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This April, the Canadian Blockchain Consortium is holding an exciting two-day forum devoted to the technologies that are rapidly disrupting every part of our economy.

There’s something uniquely powerful about the impact of live events, and I couldn’t be more excited to be hosting the third annual Alberta Technology Symposium (ATS) this April. Every year, we’ve grown this event to showcase more disruptive Alberta technologies and innovative companies, and in 2023, I think the province has hit some major milestones that we’re looking forward to celebrating.

Over the past five years, we’re seen tremendous growth in Alberta’s technology ecosystem, and are well on our way to the predicted 20,000 new tech jobs predicted by just 2030, with venture investment and business expansion soaring to well above 2021 levels. Home-grown companies are completing massive capital raises, and our incubators are drawing global entrepreneurs to set up companies and realize their visions in the province.

We’re attracting global crowds with events like the Banff Venture Forum and the Alberta Innovates Inventure$ conference, which bring capital, new market opportunities, and a global profile for our innovation. At the Canadian Blockchain Consortium, we believe that our community has something unique to add to our technology promotion, and through the ATS, our goal is to demonstrate why blockchain is deeply meaningful to our province’s future.

Why is blockchain so diverse in its impacts? First, it’s a way of managing information that is traceable, trusted, and reduces the need for intermediaries – and these basic qualities have sparked an incredible range of solutions to business problems like making supply chains trackable, streamlining transactions such as real estate purchases, and helping organizations, including governments, bridge the data divides between siloed and inefficient departments.

Koleya Karringten

Why do we think this is the case? Because we believe that blockchain can be a catalyst for rapid growth across our entire tech ecosystem. With the latest market reports predicting a massive 68% compound annual growth rate between 2022 and 2026, it’s not just its own rocket-fueled sector, but a way of managing information and value that will benefit other industries like finance, supply chain management, healthcare, energy, and a range of other tech disciplines.

Why is blockchain so diverse in its impacts? First, it’s a way of managing information that is traceable, trusted, and reduces the need for intermediaries – and these basic qualities have sparked an incredible range of solutions to business problems like making supply chains trackable, streamlining transactions such as real estate purchases, and helping organizations, including governments, bridge the data divides between siloed and inefficient departments.

Second, blockchain finance adds in the representation of value, and in Alberta, we have a strong and growing community of cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitcoin miners, and companies using tokenization to   We explore some of these high-impact use cases at the ATS, including the convergence between blockchain and important parts of both our traditional and digital industries, such as how Bitcoin mining can support the growth of renewables and reduce emissions.

Or ways that the boundaries between traditional financial services and blockchain are quickly disappearing with the emergence of products like crypto exchange-traded funds and the rush by major payments companies to offer crypto services, and how our province can use smart regulation and support for innovation to help Alberta gain a competitive advantage in these new digital markets.

This convergence, or unification of previously unrelated technologies or processes, is the topic of our Alberta Innovates sponsored Blockchain Convergence Plan, which will be publicized for the first time at the ATS. The product of our team’s research and four Industry Forums that brought together leaders in Alberta government, business, and academia to brainstorm ideas about how blockchain could be important across our provincial economy.

The ATS also dives into other disruptive technologies where our companies are creating world-changing solutions. For several years, we’ve been ecosystem partners with Alberta IoT – one of the digital technologies with the most potential for leveraging blockchain – and we’re excited to feature content like how these two innovations can join forces to enable better ESG performance. We also highlight our accelerating opportunities in Machine Learning, energy cleantech, and strategies for effective cross-sector collaboration.

In addition to our content streams, the ATS features an evening gala and many networking opportunities over the course of the two days. At the Consortium, we consistently find in our post-event surveys that new connections are one of the highlights for our attendees. Great transformations result from people, technologies, and ideas colliding. Innovation can be sparked by a single application and business problem, but large-scale impact takes a community, and the ability to integrate and expand on a new solution in the broader economy.

Collaboration and strategy are big focal areas for the conference. We’re at an important point in our transition to a more digital and very different economy, and it’s essential that we develop solid plans for growing a competitive technology sector at all layers of influence. The ATS features numerous panel discussions on the role of municipal governments, non-profit ecosystems, and international connectivity in this acceleration and convergence. Fortunately, we already have a lot of success stories to take inspiration from.

We’ve seen examples in Alberta of how our cleantech industry, created to solve challenges in energy emissions, has brought the benefits of its solutions to other industries like agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation – a phenomenon I experienced when my company Absolute Combustion found a new market for our low-emissions combustion heaters in aviation with a partnership with the Edmonton International Airport.

In our blockchain ecosystem, we have examples of how technologies like cryptocurrency, NFTs, and the metaverse have created unexpected opportunities for non-profits to access a new generation of donors, like through our collaboration with the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, where we’re well on our way to meeting our goal of $100,000 in crypto donations to support their fantastic work.

This is where events like the ATS can have a massive effect. We want to bring communities like IoT, AI, quantum computing, and blockchain together with business leaders, students, and researchers, to help new ideas and opportunities emerge from unexpected connections. It’s going to be an incredible two days – and I hope you’ll join and be part of our disruption.

Reach out with questions, ideas, or interest in becoming one of our event sponsors: info@canadablockchain.ca