From September 9th-13th, Alberta’s blockchain industry is hosting a landmark events week featuring internationally renowned speakers, ground-breaking announcements from our leading companies and the introduction of new blockchain organizations with global missions and mandates. It’s set to be an incredible series of events – and a way for us to showcase the diversifying technology sector here in Alberta. And I believe it’s exactly what our province needs.
Why does Alberta need a full week devoted to blockchain technologies?
Necessity has always driven invention forward in Alberta. Not only are we an entrepreneurial, forward-looking province that readily adopts new and beneficial technologies, but we’ve invented many of our own. Challenges faced by our oil & gas industry gave rise to new technologies and enhanced recovery methods that changed the face of energy across the world. Our difficult climate led to new innovations in agricultural production that increased yields and made farming more sustainable.
Traditional industries in Alberta are now facing more headwinds than ever, and I believe that our technology sector is the answer. Not as a replacement for the sectors like energy, forestry and agriculture that have sustained us – but as an enhancement, a way of optimizing these beleaguered industries while also diversifying and creating products with global applications and markets.
What can blockchain technologies do for Alberta’s economy?
Our oil industry is facing global challenges, increasing regulatory burdens, and needs to cut expenditures to stay competitive with production from lower cost (and less environmentally protective) regions. Blockchain applications like smart contracts have the ability to dramatically reduce transaction times, costs and disputes, and shared databases can streamline regulatory compliance and make Alberta’s high standards less expensive for our energy companies.
Agriculture, a driving force in the Albert economy, is struggling against international trade bans that are damaging our major exports like canola, beef and pork. Based around the accuracy of product certifications, trade issues are only likely to increase as more countries become increasingly rigorous and protective about the safety of their imports. The use of blockchain technologies can create an instantaneously verifiable provenance chain that will help stop disputes over the safety of our food exports.
We’re all faced with increasing bureaucracy, administrative burdens and navigating the complexities of regulations. The Alberta government’s Bill 4 is seeking to cut red tape by 1/3 for our businesses and make the process of accessing government services easier, and the use of blockchain applications for contracts, consumer identity and credentialing can form simplified, cost-and-time effective processes that will dramatically reduce the red tape behind our government and business systems.
What can blockchain technologies do for Alberta’s economy? Diversifying Alberta’s industries is another challenge we face, and we’re fighting to create long-term, sustainable growth in emerging sectors.
One of the strongest use cases for blockchain applications is in supply chain management – a thread that runs through virtually every industry, and the cornerstone of logistics and distribution, which shows promise as a major new industry in the province. Supporting the development of blockchains for supply chains will give all of Alberta’s industries a competitive advantage.
Financial services are another area that our province needs to support – access to capital is a critical issue for many companies. Blockchain-based digital marketplaces and assets have the power to help companies reach new markets, remove expensive intermediaries from transactions, and create innovative ways of accessing financing and investors.
Each one of these issues is a major problem for Alberta to overcome – and within all of them is a hidden opportunity to use the necessities we face as the driving force behind innovations that will not only benefit Alberta, but create new opportunities to export our expertise and technologies internationally. And the most amazing thing is – our technology industry is already rising to these challenges. We’re already home to blockchain companies creating world-leading applications in all of these areas, from energy and agriculture to fintech and supply chains.
And this is why I believe our province needs Alberta Blockchain Week
– to gain support, industry adoption and national and global recognition for the amazing work our blockchain industry is doing to move our economy forward. By working together, we can not only use this technology to address some of our biggest issues but lever our unique advantages to take an international leadership role that will create a stronger and more resilient Alberta.
On Thursday, September 12th, the Alberta Blockchain Consortium is hosting the Blockchain Summit, a full-day event that addresses each one of these crucial issues through expert speakers and panelists. I hope you’ll join us to learn more about the surprising potential blockchain technology holds for our major industries – and the role it will play in Alberta’s emerging digital future.