WE ARE ISTANBUL
The inaugural iteration of Istanbul Blockchain Week promises to be the most anticipated blockchain event of 2021 and takes place in one of Turkey’s most vibrant cities with the showcase event of the week IstanBlock 2021
Uğur İbrahim Altay
Mayor of Konya Metropolitan Municipality
Uğur İbrahim Altay served as Vice President of the Chamber of Civil Engineers Konya Branch between 2004 and 2008 and was also elected Head of Konya Branch of TMMOB Chamber of Civil Engineers. Uğur İbrahim Altay was elected the Mayor of Selçuklu in 2009 and 2014 elections. He was then elected Mayor of Konya Metropolitan Municipality in 2018 and re-elected in 2019. For many years, Uğur İbrahim Altay worked as a civil engineer and holds a degree in Engineering and Architecture. Uğur İbrahim Altay was also assigned as Co-President of United Cities And Local Governments-UCLG, President of Union of Municipalities of Anatolian Civilizations and President of Union of Konya Municipalities.
Founder & CEO
Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ, is a serial entrepreneur with an impressive track record of successful startups. He launched Binance in 2017 and within 180 days, grew it into the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. An expert in blockchain and trading systems, CZ has built Binance into the leading blockchain ecosystem, comprised of Binance Exchange, Labs, Launchpad, Info, Academy, Research, Trust Wallet and Charity Foundation. In 2005, CZ quit his role as head of the Bloomberg Tradebook Futures Research & Development team and moved to Shanghai to start Fusion Systems. Soon thereafter, he learned about Bitcoin and joined Blockchain.info as Head of Technology.
After founding several successful companies in Silicon Valley, Roger began his Bitcoin journey in February 2011. Years before traditional venture capital firms became involved, he became the first person in the world to start investing in Bitcoin related-startups, and nearly single-handedly funded the entire first generation of Bitcoin businesses. His current investments include Bitcoin, Blockchain, BitPay, Kraken FX, and many many others. In his free time, he enjoys competing in Brazilian Jujitsu tournaments.
Chief Strategy Officer
Meltem Demirors is Chief Strategy Officer of CoinShares, an investment firm that manages $750M in assets, and is a trusted partner to investors and entrepreneurs navigating the digital asset ecosystem. Meltem oversees the firm’s managed strategies group and its New York office, and leads corporate development as a board director. Previously, she was part of the founding team of Digital Currency Group. She teaches at MIT and Oxford, and serves on the WEF Blockchain Council.
Jimmy Song is a Bitcoin educator, developer and entrepreneur. For the majority of his 20-year programming career, Song has worked as a software developer for a wide array of companies in different fields. He began exploring Bitcoin in 2011 and was contributing to open-source Bitcoin projects by 2013. In 2014, he joined Monetas, where he led the development of Bitcoin integration with open transactions. After developing a bitcoin wallet for Armory Technologies, Song became the principal architect for Paxos. In 2018, Song joined Blockchain Capital as a venture partner. In addition, he runs Programming Blockchain, a company that trains students around the world in blockchain programming and development techniques.
Alex is a serial entrepreneur and founder of seven New York City-based startups. Alex founded two of New York City’s top 10 venture-backed exits since 2000: Arbinet, with a 2004 IPO that had a market capitalization of over $750 million; and Transit Wireless, valued at $1.2 billion.
Alex has received numerous awards for innovation, including being nominated twice by E&Y as ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’; Crain’s 2010 Top Entrepreneur and the prestigious 2000 Albert Einstein Technology medal.
As one of the pioneers of web-based exchanges, Alex authored patents that cover aspects of the Smart Grid, ad exchanges, Twitter, Skype, Netflix streaming concept and many other web companies.
Da Hongfei, the founder of NEO, is a leading entrepreneur within the global blockchain community. In 2014 together with Erik Zhang, he founded NEO, establishing China’s first ever blockchain company. Founded as an open-source project, NEO is powering a paradigm shift towards a smart economy by working with a community of developers to deliver optimized and future-designed solutions. Hongfei’s contributions to the industry have been recognized by prominent institutions. In 2018, he spoke before the European Parliament and offered cutting-edge insights into the feasibility of blockchain technology solutions. Moreover, he has delivered numerous speeches at leading industry events and academic seminars at esteemed universities.
Co-Founder & CEO
Before getting into crypto in mid 2016, Ben was an active player in the retail forex industry. He served as the managing director of a leading global forex retail broker with 2.5+ million clients globally for 7+ years. Through this experience, Ben has a deep understanding of the retail trading market, as well as knowing how to cater to the needs of traders on an exchange. Ben started Bybit in early 2018 with a mission to construct and lead a fair trading environment by delivering a better trading experience and building a faster, fairer, and more human exchange.
Faruk joined the Eczacıbaşı Group in 1980 and took on the mission of “computerizing” the company. A few years later he was appointed to his current position as Vice Chairman. Faruk is also President of the Turkish Informatics Foundation (TBV) which he co-founded in 1995. In this role, he contributes to the preparation of numerous studies on related issues as well as the shaping of public policy. He has written a book on the transformational changes taking place in Turkey and around the world as a result of new digital technologies. Published in Turkish in 2018, the book considers the challenges for individuals, institutions and societies, and discusses ways to prepare for the positive and negative aspects of the digital future.
Founder EAK Digital & Istanbul Blockchain Week
Erhan Korhaliller is the Founder and CEO of EAK Digital, a specialist blockchain PR agency. Prior to launching EAK Digital, Erhan previously managed large scale project teams for blue-chip brands such as Nike, Rolls Royce, and Vodafone, successfully guiding his teams to multiple advertising awards, including a platinum award from Campaign Magazine. Erhan continues to lead from the front, giving PR a voice in the blockchain industry as a speaker at global events.
Ivan On Tech
Ivan is an international speaker, blockchain educator, software developer and data scientist. Ivan’s Youtube channel, Ivan on Tech, is a truly global phenomenon spreading knowledge about the blockchain technology to hundreds of thousands of viewers all over the world. Ivan makes the complex simple by delivering entertaining and exciting talks. Attend one of Ivan’s talks and you’ll have a blast!
Blockchain Research Lab Director
Taner Dursun has over 25 years of experience in various fields of I and he specialises in parallel and distributed computing systems, information security, cryptography, management technologies, and software engineering. Taner spent over 22 years at TUBITAK BILGEM (Informatics and Information Security Research Center) in charge of roles such as developer, analyst, system engineer, lead developer, and manager of various projects for development of national large-scale, distributed systems. He is currently employed as the Blockchain Research Lab Director of TÜBİTAK BILGEM. In his work he focuses on research topics such as crypto currencies, blockchain technology and decentralized identity management systems.
CNBC Crypto Trader
In 2017 Ran launched the world’s first televised cryptocurrency show, Crypto Trader, the most viewed show on CNBC today. His success in the blockchain world as CEO of Onchain Capital ranks him as one of the top 10 most influential people in Blockchain by Richtopia. For his business world success, Ran won a number of awards including the Business Leader of the Year awarded by National Business Awards, and Young Business Leader awarded by All Africa Business Leader Award CNBC amongst others.
Host & Founder
Nicholas Merten is the founder of DataDash, the largest cryptocurrency YouTube channel with over 315,000 subscribers. Being an international speaker, thought-leader, and crypto analyst in the space, he’s utilized his over seven years of experience in traditional markets to understand the potential of cryptocurrencies.
Business Development Representative
Gustav Arentoft, Business Development (Europe), Maker Foundation
Gustav is responsible for MakerDAO Business Development in Europe. Maker is a front-runner in financial blockchain services globally. Prior to joining the organization, Gustav was a fintech consultant in Argentina. He holds degrees in Business Economics and IT.
Founder at The Defiant, a daily newsletter decrypting the intersection of blockchain and finance. Author of upcoming Harper Collins book 'The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-hackers Is Building the Next Internet with Ethereum'. Former markets and crypto Reporter at Bloomberg News.
R. Erdem Erkul
Director of Public Sector and Investments
Dr. R. Erdem Erkul is a public sector and investment director at Microsoft Turkey. He is vice president at the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies. He worked at Samsung Electronics Turkey as Director of Public Sector and External Affairs between 2014-2018. He is known for his work on e- government, New Public Administration, informatics, entrepreneurship and social media. Erkul has worked with several NGOs. He was elected as the Vice President of Council of European Professional Informatics Societies in Brussels in 2014. Since 2010, he has been representing Informatics Association of Turkey in Council of European Professional Informatics Societies in Brussels.
Barış Özistek led the sale of two successful internet companies within the SHR Group, which he joined as CEO in early 2011, to foreign investors, including the leading alternative payment gateway in Turkey and the Middle East and the leader in the game industry in the same region. Özistek also acts as the Chairman of Boğaziçi Ventures which is one of the major venture capital companies in the region. Boğaziçi Ventures manages multiple funds focusing on tech investment and cryptocurrencies.
Burak Aydın joined the Sabancı Group in 2018 and is currently leading Sabancı Digital transformation efforts by establishing and developing SabancıDx. In the past he worked for big companies such as Siemens Business Systems, Accenture and Intel. Burak is also a board member of TUBISAD (Information Industry Association) and TBV (Turkish Informatics Foundation). In addition, he is a member of TUSIAD and he is currently Head of Information and Communication Technologies Working Group within TUSIAD.
Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr
Managing Editor & Head of Features
Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr is managing editor and head of features at Cointelegraph. M.A. in political science and classical philology she is a passionate communicator promoting innovations, translating them into simple languages and helping visionaries to be heard.
Nate Whitehill is an experienced technology entrepreneur, programmer and web developer, with nearly two decades of experience building web applications. In August of 2017, he built and launched CryptoSlate, now one of the top destinations for crypto news, data and information about people, products and companies. Over the past 2 years, CryptoSlate has become one of the largest crypto news site in the world by Alexa ranking, serving over 250,000 visitors per month.
CEO & Co-founder
Ed is co-founder and CEO of Blockfolio, the worlds #1 mobile crypto portfolio tracker. He is passionate about bringing cryptocurrency adoption to the mainstream, DAOs and decentralized governance, and future of cryptographic networks. In addition, Ed previously served as a founding board member of the Dash Foundation (2014 - 2018) where he helped conceptualize Dash's decentralized governance and treasury, as well as drive the first protocol M&A in the crypto ecosystem.
Robert “Crypto” Beadles
Robert “Crypto” Beadles is a Christian, father, husband, seasoned business builder; investor, author, prominent Blockchain & Cryptocurrency educator on TV, YouTube, TradingView Sessions, and throughout the world. Robert is responsible for starting and growing one of the largest construction service businesses in CA, a software development, real estate investment firm, and many more. Beadles is also the builder and Co-Founder of the Monarch Wallet, MonarchPay and is a member of the C4 Crypto Consortium.
Çağla Gül Şenkardeş
Çağla Gül Şenkardeş, CEO of MenaPay, is leading the first blockchain-based non-bank mobile payment in the Middle East & North Africa. With over 20 years of professional experience, she has the vision of digital transformation which makes her an inspiring leader in blockchain. Her business experience and educational background make it possible to create a holistic ecosystem for humanity. Being an academic at one of the reputable universities in Turkey, she is a believer in technology and committed to impact humanity on a global scale and is a true supporter of gender equality, volunteering with many local women's associations.
Angela Tong, Partner of Jinse Finance. As a seasoned member of media industry, she has nearly a decade of experience. Mrs.Tong follows and reports on bitcoin since 2011. In 2017, Mrs.Tong assumed the position of editor in chief in Jinse Finance and began to focus on blockchain and cryptos reporting. As a member of the editorial board she helped write the best-seller blockchain book Blockchain+ listed on JD.com. Since 2018, Angela Tong has focused on developing global markets as the COO of CoinTime. She has introduced CoinTime to many countries including the US, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Russia, Indonesia and the Middle East, continuously producing premium content.
Alexandre started his career in finance as a custody clerk in a bank. Thanks to his hard work, he climbed up the career ladder to Head of Securities & FX APAC at SWIFT and now the CEO of a fintech start-up.In 2013 Alex became more involved in the crypto and blockchain world. During his time at SWIFT, Alex had the opportunity to participate directly in blockchain POCs and projects － which helped him realise that this was the future of fintech.
Today, Alex is the CEO of Onchain Custodian. Headquartered in Singapore, the company offers a global, standardised, insured and compliant custody service for the safekeeping of institutional digital asset investments.
Ünsal Law Firm
Burcak Ünsal is an attorney admitted to practice in New York and Istanbul. Unsal is also a Patent and Trademark Attorney admitted to European Patent Institute and the Patent Institute of Turkey. Burack has been the regional counsel to Google and YouTube and has been represented big companies such as Huobi, Dell/EMC, Yandex, GE, Coca-Cola, NEC and many others. Unsal has gained invaluable multi-jurisdictional and multi-disciplinary experience at Baker Botts LLP in the US, Kobayashi Todo in Japan and DLA Piper in the UK. He holds a M.Sc. at Aegean University Institute of Science, LL.M. at the University of Virginia and LL.B. at Marmara University Faculty of Law.
Istanbul Blockchain Women
Ebru Güven started her professional banking career in 1997, and until May of 2018 worked in high-level positions in corporate banking of reputable banking institutions in Turkey. She was the head of a retail branch in İstanbul, when she first came across blockchain. Inspired by the technology she decided to get actively involved in the community, and in 2018 Ebru ended her career as a banking professional to participate in an ITO Project as the CFO. That’s when she met Basak Burcu Yigit and founded Istanbul Blockchain Women Platform. As a consultant, Ebru advises banks and corporation on various technical topics, she also works with a number of ICO, ITO and blockchain projects within Tim Consulting.
Founder and CEO
Sinan is the Founder and CEO of BiLira, the first stable cryptocurrency to be pegged to the Turkish Lira. He is a seasoned entrepreneur and venture builder who has been working in the blockchain ecosystem for multiple years. Before BiLira, Sinan co-founded Geld, a peer to peer payment app and licensed it to Akbank in 2018. He then joined ConsenSys Token Foundry as Head of Sourcing in NY and specialized in Initial Coin Offerings. The BiLira team strongly believes that every currency will have a representation on the blockchain. His mission is to offer a bridge for everyone to connect to the decentralized world of tomorrow.
CEO and Founder
Alex is an entrepreneur with extensive banking and blockchain experience. Previously, at BNY Mellon, Alex was Blockchain Lead and founding head of Emerging Business & Technology team. At UBS, he was founding head of a blockchain-focused FinTech Innovation Lab in UK's Level 39 accelerator. Alex co-founded Utility Settlement Coin, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and Trusted IoT consortias, and was featured in the 2015 FinTech Finance35 and 2016 FinTech 40 lists.
Director of Business Development
Emre is the Director of Business Development at O(1) Labs, creators of Coda Protocol, the world's lightest blockchain. Prior to O(1) Labs, he was an early employee of the Business Development team at Coinbase, where he led partnerships for a number strategic projects such as USDC, launch of Coinbase Custody and multiple acquisitions. Before Coinbase, Emre held various business and product roles at Ripple and Intel. Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Emre has an MBA degree from Columbia University and is a graduate of Bogazici University and Robert College.
Editor in Chief
Ahmet started his professional career in 1999 writing articles on digital game technologies in gaming magazines. Since 2002, he has been also working as an IT Manager in different companies. He has also continued to write articles published in different magazines. Usta was a Technology Editor of the Bloomberg Businessweek Turkey magazine. In 2017, Ahmet founded his own company Mercek Tech which specialises in corporate media channels consulting and content creation. Usta is also co-author of the Blockchain 101 which is the first book about Blockchain technology in Turkish. Usta is a professional keynote speaker, lecturer and advisor in Turkey about Blockchain technology.
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Being a part of the largest blockchain conference in Turkey
Distinguished government, business and blockchain speakers
Building relationships with the Turkish blockchain community
Meeting with the premier media and influencers of the industry
Attending a week’s worth of side events from major projects
Exclusive networking opportunities focused on fostering new partnerships between projects and attendees