Decentralized Davos and decentralists transform Davos into a decentralized event

“Upper classes can’t, lower classes don’t want to. Only when the ’lower classes’ do not want to live in the old way and when the ’upper classes’ cannot carry on in the old way – only then can revolution triumph.”

V.I. Lenin

A 100 years ago, there was a Revolution throughout the World/in Europe/in Russia. Or as modern innovators would say: there was a Transformation; a change of a regime, management and consciousness.

A 100 years ago, revolutionaries of that time met in apartments and at special events in Switzerland, where they discussed a new Life in new forms of its manifestation. Their eyes sparkled, and those sparks could burst to flames. The things they were uncomfortable with were inequality, complete political lawlessness, police and legal mayhem.

They wanted issues and problems to be solved collectively, by everyone, by agreement, and for everyone to be involved in a new society of equality that would allow even “a lady-cook to administer the affairs of the state (states)”. As today’s MVP starters would say, they conducted pre-ICO, a kind of PCO of that time (Private Coin Offering).

In order to make everything work as it should, they needed one more thing: the appropriate technological solutions. Like all pioneers, the first movers had to die for the glory of future generations (who are often the second movers). After all, the results have been achieved by those who follow the pioneers’ traces, walk over their bodies, learn from mistakes and have the latest technology in their hands. Google was not the first search engine and iTunes was not the first online music store.

That is the pioneers’ fate. 

100 years on. 

The same Switzerland. Davos. 

At the same time of the traditional annual meeting of the upper classes, in those years, other young people gathered, very similar to those pioneers. 

The upper classes cannot carry on in the old way. Problems are everywhere and there are no solutions. 

A year ago there was a postulate that Capitalism was dead and technology would save all and everyone. 

This year they say that in general everything is bad and that technology will save no one. Technology is evil, while gender equality and humanism are the world’s bases. 

“It is not enough for a successful revolution that the lower classes do not want to live as before. Another requirement is that upper classes cannot manage and run things as they did before.”  

On day one of Davos, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi listed his three most significant challenges to civilization, as we know it: climate change, terrorism and the backlash against globalization. He also spoke about the opportunities and dangers of technology:

“Many societies and countries are becoming more and more focused on themselves. It feels like the opposite of globalization is happening. Everyone is talking about an interconnected world, but we will have to accept the fact that globalization is slowly losing its lustre.”

(Narendra Modi PM India) 

Now look at what technology leaders, who grew up in their place and are semi-pioneers in part, answer to politicians:

“We are very lucky because the world is in a big transformation because of technology. New technology will create interesting careers and a lot of successful people, but at the same time every new technology will create social problems.”

“Artificial intelligence is seen as a threat to human beings.
I think AI should support human beings. Technology should always do something that enables people and not disable them. The computer will always be smarter than you are; they never forget and they never get angry. But computers can never be as wise as humans. The AI and robots are going to make a lot of jobs obsolete, because in the future they will be done by machines. Service industries offer hope in this regard but they must be unique.”

“If we do not align together, human beings are going to fight each other, because each technology revolution makes the world unbalanced.” (Jack Ma, Alibaba)

Google chief, Sundar Pichai, repeated a line he first delivered at an MSNBC event last week, about how artificial intelligence is more important to humanity than fire or electricity. He said that despite concerns about AI, the potential benefits cannot and should not be ignored. “The risks are substantial, but the way you solve it is by looking ahead and thinking about AI safety from day one, and by being transparent and open about how we pursue it,” he said. “We must ensure the Fourth Industrial Revolution unfolds with humanity at its centre, not technology.”

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, even criticized crypto-currency at the forum in Davos as a landmark phenomenon. When the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, talked about the damage to the world energetics from the crypto-currency mining, Governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz, compared bitcoin with gambling, and George Soros claimed that crypto-currencies are a nest for dictators. These commentaries show how large-scale the use of blockchain has become, if decisions on its basis attract the attention of such major figures in the financial world. 

With over 400 sessions on the official programme in Davos, many contradicting things are said. The upper classes do not know what to do next, or they know, but they are unable to declare such knowledge.

The lower classes do not want to. 187 blockchain events were held, when at the same time double that amount of ‘upper class’ events was being held in Davos during the World Economic Forum.

Although the statistics of the ‘upper class’ are impressive, as you can see below, new revolutionaries do not pay attention to what they are saying. They are probably following the famous paraphrasing of Che Guevara: “Give me 30 likeminded people and I will make a revolution in any country”.

  • 6 million individual unique visitors to the World Economic Forum’s website during the week of Davos
  • The world’s most influential people shared World Economic Forum content on their social media channels – including French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and US President Donald Trump. The combined potential reach of all the accounts who shared Forum content is over 1 billion.
  • Over 150 Davos participants answered a direct question from the global public, posted to Instagram using the #sharedfutures tag
  • During the week of Davos, more than 33 million minutes of Forum-produced video were watched by members of the global public, over 50 million individual video streams.
  • 21 million views of over 200 sessions streamed from the WEF website, on Facebook, and Twitter in 6 languages
  • 225.000 stories about the World Economic Forum appeared in the global press during January 2018, over 25% more than 2017

At the same time one of the leaders of decentralized technologies, the Consensys company, declared that they are ready to Transform not a country or a continent, but the whole world. 

This was written in Davos in their Pavilion and online media:


“ConsenSys is a global formation of technologists and entrepreneurs building the infrastructure, applications, and practices on the Ethereum platform that enable a decentralized world.”

Now take a look at what they and their colleagues discussed in Davos, while the ‘upper classes’ lamented that this was impossible and there were a lot of dangers around.

The post-pioneers were methodically discussing how to save the World. And the more the ‘upper classes’ lamented, the more clearly the new future leaders found solutions, while sitting in the Pavilion:

  • Blockchain Beyond Earth
  • The Future of Government
  • The Future of Education
  • The Future of Infrastructure and Transportation
  • Simply Vital Health 
  • Blockchain for Climate Action and Climate Finance

‘We, the People of Blockchain’. Yes, they say that they are a new nation/race: they are CryptoNation. Let me introduce a new term that is more mainstream than a capitalist or a socialist: ‘decentralist’.

At the same time, many relevant issues were discussed in the large and modern Blockchain Central Pavilion, hosted by the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC):

  • Blockchain for Governments and Regulators 
  • Blockchain in the Developing World 
  • Blockchain for the Environment 
  • Identity (Friday)

If most people think that a new blockchain-based industry is just crypto-currency, I think that the issues discussed at this parallel Davos by the leaders of the crypto industry speak for themselves. And if most people still think that the leaders are just boys, students, speculating in the market of crypto-currencies, then not only relevant issues that they discussed point the seriousness of these young revolutionaries, but also those guests and partners who were with them all the time to learn new things. 



Participants in GBBC events include, but are not limited to:

  • The Hon. Carl Bildt — Former Prime Minister of Sweden
  • Peteris Zilgalvis — EU Commission
  • Matthew Harrington — Edelman
  • Alex Petland — MIT Media Lab
  • Yorke Rhodes — Microsoft
  • Dr. Wang Wei — China Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Joel Tepner — Sullivan & Worcester
  • Valery Vavilov — The Bitfury Group
  • The Hon. Eva Kaili — EU Parliament
  • The Hon. Taavi Rovias — Former Prime Minister of Estonia
  • The Hon. Laurent Lamothe — Former Prime Minister of Haiti
  • Jamie Smith — GBBC/Bitfury/WEF Blockchain Council Co-Chair
  • Sandra Ro — UWINCorp
  • Elizabeth Rosiello — BitPesa
  • Roya Mahboob — Digital Citizen Fund
  • Jennifer Zhu Scott — Radian Blockchain Ventures
  • Yew Phang Kiat — Chong Sing Holdings Fintech
  • Brian Behlendorf — HyperLedger
  • Daniel Gasteiger — Procivis
  • Xu Ming Xing — OKlink
  • Albert Isola — Minister of Commerce, Govt. of Gibraltar
  • Tomicah Tillemann — New America/GBBC
  • Jim Newsome — Former Chairman of the CFTC
  • Meltem Demirors — Digital Currency Group
  • Julius Akinyemi — MIT/UWINCorp
  • Alan Cohn — Steptoe/Georgetown Law
  • Sebastian Vos — Covington
  • Mariana Dahan — World Identity Network
  • Dakota Gruener — ID2020
  • Jemma Green — Power Ledger/City of Perth
  • Leanne Kempe — Everledger/WEF
  • Michael Casey — MIT/CoinDesk
  • Ruth Wandhofer — Citi
  • Harris Fricker — GMP
  • Dante Disparte — Risk Cooperative
  • Bill Tai — ACTAI Global
  • Nick Cowan — Gibraltar Stock Exchange
  • Saruul Ganbataar — Bogd Bank
  • Guo Yuhang — Dianrong
  • Deng Di — Beijing Tai Cloud
  • Catrina Luchsinger Gaehwiler — FRORIEP
  • Heinrich Zetlmeyer — Lykke Corp

How very true the Forbes magazine titled their final article published after the Forum in Davos:

“One Thing Is Clear From Davos, Blockchain Is Out Of Beta”.

I would say more, but I think the genie is out of the bottle. After all, revolutions may be very quiet. 

© Alexander Shulgin




The Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) brings together founding members from over 30 countries to advance global understanding of Blockchain technology. Conceived on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island by a group of innovators, the GBBC launched formally during the 2017 Annual World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The organization is dedicated to furthering adoption of Blockchain technology through engaging and educating business leaders, regulators, and global change makers on how to harness this groundbreaking tool to create more secure, equitable, and functional societies.

Just as the internet enabled the frictionless peer-to-peer exchange of information, blockchain has the potential to usher in the frictionless exchange of assets. Blockchain technology is the most secure way to transfer digitized assets and information peer-to-peer or organization-to-organization through the use of distributed ledgers. The adoption of Blockchain technology will enable businesses, governments, and organizations to ensure data integrity and create records, transactions, and systems that are highly secure, transparent and significantly more resilient against manipulation and corruption. The GBBC helps maximize the benefits of Blockchain for industry and society.

The GBBC educates business leaders on blockchain technology, provides a forum for businesses and technology experts to collaborate on blockchain-based business solutions, supports businesses interested in implementing blockchain technology in their operations and advocates for the global adoption of this transformative technology.

In providing a global survey of blockchain projects and regulation, the GBBC is establishing a baseline to evaluate future policy actions, and a framework for assessing progress in what will be a generational effort to deploy blockchain solutions. As an organization, we look forward to working with partners around the world to share the benefits of this powerful new technology and to replenish the reservoir of trust that irrigates our collective endeavors.

“Education is a core component of our mission, as education leads to meaningful action in every space including the regulatory and corporate world,” said Jamie Smith, CEO of the Global Blockchain Business Council. “We are so grateful to our partners for sharing their incredible expertise and insight in this annual report.”