To solve problems in the Web3 area
We spoke with Kyohei Shibano and Kensuke Ito, project researchers at the University of Tokyo who exhibited at the WebX conference (hereinafter referred to as WebX) held in July 2023.
Both are involved in research and educational activities at the University of Tokyo, and are in charge of endowed courses. The company plans to start offering public courses from April of this year, providing an opportunity to learn about blockchain technology.
The University of Tokyo became a gold sponsor at last year’s WebX. Mr. Shibano appeared on stage at WebX and made a pitch. This time, we interviewed both of them and heard about their Web3-related initiatives and their impressions of participating in WebX.
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First, Shibano explained that the endowed course, which plans to hold public lectures, is “an organization that operates based on funds provided by external sponsors.” WebX says that many people have shown interest in the endowed courses at the University of Tokyo, and that the exhibition has helped attract sponsors.
Mr. Ito then explained that the organization cannot operate unless a certain amount of donations are collected, but he was able to meet many sponsors through WebX. This is because many of the exhibitors are overseas projects or Japanese companies, and the University of Tokyo seemed to attract attention because of its uniqueness.
Shibano said that in upcoming blockchain-related courses, students will be able to learn technical content in Japanese. He points out that blockchain technology changes and develops very quickly, and even if beginners want to learn it, there is a lack of learning content, and the purpose of the course is to eliminate these barriers. .
The plan is to make the course available not only to University of Tokyo students and university students, but also to working adults. We also plan to create content that can be studied by people who cannot actually attend the course itself.
Mr. Shibano pointed out that while Japan is trying to promote Web3, there is not enough content related to technology. The course is primarily aimed at engineers.
Mr. Ito said that the blockchain field has various aspects such as cryptography, economics, and law, so he wanted to create opportunities to learn systematically.
Impressions of participating in WebX
Both men said that the good thing about attending WebX last year was that they were able to build connections. Mr. Ito said that it was meaningful to meet not only companies that were interested in sponsoring the event, but also individual participants, and some of them came to help prepare the public lectures.
Mr. Shibano also had similar thoughts, saying that WebX was a valuable opportunity as there are not many opportunities to talk with people who are knowledgeable about blockchain.
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Regarding his requests for this year’s WebX, Mr. Ito listed “creating an environment that makes it easy for young people to participate and give presentations.” He says that there are many young people, including students, who are familiar with blockchain, and he requests that they make it cheaper to participate and provide opportunities for them to make presentations freely.
On the other hand, Mr. Ito also hopes that, as a university official, he will make more academic presentations. He said it would be good to have a place where university papers can be presented and researchers can gather and talk.
Mr. Shibano agrees with this point, saying that it would be great if the event could be enjoyed by both beginners and those who are familiar with blockchain.
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About WebX 2024
The second conference, “WebX 2024”, will be held at The Prince Park Tower Tokyo for two days, August 28th (Wednesday) and 29th (Thursday), 2024.
The last WebX event received a response that far exceeded expectations, with 16,500 visitors, 290 speakers, and 372 sponsoring and collaborating companies (including organizations). In addition, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura (at the time), Koichi Hagiuda, Chairman of the Political Affairs Research Council (at the time), Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, and Osaka Prefecture Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura, among others, gave lectures.
WebX’s vision for this year is “to aim to become a bridge between the existing Web 1 and 2 industries and the new Web 3 industry.” In order to realize this vision, we will work with not only leading companies and related parties from around the world in the Web3 industry, but also businesses that do not normally have contact with crypto assets (virtual currency) and blockchain, regulators not only in Japan but also in Asia. Promoting ministries and agencies are also keen to attract more visitors.
We also plan to actively collaborate with conferences overseas in order to become one of Asia’s leading Web3 promotion hubs.
■Date: Wednesday, August 28, 2024 and Thursday, August 29, 2024
■Venue: The Prince Park Tower Tokyo
■Organizer: WebX Executive Committee
■Number of visitors (estimated): 20,000 or more
■Number of participating companies (estimated): 2,000 or more
■Number of exhibiting companies (estimated): 150 or more
■Number of media partners (estimated): More than 100 companies
connection: Asia’s largest Web3 conference “WebX 2024” to be held at The Prince Park Tower Tokyo