by Irakli Zviadadze
From July 15 to 22, the team behind Pillar will be hosting an unconference in Vilnius, Lithuania — inviting any and all blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiasts and entrepreneurs alike to join them on the one-week long journey.
Aside from being an absolutely beautiful city filled with gorgeous cathedrals and churches, paved with charming cobblestone streets, Lithuania has an unexpectedly strong tech side to it that is rapidly expanding.
In recent years Vilnius has become something like the de facto center for all things cryptocurrency and blockchain in the Baltics and Eastern Europe.
Following the creation of the Blockchain Centre in Vilnius, Lithuania managed to transform itself into Europe’s gateway to the rest of the cryptocurrency world. What started as an underdog, Lithuania is now slowly making its way up as one of the most crypto-friendly countries in Europe.
From all the blockchain startups and projects, they are definitely setting themselves up as the next big country for all things cryptocurrency. And if this wasn’t enough, Lithuania also wants to become the first country to enable companies to be registered and managed using Blockchain or “Virtual Limited Liability Companies”.
In 2017 alone, they logged up to 35 ICOs, ranging from $3M to $151M, raising a total of $500 million in value altogether. It seems that the Baltic states, Lithuania in particular, have gained a liking to these technologies quicker than most, and are not letting go any time soon.
This is because of a lot of reasons.
Crypto-friendly regulation, ease of doing business and the speed at which a license can be obtained play a huge part in attracting blockchain startups to Lithuania. Though, more notably, the infrastructure for these businesses’ success often depends on:
- Low taxes and little regulations when it comes to cryptocurrency.
- Extensive government support and incentives.
- Vibrant, innovative and talented ecosystem and a high pool of motivated talent.
All of which are available in Lithuania.
The above is only one of the many reasons the Pillar unconference is being hosted at the Grand Resort Lithuania in Vilnius.
But first, what exactly is an “unconference”?
What it is, is something like a crowd-sourced event with the stage open for organizations and individuals to speak, host meetups, workshops, discussions, hackathons, and more. All this, without cost.
The event will take place from July 15 to 22, where hundreds of entrepreneurs, business leaders, and blockchain pioneers will take over the Vilnius Grand Resort for a week-long Pillar Unconference.
Since the conference is crowdsourced, this means the event is completely yours to shape.
It will be totally flexible, where a meeting each morning will determine what the rest of the day will look like.
In the words of the CEO of Pillar: “The first year was about building a platform, the second year is about creating an ecosystem. Join the unconference to build your business and transform your community.”
At the end of the day, the unconference was created to bring together those utilizing decentralized technology to learn from one another, create partnership opportunities and network in a city that has the potential to become the next big hub of blockchain innovation in Europe.
Essentially, Pillar is inviting thousands of blockchain enthusiasts from all over the world to swarm the Vilnius Grand Resort.
Pillar has already booked the main 1,000 person conference hall, 10 of the breakout rooms, and several lounge areas — all of which are free for the attendees to use as they wish. Other recording equipment will be provided if requested and of course, the whole thing will be live streamed online.
Though the event will evolve and shape in real time, here’s a list of the many things you can expect there:
- All things Blockchain: crash courses, case studies, speeches, discussions and more.
- Business: the economic side of things, a week-long token camp course, workshops, and exercises.
- Tons of networking opportunities for entrepreneurs and developers.
- Learn more about Pillar — meet the team behind the event and get the latest insights into the future of the Pillar Wallet and the Personal Data Locker.
More specifically, here’s a list of some of the people you should keep an eye out for.
“I made a rule for myself that I wouldn’t do anything for money that I wasn’t willing to do for free, and that kept me focused really entirely on the hardcore world-changing stuff. And when I could get paid for it, I got paid for it; and when I couldn’t get paid for it, I didn’t.”
The project manager of the original Ethereum team, CEO of Mattereum, and founder at hexayurt.capital, Vinay has over 10 years worth of experience in coding and is a firm believer that Ethereum is the future.
His first project, Hexayurt Capital is a fund designed to invest in the Internet of Agreements (meaning, a world enabled by smart contracts). And through Mattereum, he is introducing cryptocurrency to the real world by handling the legal side of things. By connecting digital assets on the blockchain with goods and services in the real, material, world, he is bringing the world one step closer to adopting cryptocurrency.
At the unconference, he will be hosting talks about ‘Internet of Agreements’ and ‘Blockchain and the Law.’ At 46 years of age, Vinay has seen and experienced a lot of change from the foundation of WWW to the tech we see today.
He definitely has a lot of experience under his belt and truly knows his stuff.
Whether it be mere technology enthusiasts, or those interested in Blockchain and the technical side of things (from the tech to the law side of things), his talks will have a little bit of everything.
“We don’t like to admit failures, but it is our scars that give us a story. I still don’t know how to define success, other than doing more each day.”
With a focus in technology and financial services, Lex Sokolin believes that technology is a tool that exists to make people’s lives better. He excels at all things fintech, blockchain, cryptocurrency, robo-advisors, artificial intelligence, chatbots and so much more.
An entrepreneur at heart, Lex has quite a lengthy list of projects he has founded.
Currently, he directs Fintech Strategy at Autonomous, a specialized research firm for investors in financial companies — focusing on global banks and capital markets. But before that, he founded AdvisorEngine, a management platform that helps financial advisors drive growth and scale up effectively. And finally, he is also the founder of NestEgg, a wealth management platform pioneered by robo-advisor technology, which was eventually acquired by Vanare.
A thought leader, an entrepreneur at heart, and “40 under 40” according to InvestmentNews, Lex Sokolin will be leading masterclasses on crypto capital markets, ICOs, and token investing.
“The Pillar project will start as an open-source digital wallet to hold all your assets — your health records, financial records, money, ownership of things, resume, and much more. All the ownership will be on various blockchains, and you’ll have the password, replacing all the accounts you have today. Then, the personal assistant will help you find what you’re looking for and interact with many digital services automatically. As you travel, buy things, eat, consume media, use services — your personal data locker will pay your way as you go, without having to log into hundreds of apps.”
Pillar, the team behind the whole unconference, is working on a cryptocurrency wallet designed to decentralize our digital lives.
The wallet is capable of all the essentials of a cryptocurrency wallet and more: from making transactions as easy as sending a text message, to chatting with end-to-end encryption and safely participating in approved ICOs.
But the list doesn’t end there.
Pillar has big plans for the wallet. Essentially, they want to give people a better, and an overall safer digital experience.
To do this, they’re planning to create a wallet that will handle your personal data, for you. Aside from that, Pillar is also helping other companies, institutions and communities, define how they will be co-creating their tracks during the unconference for a truly decentralized event.
David will be personally leading a four-day Token Camp on tokenomics and daily workshops on business agility.
The Token Camp is a week-long course that will cover everything you need to know about how to conduct a successful ICO, from tokenomics, whitepapers, governance and more.
And business agility, meanwhile, includes David’s workshops and exercises on startups, agile culture, self-management, decision making and more.
Amongst all of the above, you should also expect other heavyweights from the crypto world, interesting speeches and discussions, and tons of other entrepreneurs and developers among the Pillar community.
Whatever happens, know that there will also be a lot of opportunities for networking, no matter the industry you’re in — there’ll be something for everyone.
All in all, whether you’re a cryptocurrency or a blockchain enthusiast, or into something completely different (tech, law, etc.), rest assured, the Pillar unconference will have something relevant for you, one way or another.
From July 15 to 22, the Vilnius Grand Resort hotel will transform into a cryptocurrency haven, where the crowdsourced unconference will take place.
Though the week-long event will be mostly flexible, you can read the rough outline of the order here.
Probably the best thing about the event though is that it’s completely free of charge.
As long as you pay for the flight and lodging, you’ll be essentially receiving priceless education and content from the top minds in the industry for free. You can attend all of the discussions and workshops, network, meet many like-minded without having to pay for anything during the course of the event.
If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, you should know that only for a limited time, until July 15, there is a special contest going on that allows you to fly out for free to the unconference.
For every friend you refer to the event and they sign up successfully (completed the booking, paid for the room), you’ll receive $50 for each. And an additional $50 for each person on top of that.
The amount can be used any way you want, perhaps it could help with the flight cost, or cover the room expenses. That is entirely up to you.
You can read more about the contest, including all the details and how to redeem your prize here.
Sign up for the free booking for the unconference now!
Irakli Zviadadze is a content/copy/ghost-writer with an almost unpronounceable name. Digital marketing/blockchain enthusiast. Only somewhat addicted to coffee.