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Blockchain technology focus of States-backed conference

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THE States is involved in organising Guernsey's first blockchain technology conference next month.

The free event on Thursday 2 March will explore how blockchain technology could change the world, as well as what it means for the future of local businesses.

Expert fintech speakers from different business sectors will be presenting the opportunities and risks for local businesses, as well as exploring where the technology is already having an impact in global financial services.

'We are tremendously proud to showcase the technical expertise and innovation of local companies who will discuss their exciting projects.

In addition we will hear from some start-up companies who are already using blockchain to challenge traditional ways of doing business,' said Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, the digital lead for the Committee for Economic Development.

The event is being backed by the States and corporate sponsors Carey Olsen, Northern Trust and Sure.

Organisers said it would particularly appeal to the trust, insurance and fund management sectors who want a better understanding of how blockchain technology could benefit their businesses.

Sure and Northern Trust already have initiatives involving blockchain under way and will be setting the scene for opportunities to use the technology.

'At Northern Trust, we believe that blockchain has the potential to drive major industry-wide improvements.

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'This is why we are taking a leadership role in a number of industry, regulatory and technology initiatives around the technology, ensuring we explore potential benefits for our clients and the industry,' said the firm's product manager Stuart Lawson.

'The blockchain technology conference is a great opportunity to discuss this rapidly evolving technology and provide a greater level of understanding around blockchain, its applicability and the value for local businesses in Guernsey.'

'Blockchain has the potential to transform business operating models in the long term and the insurance industry could be one of the principal beneficiaries. Sure is pleased to support this event as technology is our passion and we're always keen to help the business community understand the latest technological developments and how they could benefit local industries,' added Sure chief enterprise architect James McEwan.

Richard Field, counsel at Carey Olsen, said blockchain presented the island 'with a real opportunity to lead the field by continuing to innovate and adapt in this area', but would also bring new legal challenges.

'We hope this conference will help put Guernsey on the map for cutting-edge technological developments,' he added.

This free event will take place at St Pierre Park Hotel on Thursday 2 March. Eventbrite registration details are available on the Startup Guernsey and Digital Guernsey websites, www.startup.gg and www.digitalgreenhouse.gg.

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