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June 24, 2014

Cyber Salon – Where is Bitcoin 2.0 Heading?


Our friends at digital think-tank, Cyber Salon (, are giving CoinScrum members free entry to their event tomorrow night.
Is Bitcoin in fact the greatest revolution in computing since the Internet itself?
It’s a much deeper concept than currency. It’s the idea of distributed trust. In 20 years, we’ll talk about Bitcoin like we talk about the Internet today, We just need time for it to play it out. – Marc Andreessen (VC and founder of Netscape).
As VCs rush to fund start-ups that use Bitcoin’s Blockchain technology, we ask: will Bitcoin’s real innovation, its platform, really build completely new ways of interacting online? What are the next generation of apps? Advocates argue that the Blockchain has the capacity to address not simply money issuance but other crucial questions of trust, financial privacy , transparency, and freedom of expression.
Tuesday June 24th, 7pm, Digitas LBi, 146 Brick Lane, London E1 6RU
Speakers: Jon Matonis – Executive Director, The Bitcoin Foundation (
A money researcher and crypto economist from George Washington University, Jon advises startups in Bitcoin, gaming, mobile and prepaid organizations. A tech contributor to Forbes Magazine and editor of The Monetary Future, Jon serves on the editorial board of Bitcoin Magazine. Previously CEO of Hushmail and Chief Forex Trader at VISA and held senior posts at Sumitomo Bank and VeriSign.
Stephan Tual- Chief Communications Officer, Ethereum (
Ethereum is “Cryptocurrency 2.0?. It’s a decentralized mining network and software development platform rolled into one, and it will allow people to create their own altcoins, and other types of crypto.
Niki Wiles -Community Relations, Counterparty ( is a peer-to-peer finance platform and decentralized exchange built on Bitcoin. He has been involved with distributed finance since the early days of Bitcoin, and has an eclectic background in IT, finance and marketing.
Preston Byrne- fellow of the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) and associate at Norton Rose Fulbright, London. Byrne is a member of the firm’s securitisation and cryptocurrency practices. Outside of his formal practice he regularly consults with entrepreneurs in the crypto space. Preston has a broad range of research interests and is regularly quoted by the mainstream press. In 2013, he was the lead author of Burning Down the House, a paper opposing the UK’s Help to Buy mortgage subsidy programme, which was covered by hundreds of national and international media outlets including Forbes, the Financial Times, City A.M., Reuters, the Telegraph, the New Statesman, Sky News, and the BBC. More recently, he provided a contributing interview in the book Great Chain of Numbers: A Guide to Smart Property, Smart Contracts and Trustless Asset Management.
Chair: Richard Boase (, Cybersalon/UK Digital Currency Association (
There is no reason on earth for anybody to be on the Internet today to be typing in a credit card number to buy something. But we didn’t have the better way of doing it. So we didn’t know what else to do…now we have the better way of doing it. Bitcoin.- Andreessen
However critics claim that the anonymity inherent in the Bitcoin system means it encourages money laundering, gambling and drug dealing. They also point to its wild volatility as evidence that it functions as a poor store of value that will make economic activity ultimately less productive. At this Cybersalon we will be asking:
1. Is Bitcoin likely to form the basis of the new Internet of Money and Trust?
2. What is ‘Blockchain’ technology and how are applications using it?
3. What is Bitcoin teaching us about global consensus, decentralisation and open source technologies?So if currency is simply the first application for this Blockchain technology, what else is in the pipeline?
We will discuss initiatives such as Ethereum, Coloured Coins, Mastercoin, Counterparty and Namecoin suggest decentralised DNS lookup system, decentralised stock, bond and equities markets, asset and property registration, notary services and more.
Background: Bitcoin (which is now known as a “Crypto currency” or Hidden Currency) has fluctuated from $0.0001 to US $1,200 in the span of 5 years. Advocates cite its capacity to be a truly global, digital currency- to lower remittance and cross border transfer costs particularly with regards to developing economies and its power to remove politics from the money supply. Its main attraction, they claim, is that all other banking and monetary systems are ‘pre-internet’ technologies but Bitcoin offers us the potential to build an entirely new system of global financial consensus, even acting as a global reserve currency.
About Bitcoin 2.0: The value of the Bitcoin platform is that it can be used for other means than as a currency: for instance to transfer goods directly from person to person around the planet securely without third party verification. The way Bitcoin does this is through what is known as a peer to peer network, with these transactions being verified automatically by thousands of so called ‘Miners’. Bitcoin is not a company, and whilst Miners might act like employees, it was designed as an open standard protocol similar to http (web pages) or smtp (email), allowing anyone who wishes to to build companies, services and software to interact with it, and because Bitcoin functions a little bit like TCP/IP, owning a Bitcoin is akin to owning real-estate on the new internet, similar in some ways to owning name brand dot coms in the ‘90s.
Essential Reading: Understanding Eris: The Bitcoin Foundation Proposal ( – Clay Micahel Gillespie published on Crypto Coins News
The Coming Digital Anarchy ( Matthew Sparkes published in The TelegraphTomorrow’s Apps Will Come From Brilliant (And Risky) Bitcoin Code ( – Primavera De Filippi published on WiredWhy The Bitcoin Fad Won’t Fade Away ( Jeffrey Tucker published on The Daily ReckoningVisions of a Techno- Leviathan:The Politics of the Bitcoin Blockchain ( Brett Scott published on E-International RelationsWarren Buffett versus Marc Andreessen on Bitcoin ( Kashmir Hill published on Forbes

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Paul Gordon
Following a 20+ year career in financial markets, Paul first became interested in Bitcoin in 2011 and helped to establish one of the world's first Bitcoin meetup groups, Coinscrum, in 2012 since when he has grown the community to over 6,500 members, hosting over 250 events and introducing many of the leading projects and thought leaders in the industry.  Paul currently produces the weekly Coinscrum Markets video podcast series and is an active investor and advisor to a number of crypto and blockchain related projects.

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