Though it might seem like blockchain is dominating the conversations you have with tech enthusiasts around you, the game-changing online infrastructure is still in its infancy.
Companies like CoinStop and DigitalX are dominating the Australian scene at the moment, however the first true blockchain 'unicorn' is yet to reveal itself.
Martin Davidson, the global director and CEO of Melbourne's Blockchain Centre, is on a mission to discover that unicorn which has the potential to scale globally.
Founded in 2014, well before the Bitcoin boom in 2016 which brought blockchain tech into the mainstream discussion, Blockchain Centre has been incubating and developing some of the industry's biggest players.
The thriving Centre has more than 4,000 people in its ecosystem and has become home to over 20 blockchain startups. The group has even opened up international branches in Shanghai and Lithuania.
At the start of 2018, the Blockchain Centre welcomed 10 startups into its first ever incubator program, Block Engine.
During the incubator program, the startups are assisted in developing their business with the support of over 50 mentors, including heavy hitters like Leigh Travers (CEO of DigitalX), Jonathan Ross (founding director of CoinStop), and Asher Tan (CEO of Coinjar).
Business News Australia spoke to Martin Davidson about the future of blockchain tech, the importance of Blockchain Centre in the Australian ecosystem and the future for the group.
Why should businesses and the public be interested in the work being done by blockchain companies?
Given the ability of blockchain technology to take previously unmanageable amounts of data and extract key learnings and insights, it has the potential to be applied across the board and solve problems that have plagued companies, economies and science from an operational, monetary and research perspective.
What kind of results do the startups hope to get out of the incubator program?
Block Engine will operate as an all-inclusive ecosystem that provides everything needed for these startups and businesses to develop their ideas and work towards the application of blockchain technology. They will have access to all the resources they need to learn more about blockchain technology itself, as well as the opportunity to expand their network by meeting over 70 industry experts, fellow entrepreneurs and business mentors. Additionally, Blockchain Centre is a productive co-working space which will enable the cohort to share their experiences and growth journeys with their peers.
What are some highlights from the group of startups?
We're incredibly excited about how dynamic the group is, we have startups from a range of industries with different levels of blockchain knowledge and very unique ideas on how to use the technology. For example, some of the startups are planning to build their own blockchain and later develop solutions on top, others will use pre-existing blockchain solutions and implement them in their projects, and some are building companies from the scratch.
What else does the Centre have in the pipeline?
We're excited to have quite a bit happening in the near to midterm. We've just introduced a series of blockchain developer courses and will be launching a new ICO workshop, as well as a consulting service which will enable us to share the blockchain knowledge of a handful of experts with the companies using the Centre.
In autumn, we will also be launching the second incubator program, while the longer term will see the opening of new Blockchain Centres in other countries around the world.
What do you think the future of blockchain tech will look like?
As technology continues to evolve, we anticipate that blockchain's use will become as mainstream and popular as email. This is because it not only has potential to solve a lot of common challenges companies face, but it can also help decentralise the economy and make it far more transparent.
Business News Australia