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From Blockchain to Web3 – A Decentralized World

The WHU Entrepreneurship Roundtable holds exchange on blockchain, NFTs, and the metaverse

WHU Entrepreneurship Roundtable 2022 / Copyright: WHU/Violeta Odenthal
Lukas Puender (right), CEO and Founder of Retraced, speaks at the "How Does Blockchain Redesign Business’ Value" panel moderated by Dr. Burcin Yurtoglu / Copyright: WHU/Violeta Odenthal

On May 11, 2022, at the WHU campus in Düsseldorf, the student-led WHU Entrepreneurship Roundtable hosted its flagship event: From Blockchain to Web3 – A Decentralized World.  After a two-year-long moratorium on in-person events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the team was delighted to welcome some 100 participants through its doors. With an impressive roster of speakers, both from inside and outside the WHU community, the conference offered attendees a chance to participate in specialized keynote speeches, panel discussions, and fireside chats; network with likeminded people; and discuss the latest digital trends. The Dean of WHU, Professor Markus Rudolf, opened the event with an enthusiastic speech, making clear to the audience his own considerable interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency. From there, moderator Arne Wolfewicz,WHU-alumni, NFT-enthusiast, and Founder of Blocks + Brains, picked up the microphone and led the guests through the rest of the day.

All who participated in the event—from the guest speakers to the organizing team to the ticket holders—understand that the digital world is on the precipice of something big. But how much these developments in both the business and technology sectors will impact our daily lives is still unclear. Bill Laboon (Head of Education and Grants at the Web3 Foundation) noted that emphasizing blockchain technology will inherently change the way that information is disseminated and exchanged. Because of how the blockchain stores information, there is no need to debate its veracity or integrity. In other words, according to Laboon, the blockchain eliminates a certain element of doubt: “Less trust, more truth.”

During an engaging fireside chat, Kai Herzberger (Group Director DACH at Meta), Dr. Leif Oppermann (Head of Mixed and Augmented Reality Solutions at Fraunhofer FIT), and Hamidreza Hosseini (Founder & Managing Director at ECODYNAMICS GmbH) tackled the topic directly, raising many ethical questions and critically discussing the future of the metaverse and the importance of data protection. The trio ultimately contended that there will be multiples metaverses established in the coming years and that these will introduce us to a new digital way of life.

The end of the event was dedicated to NFTs (non-fungible tokens), a new type of financial security that has recently broken through to the mainstream. Top-notch speakers, including Stephan Noller (CEO at UBIRCH GmbH), Vijay Pravin Maharajan (Founder & CEO of bitsCrunch), Daniel Hellwig (Principal at Kepler Cannon), and Ole Heine (Founder & CEO at NiftPad), gave valuable insights into the impact of NFTs on both art and artists themselves, positing that these tokens represent a solid financial investment. Heine, who co-founded his start-up in the fall of 2021, believes that the world of NFTs need not be as cryptic as it may appear at first glance. In fact, his company is on a mission to simplify the process of trading with these tokens.

With a successful debut event behind them, the team at the WHU Entrepreneurship Roundtable is looking toward the future and keeping their fingers on the pulse. One can read more about their work on their official page.