As we approach the highly anticipated BlockShow Europe 2017, Cointelegraph has met with Charlie Shrem, one of the twenty big-name speakers of the event, to discuss the hottest Blockchain news.

However, one eyewitness is better than two hear-so's, as they say, and therefore we’d recommend to grab your conference tickets already now before they get pricey and/or sold out.

But for now, let’s do a recap of the Blockchain-related stories that have surprised us the most in the last few weeks.

A very confusing story of one “Blockchain-inspired” consortium

After $59 mln research R3 Consortium, which was originally designed to leverage Blockchain technology in a private, centralized environment for harmonizing global banking, eventually found out that they do not need it.

Shrem comments:

“To me, I do not understand the difference between the private Blockchain and Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet. I mean do understand the differences, but the whole point of a Blockchain is to have as many people as you can to better working on the Blockchain to make sure that someone can’t change the past, or double spend or things like that. If all of the minors are being controlled by one company or two companies, then what’s the point of having a Blockchain? If they can reverse whatever they want. The immutability of a blockchain is the most important thing, without that there is no point in having a Blockchain. They looked at it, they figured they can’t work with it, and they moved on.”

Hmm, banks hate Bitcoin but spread Blockchain love?

Since the rise in popularity of Bitcoin, restrictions within some states targeting the cryptocurrency has been a recurrent event. For some reason, the banking system does not always take kindly to Bitcoin. Do they hate Bitcoin?

Shrem says:

“Banks just don’t want to admit that Bitcoin is amazing. They don’t hate it, they just don’t take it seriously. They are not afraid of it. They just don’t think that Bitcoin is something to even care about. And I don’t think we could make them take it seriously, I think that Bitcoin is already serious. And over time as banks see losing customers and people start using Bitcoin financial system, then they will say that Hey, we actually need to take it seriously. It took 30 years for people to take the internet seriously. So people thought that the internet was a joke for how many years? I think it’s the same thing.”

In the footsteps of the Internet

The Blockchain is often touted as the next Internet. A technology so important that it will revolutionize the way we live our lives. It is true that we are only scratching the surface trying to explore all the potential of Blockchain, but there is no lack of interest in it amongst big technology companies, financial institutions, governments and members of the public.

What will it take for Blockchain to get to the level of Internet? Can they be compared at all? What steps does it need to assume a similar significance?

Shrem says:

“As people just start using it, it will only take time. And I think that over time it’s going to be successful. It may take many years but it will be good.”

Blockchain-based is the new sexy

While Bitcoin, and particularly Blockchain, awareness and interest are on the rise, in the global scheme of things these are still relatively novel and new technologies. Bitcoin averages about 300,000 transactions per day at present, compared to Visa’s approximately 150 mln daily, indicating an adoption gulf before digital currency reaches wide use as the money of the future.

As such, marketing and educational efforts are critical to the advancement of digital currency. What are the ways to educate the general public? Is word of mouth the best marketing strategy?

Shrem shares his opinion:

“We can educate the public by continuing to show that Bitcoin is amazing and that it is here to stay. And as long as we do that, as long as we continue to grow and do all these things, it’s just going to do well. Whatever we do now, we also need to come to an agreement to make sure that the Blockchain can handle everything.”

Power to the people!

Until very recently, Blockchain has been mostly associated with Bitcoin – the digital currency built on top of it. Not trying to underestimate the importance of the latter, it is fair to say that Blockchain technology is much more than digital money. Backing e-government platforms with Blockchain can solve a number of issues that arise when dealing with public authorities nowadays. Citizens feel so disconnected from their governments and think the general level of state bureaucracy is unbelievable.

Therefore, digitization of state services in general and especially the integration of Blockchain in this sphere is an interesting process to follow. Should global governments be embracing Blockchain?

Shrem says:

“They definitely should. There is a lot of different applications for Bitcoin and Blockchain. You can look at social media, you can look at putting health records on Blockchain, elections on the Blockchain, there is all these things that you could do on the Blockchain.”

Estonia seems to be more open to embracing Blockchain. The level of digitization of the public sector in Estonia is much higher in comparison with the state of digitization in Western Europe. Why So?

“Places like Estonia have a lot of good developers, a lot of young people, they are hungry to do good work and to grow technology, whereas in the US, for instance, people are just not interested in changing the world.”

And remember that you have a unique opportunity to hear a lot more Blockchain stories, learn the latest trends in the industry and get a sneak peek into the era of massive Blockchain implementation - all in one day at BlockShow Europe 2017 in Munich on April 6. So, get your tickets now!