On November 6th-7th of 2016, the Blockchain: Money Conference was held in London, England, just outside of the Bishop’s Gate. Among the participants of the conference were Cryptoverse, Bitcoin, Airbitz, Genesis,, Augur, Bitfury, Circle, and DinarDirham, to name a few. DinarDirham was pleased to have a booth at this event, as well as to present their innovative products on stage, alongside these companies.
Here’s a short briefing of the two day event, and some of those highlights worth noting.
Edan Yago was one of the main highlights of the event. He made the astounding claim that most future transactions will be machine-to-machine. He also asserted that the large financial institutions are not preparing for this future trend. Mr. Yago, CEO of Epiphyte then proceeded to demonstrate an incredible feat – a nearly ‘free’ international money transfer. Now, nearly free be not free at all, but with the cost of international bank transfers, it’s close enough.
Many other voices were present at the conference, including Brian Hoffman from OpenBazaar, who spoke out against the criminal use of OpenBazaar. He is noted as saying that decentralized government is difficult and rarely managed well.
Jeremy Gardner was next in line, talking about Augur: the decentralized prediction market (based off of a complex reputation system). During his talk, he also discussed Augur’s development of software and their legality. Gardner also expressed the need for a stable coin for their prediction market, because when people bet on the far future, volatility (often plaguing non-backed digital currencies) isn’t a desired factor… he might want to talk with DinarDirham about that.
The longest talk came from the CEO of Genesis Mining, Marco Streng. He reminisced about Bitcoin’s growth over such a short time period. He also talked about Bitcoin mining and operations.
Other topics throughout the two days included themes such as Economic Freedom, Security Issues, and Circle presenting their way to make money work the way the internet does – Free, Instant, and Global
Among many at the conference, was the growing concern that the size of blocks for Bitcoin needs to increase, and do it soon. However, Valery Vavilov, CEO of Bitfury had this to say:
“We can’t do it fast. Core developers have tremendous experience, they are doing a great job, and there are thousands of developers creating the Bitcoin core code. It’s not fast but it’s the only way to stay secure, and yes it should grow, but we should think in the longer perspective. I don’t see it as necessary today. Rather, we must first find the most effective solution”.
Among the security issues that were discussed, John McAffee, renowned security specialist, warned users against the use of bitcoin mobile wallet apps, as phones can present an opportunity for a security breach through screenshare hacks, and let everyone know they should use hardware wallets which have their own screens instead, as they are much more secure. He also expressed a potential security threat with the Internet of Things… essentially billions of internet enabled machines (with poor security measures) could be harnessed by malware to mine for bitcoins, outperforming any mining firm, and opening the potential for nefarious and illegal activities.
Another security issue discussed the mistaken idea that “code is law”, as in regards to Smart Contracts. The conclusion was that this simply is not the case… for the time being, and that anything deemed to be bad programming would still need to be taken to a court of law with humans in charge.
One of the biggest highlights for everyone at the conference was a young man who sat outside the entrance of the conference with a “PLEASE HIRE ME” sign, named Christopher Zaniewski. A bitcoin enthusiast and learning programmer, his socialness retrieved him several business cards and a free pass to the second day of the event – way to go Christopher!
When all was said and done, there was a lot of focus on Bitcoin’s monetary nature, but it was mixed with so many other presentations, ideas, and concerns, that the focus wasn’t entirely clear for everyone, though certainly worth attending. Although it was hard to pinpoint the exact goal(s) of the conference this year, one thing is for sure, everyone wanted to know the future of Bitcoin. All we can say at this point, is that it appears that Bitcoin will continue steadily moving forward in growth.