Press Release: Blockchain and its impact in sustainability, stable coins, privacy and other disruptive technologies to be discussed at Convergence, The Global Blockchain Congress 2019

The Bank of Japan, the World Trade Organization, the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Economic Forum will participate in a global congress where a direct dialogue will be established to outline the future of the industry

Brussels – October 17, 2019 – The first blockchain global congress Convergence, The Global Blockchain Congress 2019, will be held in Málaga – Spain –  next November 11th -13th at Málaga Trade Fair and Conference Centre (FYCMA). The official opening ceremony will take place on November 12th and the attendees will have a unique opportunity to learn about blockchain priorities and enjoy with a comprehensive program of activities, panels, workshops, hackathons, and culture events. The day before, November 11st, will be devoted to the “Global Blockchain Challenge” a pioneering initiative around the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The Congress – organized jointly by the European Commission, the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, INATBA and Alastria – will bring together key industries and representatives from across the globe to discuss ideas and share experiences and insights into blockchain technology.

The organization has announced new speakers and a comprehensive agenda covering a wide range of topics focused on the possibilities offered by blockchain technology to companies and societies. More than 1,500 highly qualified professionals will attend this event, including blockchain experts, regulators, policy makers, influencers, corporate representatives, researchers, and companies from different industries. The conference offers an unparalleled platform to explore and help build a common vision in terms of networking, collaborating, innovating and facilitating direct dialogue among attendees.


New participants announced

Industry leading speakers will be sharing their knowledge & experiences. The speakers and participants at the event are experts in a broad range of fields within the sector and belong to various organisations, governments and institutions:

  • The latest participants include central banks such as the Bank of Japan with Yuuko Kawai, the Inter-American Development Bank & World Economic Forum with Caroline Anstey and Alejandro Pardo Vegezzi, the World Bank with Denis Robitaille, the European Central Bank with Dirk Bullmann of European Central Bank and OECD with Caroline Malcom. All of them join the speakers previously announced from relevant organizations: the European Central Bank, the Bank of Lithuania, the Bank of Spain and the Brazil Central Bank.
  • The congress will be a meeting point for associations and organizations: Jennifer D’hoir of the French Digital Asset Association; Emmanuelle Ganne of the World Trade Organization; Vanessa Grellet, President of the Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition; Simona Pop of the Bounties Network; Caroline Dama of Grassroots Economics; Masamba Thioye of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; Bernhard Kowatsch of World Food Programme and John Karanja of BitHub Africa among others, together with representatives from bodies and government bodies including the India Blockchain Standards Committee and the Govern of Tamil Nadu (India).
  • The event will also feature regulators including the Spanish Data Protection Agency, the European Data Protection Board, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers France, and the Japanese Financial Services Authority.
  • The congress will include the participation of companies like Ledger, IPwe, Degun Digital Group, ConsenSys, Entreprise Ethereum Alliance, IBM, uPort, IOTA, Repsol, Everis/NTT Data and Telefónica.
  • The Pompeu Fabra University, the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society of Harvard University, the Institute for the Future University of Nicosia, RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub, PTA-IASP and St. John’s University will join the academic institutions that had already confirmed its attendance, including the University of Málaga, the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center and the Korean Solbridge University.
  • Claire Doole, from Claire Doole Communications-Training & Moderating and Pascal van Knijff, from Future of Trust CryptoDaily and Cuttingwood Academy, will be the masters of ceremony.

A full list of the attendees is available here


A comprehensive agenda

For three days, Convergence will provide a forum for participants to ‘converge’ on a wide range of activities, presentations, panels, workshops, hackathons, and cultural events.

 “Global Blockchain Challenge”

The day before the official opening  will take place the “Global Blockchain Challenge”, a pioneering initiative in which different profiles – developers, regulators and business people – will come together to address challenges around the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. A competition will take place for 10 hours, and the winners will be presented with the StartUp Europe – World Blockchain Awards by members of the European Parliament, industry leaders and international institutions.

November 12th – 13th – Official opening, keynotes, panels and meetings. 

During two days more than 60 panels, keynotes and roundtables will be devoted to several topics related to blockchain technology, among them:

  • A World of Ledgers: DLT Five Years from Now. A high-level look at how blockchain and DLT might shape society over the mid-term through decentralization and disintermediation, and what challenges need to be overcome along the way.
  • Tech Convergence. Exploring how blockchain can work with and support other emerging technologies to help resolve important current issues, in particular cyber security.
  • Blockchain for a sustainable society and new business models. Envisioning how blockchain can support progress in meeting today’s social impact, environmental and sustainability challenges.
  • Stablecoins and central bank cryptocurrencies. A practitioner’s deep dive into the great potential, as well as some of the pitfalls, of stable coins and central bank cryptocurrencies
  • Blockchain Platforms: Disruption of Data Monopolies? Discussion of how DLT and blockchain may either replace or strengthen the position of intermediaries, centralized networks, and data monopolies.
  • Interoperability and Standardization. A look at the importance of, and challenges in achieving, standards for blockchain technology, as well as how the EU is supporting the development of DLT standards for government services.
  • Blockchain and Data Privacy. Shedding light on the challenges faced by the blockchain industry when it comes to complying with data protection regulations, and exploring existing privacy-preserving technologies that can help ensure data privacy in both public and private blockchain-based platforms.
  • Technology, Law and Ethics. Focus on the path towards a more human-centric development of emerging technologies and sketching the challenges faced by society and lawmakers in safeguarding democratic values and human rights during the 4th Industrial Revolution.
  • Blockchain in Europe: An opportunity to understand more about the EU’s blockchain policy and funding initiatives as well as how to get involved and benefit.


Roundtables: during the congress will be roundtables organized by INATBA and focusing on the following topics: education, energy, interoperability, supply chain, identity, healthcare, governance issues, finance, social impact, privacy, mobility, public sector, and real estate.


More than a Congress

Convergence, The Global Blockchain Congress 2019 is a platform for international collaboration and presents a unique opportunity for representatives from various industries, governments and companies to understand the benefitis of blockchain technology for societies. The main goal is to impart knowledge about the blockchain technology which is going to play an integral part in the industry and economy.


Sponsors and partners

Convergence is sponsored by por: Consejería de Economía, Conocimiento, Empresas y Universidad de la Junta de Andalucía, el Ayuntamiento de Málaga, Everis / NTT Data, Oracle, Grant Thorton, Extenda – Agencia Andaluza de Promoción Exterior -, Santander, Caixabank, Berchain e IECISA. Koin Post, Hackme up, Ágora, Fintech News, Territorio Bitcoin, Motril Digital y Blockchain Economía will be media partners for the Congress.



Find out more about the event


About the European Commission’s DG CONNECT

The Directorate‑General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology is the Commission department responsible for developing a digital single market to generate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe.

The European Commission’s policy for blockchain and other Distributed Ledger Technologies aims at developing a common approach for the EU in the international arena. Blockchain may bring great improvements for the European industry: from start-ups to large corporates, administrations and citizens. It can enable the provision of more efficient services and the emergence of new ones. This in turn can contribute to economic growth, boosting jobs, competition, investment and innovation in the EU.


About the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum

The European Blockchain Observatory and Forum is a European initiative to accelerate blockchain innovation and the development of the blockchain ecosystem within the EU, and so help cement Europe’s position as a global leader in this transformative new technology.

Created as a European Parliament pilot project, the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum is being run under the aegis of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT). Its mission is to:

  • Identify and monitor blockchain initiatives and trends in Europe and globally on an ongoing basis.
  • Produce a comprehensive, publicly available source of blockchain knowledge through original research as well as gathering and collating expertise from the best European and global sources.
  • Create an attractive and transparent forum where all of Europe’s blockchain stakeholders, from thought leaders and entrepreneurs to early adopters and the general public, can share experience, debate issues, and reflect on the future of this new technology.
  • Make recommendations on the role the EU could play in accelerating blockchain innovation and adoption.

You can find more information about the initiative here:



INATBA, the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications, offers developers and users of DLT a global forum to interact with regulators and policy makers and bring blockchain technology to the next stage. Initiated by the European Commission and launched in April 2019, the association already has a membership base of more than 150 organizations, from start-ups to key industry players of various sectors. The association is additionally supported by an Advisory Board including organizations like the OECD, World Food Program, the World Bank, and the United Nations.

  • The core objectives of the association are to:
  • Establish a permanent dialogue with public authorities and regulators.
  • Promote open, transparent and inclusive global governance models for blockchain and DLT.
  • Support the development and adoption of interoperability guidelines and global standards.
  • Develop sector-specific guidelines and specifications.


About Alastria 

Alastria is a non-profit association that promotes the Digital Economy through the development of decentralised technologies/Blockchain. Alastria is a multi-sector consortium to which more than 500 entities of all sizes and sectors have already joined. The members of Alastria collaborate and compete within a permitted public network, which has the basic tools for the development of blockchain strategies thought in the distribution and organisation of products and services for the Spanish and European market.