SEATTLE, WA and AUSTIN, TX – November 2, 2018 – DigitalTown (OTC:DGTW) – with its blockchain-based Platform as a Service (PaaS) technology that makes it easy for people to search, find and buy from local merchants as part of a Smart City ecosystem – reports successful participation in the highly acclaimed Texas Bitcoin Conference, which took place on October 27 and 28, 2018 in Austin.DigitalTown VP of Global Operations, Frank Robles, joined the conference’s Business Panel, which was moderated by Forbes journalist Rachel Wolfson who posed probing questions about the opportunities presented by blockchain and cryptocurrencies for businesses, including institutional investors, and society as a whole.
Frank Robles pointed out that there are two types of businesses that are benefiting from the blockchain. One is historic businesses such as Dun & Bradstreet with its blockchain-based oracle that customers can use to leverage existing data sets. Such use of blockchain technology helps to keep historic businesses relevant. The other is start-ups. Frank highlighted that businesses have the opportunity to be more successful by adopting the blockchain now that there is proof that both historic and start up enterprises are already being successful in the market by adopting blockchain technologies.
When asked about ICOs, Mr. Robles indicated that ICOs in the U.S. are a trailing factor, versus outside of the U.S. An advantage of ICOs is the ease with which activity can be tracked, unlike other fundraising methods, such as crowdfunding, claimed Frank, adding that we can expect to see a lot more ICO regulation coming out in the U.S. in 2019 as regulators define the parameters to moderate ICOs.
On the subject of Bitcoin, Mr. Robles stressed that Bitcoin is not equal to blockchain. He went on to explain that DigitalTown’s open APIs are designed to be used by independent developers allowing them to leverage the DigitalTown blockchain based platform as an SDK, allowing them to create rapidly their own applications building from the work and examples already provided by DigitalTown.
“At DigitalTown we used our APIs to create a digital tipping capability, whereby bands in Austin can receive tips digitally. People do not tend to carry much cash anymore. Some musicians are making more tips than ever before thanks to our API. You could say that blockchain has improved their lives,” Mr. Robles told the conference audience.
Delving deeper into the potential of blockchain to improve people’s lives, Mr. Robles cited DigitalTown’s recent success at the Austin Mayor’s Blockchain Challenge, where participants had to demonstrate whether blockchain was the right solution for Austin’s homeless population.
“There are two huge opportunities for blockchain; digital identity, and financial inclusion. A small team from DigitalTown created a working solution in a weekend whereby a homeless person could receive and pay money via a QR Code, to which his or her identity could also be attached. These are practical use cases of blockchain in action, use cases that actually change people’s lives. We believe in using blockchain to make a difference,” said Frank.
Another area of huge potential for business use cases using blockchain lie in deeds, titles and attestation. “Blockchain can speed up and render transparent the transfer of deeds, titles and attestation. This can impact every asset we trade, from cars to homes,” said Mr. Robles.
On the subject of security, Mr. Robles cautioned against considering security as an afterthought. According to Frank, too many businesses rush into creating their blockchain-based platform and consider security too late. “With blockchain it is possible to secure everything. On a public chain, you must secure writes and not reads, but on a private chain you must secure both writes and reads,” he advised.
Talking about the future of blockchain, Mr. Robles said that everyone will be affected by the blockchain one way or another. “Blockchain is the next evolution of communication and data protection. We may not even be aware, but we will all be impacted,” he said.
“Education plays a vital role in the adoption of this exciting and emerging technology. Here at DigitalTown, we play a very active role in helping to educate different audiences about the potential benefits of blockchain. Of course, not everyone needs to know the nitty gritty detail of how blockchain works. Indeed, many people are put off when blockchain and cryptocurrencies are mentioned. With education, this will begin to change and we will see more blockchain-based technologies being adopted. Many of our customers – businesses and consumers – have no idea that they are using a blockchain-based platform. They just know that the platform is improving their lives in some way,” Mr. Robles added.
“I would like to thank the Texas Bitcoin Conference for the opportunity to participate in the Business Panel. My thanks also go to Rachel Wolfson for moderating the panel so well, and to my fellow panellists for their valuable contribution to a most stimulating discussion,” concluded Frank.
The DigitalTown blockchain-based platform makes it easy and convenient for cities to get online without investing in expensive custom systems. With DigitalTown, merchants are eligible for a free online storefront and receive business tools that allow them to build relationships with their customers. Payment processing fees and commission rates are some of the lowest available today. Everyone receives a free SmartWallet for carrying out transactions. The DigitalTown mobile App grants users the ability to manage their digital identity, pay participating merchants and send funds to other SmartWallet holders.
The Texas Bitcoin Conference Business Panel 2018 is available to view on YouTube
DigitalTown, Inc. (DGTW) DigitalTown operates at the intersection of FinTech, Smart Cities and Blockchain by providing a Platform as a Service (PaaS) that places people at the heart of Smart Cities.
We leverage Blockchain to harness the real power of a secure distributed internet in order to deliver a localized commerce platform capable of transacting in a multi-currency, global world.
The DigitalTown ecosystem enables local communities to benefit from digital transformation in three key ways: free online storefront, SmartWallet and community engagement.
Karen Floyd, Chief Brand Officer +1 512 647 2777
Disclaimer – Forward Looking Statement
Safe Harbor Language: Any statements contained herein related to future events are forward-looking statements and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act 1995. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. DigitalTown, Inc. undertakes no obligation to update any such statements to reflect actual events.