2021 was a momentous year for Blockchain Ireland.
Moving beyond its initial development with IDA and Enterprise Ireland in October 2020, to the support of Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet and the leadership of the steering and working groups, Blockchain Ireland has gone from strength to strength.
There were three key objectives for 2021.
Setting up the steering group and having focused working groups to address the respective needs of various cohorts was a key organisational goal.
With Dave Feenan unanimously elected chair of the steering group for 2021, the six working groups were realigned as:
Under this reorganisation was the need to develop membership and reach, which was achieved through various means. The weekly e-zine now has a circulation of more than 1400, up from 290, the LinkedIn page has increased to more than 3,500, and the Twitter account, @Blockchain_Irl, continues to gain followers.
The monthly meetings went online in webinar format, and featured both presentation and discussion panels, featuring guest speakers from at home and abroad, including Switzerland, Australia, Slovenia and the UK, as well as various business people and academics locally.
Another outreach highlight was the digital Blockchain Ireland Week in May. Taking full advantage of the online medium, the event week comprised more than 60 events in three streams, 10 panels, 20 international speakers from the full spectrum of academia, public sector and private sector, our own Minister for Finance and Minister of State, and a former European president, for which more than 5,400 tickets were issued.
The hope is that the May 2022 event week can be at least a hybrid event, building on the success of this year.
Blockchain Ireland also developed stronger ties internationally, not only through the event week and its international panel of speakers, but also as a founding member of the Blockchain Associations Forum. The BFA, an initiative of the British Blockchain Association, brings together an international community of associations to share experiences and insights, produce reference materials and provide a forum for discussion and development.
Furthermore, Blockchain Ireland has been represented at several international events such as European Blockchain Week, as well as events in Brussels, Barcelona and Ljubljana.
A key objective for the year was to publish a blockchain roadmap for Ireland. This document will be shared with the Government in 2022 to support the development of our ecosystem and Ireland as a centre of excellence in blockchain.
For 2022, the central plan for Blockchain Ireland is to place the organisation on a more stable footing, financially, and legally, and to formulate a cohesive plan for 2023-2025.
We would like to thank everyone for their support and their hard work over the year in making what was universally a difficult period, a successful time for Blockchain Ireland.