Blockchain and its Strategic Value: Looking Beyond the Hype

White Hall, Level 2, Parliamentary Assembly Building

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 decentralisation have on traditional business models and governments?

For more information please contact:
Jelena Madir

Vlaho Hrdalo

Union for Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

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 specialises 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 PhD on Smart Contracts.


Marko Kovacevic

Chairman of the Board, MVP Workshop

Marko Kovačević is the Chairman of the Board at MVP Workshop - a company specialising in consultancy and R&D related to emerging Blockchain technologies – and is Co-Founder of the 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, an MIB from Grenoble Ecole de Management, andgraduated from the OPM52 class at Harvard Business School.

Jelena Madir

Director, Chief Counsel, EBRD

Jelena Madir 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.

Marloes Pomp

Program Officer, Blockchain, 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 an, 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 senior 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.

Vilius Sapoka

Minister of Finance, Ministry of Finance

Born in 1978, Vilius Šapoka was appointed Minister of Finance as an independent politician in December 2016. In 2012–2016, Mr Šapoka was Director of the Financial Services and Markets Supervision Department at the Bank of Lithuania. Prior to that, he was Commissioner, Vice-Chairman, Chairman of the Lithuanian Securities Commission. A decade ago, Mr. Vilius Šapoka was also employed in the Financial Market Policy Department of the Ministry of Finance. In 2003 he was granted the degree of Master of Economics in Banking at Vilnius University, and he also has an International Executive Master of Business Administration from the Baltic Management Institute.