SBI at EBRD's Annual Meeting & Business Forum in Sarajevo

Blockchain and its Strategic Value: Looking Beyond the Hype Panel

The EBRD's Twenty-eighth Annual Meeting and Business Forum will be held in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country famed for its natural environment, rich history and extraordinary cultural heritage. This year's theme is Connecting Economies for Stronger Growth.

The event will focus on ways to connect economies for strong growth and impact, both in the Western Balkans and beyond. Join us for a programme of lively debate, talks, and discussion around a variety of themes and major trends, from boosting small business to the effects of migration on labor markets, the opportunities, and pitfalls of tourism and the ways to connect the local and regional to the global economy.


We are very happy to announce that we are participating in the category of Associated Events on Tuesday 7th May on the panel:

Blockchain and its Strategic Value: Looking Beyond the Hype

Blockchain has become an inescapable buzzword in the last few years. Proponents contend that blockchain will disrupt every major industry and will even alter the way that people and societies interact. But the questions remain: Are we at the pinnacle of a history-altering technology that will drive massive economic and social impact, or is blockchain just the latest tech buzzword – more noise than substance?

This panel will address the following key questions:

• What are the potential benefits and tangible examples of using blockchain?

• In which sectors is there major progress in using blockchain?

• What groundwork is still required for blockchain to enter the mainstream and become more scalable?

• What type of regulatory environment is necessary to facilitate the use of blockchain?

• What impact will blockchain-enabled decentralization have on traditional business models and governments?

The panel is moderated by Jelena Madir, Director and Chief Counsel at EBRD

Jelena is a Chief Counsel at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London. She heads the Financial Law Unit, which provides advisory services to governments in the areas of access to finance, FinTech, corporate governance, and insolvency. Before her appointment as the Head of EBRD’s Financial Law Unit in 2016, Jelena spent seven years as a transactional lawyer in the Bank’s Legal Department, where she worked on lending and equity investment operations, and one year in EBRD’s Compliance Department, where she led the set-up of the capital markets’ compliance function and of the new sanctions regime. Jelena received her Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law and completed undergraduate studies in Government and Asian studies at Dartmouth College.

Among speakers are:


Marko Kovačević, co-founder and Board member at Serbian Blockchain Initiative

Marko also serves on the Strategic Advisory Board of the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP), chairs the European Outsourcing Council of IAOP, and is also a Board member of the charity, Dobar Glas. Marko served previously as CEO of Trizma and held executive positions in the Atlantic Council of Serbia, Megatrend University, Telenor, Virtuoni, Dupont Carter and Insomnia Serbia. Marko has a Bachelor of Law from the University of Belgrade, a MIB from Grenoble Ecole de Management, and graduated from the OPM52 class at Harvard Business School.

Vlaho Hrdalo, Lawyer and Chairman at Law Office Vlaho Hrdalo

Vlaho Hrdalo is a lawyer and has been a member of the Croatian Bar Association since January 2009. In 2012 he established his own law firm which specializes in FinTech and IT. He is the Chairman of the Croatian Union for Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies (UBIK - Udruga za blockchain i kriptovalute). Hrdalo is also a certified court interpreter of English, has authored several research papers and currently advises several ICOs. He is a graduate of the University of Zagreb and has completed interdisciplinary postgraduate studies in diplomacy (with the thesis “Digital privacy and digital freedom”). He is currently doing a Ph.D. on Smart Contracts.

Marloes Pomp, Program Officer, Blockchain at Dutch Government

Marloes Pomp is the Initiator and Programme Officer for Blockchain Projects within the Government of the Netherlands and she is responsible for the international strategy of the Dutch Blockchain Coalition. The Dutch Blockchain Coalition is a jointly developed partnership by industry, government and knowledge institutions. Together they have assumed a leading role and joint responsibility for the success of the national blockchain action agenda.

Lukas Repa, Deputy Head of Unit, Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content at European Commission

Dr. Lukas Repa is a lawyer by training. He graduated from the University of Vienna, Austria (Mag.iur and Dr.iur) and the College of Europe in Bruges (LL.M) and qualified as an attorney-at-law in Vienna, Austria in 2003. Since 2003, Lukas has worked for the EU Commission in various functions: for ten years he served in DG COMP as an expert in anti-trust and State aid; worked for two years in DG ENER focusing on the internal market for electricity and gas; and since December 2018 he has been in DG CONNECT's Unit F3, where he works as a policy officer responsible for blockchain innovation and FinTech. Between 2017-2018, Lukas conducted research at the University of California at Berkeley, USA, as EU fellow where he explored FinTech and Initial Coin Offerings.

Tadej Slapnik, Chairman of Advisory Board at European Blockchain Hub

Tadej Slapnik is Director at Tolar HashNET Slovenia. He holds various other positions, including Chairman of the World Blockchain Hub, Co-Chair of the High-Level Group on Blockchain for SDGs, Chairman of the Advisory Board at the European Blockchain Hub and Council member of the Circular Change platform. Slapnik is a former State Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia. He is the initiator and signatory of the Feel the Future Declaration: Initiative Blockchain Europe, and is actively involved in the promotion, development and smart regulation of the social and circular economy, blockchain and distributed ledger technology for achieving SDGs (at the national, European and global level).


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