecoins Will Change the Global Market for Import and Export

Dr. Oriol Caudevilla


FinTech Advisor, Management and Strategy Consultant and Researcher
China´s Digital Yuan: The Start of a New Era

Fireside Chat: Institutional and Retail Investment in Crypto


Host: Peter McCormack | Host of What Bitcoin Did podcast, Defiance podcast and Defiance TV

Brandom Topham | Divisional Executive for Enforcement at the Financial Sector Conduct Authority
Teana Baker-Taylor | General Manager of the U.K. for Crypto.com
Peter Tylczynski | Senior VP at MineBest
Ben Zhou | Co-founder and CEO at Bybit
Dan Held | Growth Lead at Kraken

Panel: Crypto Adoption in Africa


Moderator: Farzam Ehsani | CEO and Co-Founder of VALR.com

Brenton Naicker | Business Development Manager, Binance (South Africa)
Marius Reitz | General Manager for Africa at Luno
Roselyne Wanjiru | Director of Growth and User Acquisitions at Pesabase
Buchi Okoro | Co-founder and CEO of Quidax
Marvin Coleby | Co-founder and CEO of Raise and Co-Trustee at the African Digital Asset Foundation

Panel: Ethereum 2.0 and Decentralised Finance (DeFi)


Moderator: Tony Obiajuru | Head of Programs and Broadcast Journalist at CryptoTvplus

Felix Macharia | CEO of Kotani Pay
Ehis Omozusi | Conflux Network Africa Regional Marketing and Business Lead
Richard de Sousa | CEO and Founder of AltCoinTrader
Gavin Marshall | Founder of Hippytech

Panel: Institutional Adoption of Decentralised Finance (DeFi)


Moderator: Kaj Burchadi | Managing Director at BCG Platinion

Mariana Gospodinova | General Manager of European Operations for Crypto.com
Deniz Omer | Head of Ecosystem Growth at Kyber Network
Johann Bornman | Product Lead Metamask Institutional at ConsenSys
Ajit Tripathi | Head of Institutional Business at Aave

Panel: CBDCs for a Regional Payment System


Moderator: Ciaran Adrian Ryan | Editor at Moneyweb Crypto

Adeshina Adewumi | CEO and Co-founder for One Kiosk Africa
Bishnen Kumalo | Executive Head of SA Modernisation at BankservAfrica
Michele Chivunga N | Founder/CEO and Investor at Global Policy House, Senior Advisor to Government of Bermuda, African Union, WUSME and Fintech4Good
Monica Singer | South Africa Lead for ConsenSys

Panel: The Regulatory Landscape of Blockchain and Digital Assets


Moderator: Muthoni Njogu | Managing Partner Njogu and Associates Advocates and Head of Telecommunication, Media and Technology, General Legal Counsel for Blockchain Association of Kenya

Brandom Topham | Divisional Executive for Enforcement at the Financial Sector Conduct Authority
Marc Taverner | Executive Director of INATBA
David Zacks | Chief Compliance Officer at bitFlyer USA
Ivars Zukovskis | Chief Compliance Officer for bitFlyer Europe

SPEAKERS

Our global speakers are well-known thought leaders and experts in the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology space.

John Lombela (MC) Founder and CEO at Axalio and Founder of Cryptovecs Capital

John is the Founder and CEO at Axalio, Founder of Cryptovecs Capital

Mariana Gospodinova (KEYNOTE SPEAKER) General Manager of European Operations for Crypto.com

Mariana Gospodinova is the General Manager of European Operations for Crypto.com, where

Charles Hoskinson

Charles Hoskinson (Keynote Speaker) Founder and CEO of IOHK (Input Output Hong Kong) and Founder of Cardano

Charles Hoskinson is a Colorado-based technology entrepreneur and mathematician. He attended Metropolitan

Peter McCormack

Peter McCormack Host of What Bitcoin Did podcast, Defiance podcast and Defiance TV

Peter McCormack is a Journalist at Defance and What Bitcoin Did.

Henri Arslanian (Keynote Speaker) Global Crypto Leader at PwC

Henri Arslanian is the PwC Global Crypto Leader, the former Chairman of

Denelle Dixon (Keynote Speaker) CEO & Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation

Denelle Dixon is the CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development

Stani Kulechov (Keynote Speaker) Founder and CEO of Aave

Stani Kulechov is the Founder and CEO of Aave, an open source

Ben Zhou (Keynote Speaker) Co-founder and CEO at Bybit

Ben Zhou is Bybit’s Co-founder and CEO. He spearheaded the cryptocurrency derivatives

Yele Bademosi (Keynote Speaker) CEO at Bundle Africa and Founding Partner at Microtraction

Yele Bademosi is CEO and Co-Founder of Bundle, the Africa-focused social payments

Sam Bankman-Fried (Keynote Speaker) CEO and Founder at FTX

Before founding Alameda and then FTX, Sam was a trader on Jane

Sandra Ro (Keynote Speaker) CEO at the Global Blockchain Business Council

Sandra is a proponent for ‘human-centric tech’. She left a career in

Michael Awori Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer: Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB)

Michael Awori is a seasoned banker with over 20 years of experience

Dominik Ernst CEO at Acria Network

Dominik Ernst is a well-known German developer, who has been coding for

Atul Patel Co-founder of dltedgers

Atul is Co-founder of #dltedgers, one of Asia’s leading fintechs in trade

Dan Held Growth Lead at Kraken

Dan is currently leading Growth at Kraken. His former company Interchange, a

Alex Mashinsky

Alex Mashinsky Founder and CEO of the Celsius Network

Alex is one of the inventors of VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)

Peter Tylczynski Senior VP at MineBest

Throughout his career, Peter held top jobs at a string of companies,

Dr. Steven Waterhouse

Dr. Steven Waterhouse CEO and Co-founder of Orchid

Dr. Steven Waterhouse is the CEO and Co-founder of Orchid. Waterhouse previously

Teana Baker-Taylor General Manager of the U.K. for Crypto.com

Teana is the General Manager of the U.K. for Crypto.com, who with

Rocelo Lopes CEO and Founder of Stratum Blockchain Group

Rocelo has a passion for inclusion and financial freedom while maintaining a

Muthoni Njogu Managing Partner Njogu & Associates Advocates and Head of Telecommunication, Media and Technology, General Legal Counsel for Blockchain Association of Kenya

Ms Njogu brings in a wealth of experience from the Public and

David Zacks

David Zacks Chief Compliance Officer at Bitflyer USA

David Zacks is the Chief Compliance Officer at Bitflyer USA. In this

Deniz Omer Head of Ecosystem Growth at Kyber Network

Marvin H. Coleby

Marvin Coleby Co-founder and CEO of Raise and Co-Trustee at the African Digital Asset Foundation

Marvin Coleby is the CEO and founder of Raise (getraise.io), a Bahamian and

Alex McDougall Co-founder of Bicameral Ventures

Investor, author, speaker and hater of zero-sum games. Former investment banker and

Buchi Okoro Co-founder and CEO of Quidax

Prior to Quidax, had worked across several business sectors including; real estate,

Roselyne Wanjiru Director of Growth and User Acquisitions at Pesabase

Roselyne is an economist, youth mentor and blockchain strategy consultant. She is

Marc Taverner Executive Director of INATBA

Marc Taverner is the Executive Director of the International Association for Trusted

Farzam Ehsani CEO and Co-Founder of VALR.com

Farzam is the CEO and Co-Founder of VALR.com, a platform that bridges

Richard Ells CEO and Founder of Electroneum and AnyTask

Richard Ells balances nearly three decades of successful entrepreneurship that include still

Ehis Omozusi Conflux Network Africa Regional Marketing and Business Lead

Ehis is Conflux Network Africa Regional Marketing and Business Lead. He has

Herco Steyn Senior Fintech Specialist in the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) Fintech Unit

Herco is a Senior Fintech Specialist in the South African Reserve Bank’s

Brenton Naicker Business Development Manager, Binance (South Africa)

Mr Naicker is an accomplished fintech professional with vast experience and qualification

Felix Macharia CEO of Kotani Pay

Yael Tamar Co-CEO and Co-founder of SolidBlock

Yael Tamar is the Co-CEO and Co-founder of SolidBlock, a new fundraising

Adeshina Adewumi CEO and Co-founder for One Kiosk Africa

Adeshina is the CEO and Co-founder for One Kiosk Africa; an online

Nathaniel Luz Lead at Dash Nigeria

Nathaniel Luz is an award winning libertarian, lead for Dash Nigeria and

Ajit Tripathi Head of Institutional Business at Aave

Ajit currently leads institutional growth and strategy for Aave, the world’s leading

Richard de Sousa Founder and CEO of AltCoinTrader

AltCoinTrader was developed by experienced computer programmer Richard de Sousa in 2014.

Ciaran Adrian Ryan Editor at Moneyweb Crypto

Ciaran has written for most financial publications in SA. He spent time

David Gitonga

David Gitonga Managing Editor at BitcoinKE

David is the Director and Founder at BitcoinKE. He is a blockchain

Tony Obiajuru Head of Programs and Broadcast Journalist at CryptoTvplus

Tony Obiajuru is Nigeria’s foremost blockchain/cryptocurrency Event Host and Media Practitioner with

Pretty Kubyane COO and Co-Founder of Coronet Blockchain

My management consulting focus across nearly a decade ushered me into an

IVARS ZUKOVSKIS

Ivars Zukovskis Chief Compliance Officer for bitFlyer Europe

A highly professional and experienced compliance leader in C-level capacity, a public

John Velissarios Accenture Global Managing Director - Blockchain and Multiparty Systems - Digital Assets, Custody and CBDC Lead

John is the Global Managing Director, Blockchain Technology Lead at Accenture, based in

monica singer

Monica Singer South Africa Lead for ConsenSys

Monica Singer is a Chartered Accountant (SA), Fellow of the Institute of

Johann Bornman Product Lead Metamask Institutional at ConsenSys

He is a Fintech founder and previous Director of Product for a

Brandon Topham Divisional Executive for Enforcement at the Financial Sector Conduct Authority

Mr Brandon Topham is the Divisional Executive for Enforcement at the Financial

Kaj Burchardi Managing Director at BCG Platinion

Kaj Burchardi is a Managing Director with BCG Platinion with more than

Dr. Oriol Caudevilla Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at ScallopX

LL.B., MBA, PhD. FinTech Advisor, Management & Strategy Consultant and Researcher (Digital

CBDC MASTERCLASS SPEAKERS

Jim Kyung-Soo Liew, Ph.D. Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins Business School and Co-Founder of SoKat.co

Dr. Jim Kyung-Soo Liew is an Associate Professor of Finance at Johns

Marc Taverner Executive Director of INATBA

Marc Taverner is the Executive Director of the International Association for Trusted

Taha Sajid Chief Blockchain Consultant with Limar Global Tech

Taha Sajid is a Chief Blockchain Consultant with Limar Global Tech, Founder

Vinoy Kumar Global Head of Digital Assets at Standard Chartered Bank

Moerieda Mackay Founder and CEO at Stride Consultancy Services & Consensus Forum Member of South African National Blockchain Alliance (SANBA)

Moerieda Mackay is the Founder and CEO at Stride Consultancy Services &

Michelle Chivunga Nsanzumuco

Michelle Chivunga N Founder/CEO & Investor at Global Policy House, Senior Advisor to Government of Bermuda, African Union, WUSME & Fintech4Good

A digital transformation/ blockchain professional and investor with major access to an

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