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The Bitcoin, Ethereum & Blockchain Superconference, Dallas

David Lockie David is the founder of and Pragmatic with over fifteen years professional digital experience.

Over the last nine months, I’ve been increasingly interested and excited by the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. It feels like internet did around the Web2.0 time in the early 2000’s, and other people are comparing it to the dotcom boom. I’m seeing an awful lot of very profound projects being created by some inspiring people and backed by very passionate communities. So when I saw this conference advertised, I felt compelled to commit to attending and diving as deeply as I could into the space.

Such an intense three days. I bumped into John McAfee (literally), met a whole bunch of crypto multi-millionaires and genuinely felt out of my depth with the tech. Apparently Richard Branson was seen there: I wouldn’t be surprised.

The quality of the talks really varied – some were exceptional and inspirational on a level I’ve rarely heard. Others were weak, either utterly trivial or just straight sales decks/pitches.
So now the event is over, what are my thoughts?

  • Blockchain and cryptocurrency will have a significant impact on the world – it is now only a question of scale and speed
  • I believe the speed and scale of disruption will surprise most people
  • I believe the impact this tech will have is utterly profound and potentially disrupts human relationships in a way that hasn’t been seen since the first tribes settled into villages and towns because of the trust it allows
  • This tech is a clear and present risk and opportunity to most businesses and organisations in most industries
  • The Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon-sized companies of the next 15 years are somewhere in the top 20 coins today
  • I expect GAFA to release or buy their own cryptocurrency projects before long
  • It’s still very early days – still less than 0.5% of people that have a smartphone are using crypto
  • There are still some huge issues to overcome – regulation, identity, user experience, energy-use
  • Investing in crypto is still incredibly risky, but the risks are also asymmetric: this is the ‘invest in Amazon at the start’ opportunity of our generation
  • Regulation and institutional money are coming and that’s a really good thing
  • Crypto will emerge strongly in financial, gaming and B2B markets first (maybe a few others)
  • The data that global, interconnected blockchains and oracles provides will be a foundation on top of which global AI/singularity will sit
  • There weren’t as many corporate attendees as I thought there might be
  • There is a lot of scamming going on
  • There is an awful lot of money being made
  • Influencer marketing is huge and people with a good reach with proven engagement are making a fortune
  • There’s a definite sense of FOMO – based I believe on a genuine Risk of Missing Out
  • Cryptocurrency and crypto-economics precipitates a huge change in the way that organisations and companies will form, act and finance. It utterly affects the way that marketing and governance will work.
  • Discord (came from gaming community) and Telegram are really interesting apps that are used heavily in this space and have some nice bot integrations – this paradigm of having a very open platform where the business openly interacts with the community and uses bots to help enrich the conversation points to community engagement of the future
  • I think it is likely that there will continue to be massive market dips until all questions about regulation are resolved
  • McAfee made a great point that due to the speed of transaction and 24/7 trading nature, crypto is basically a highly compressed version of the normal financial markets
  • There are a lot of start-ups in the space but also a lot of existing businesses that see an opportunity to disrupt and transform themselves
  • I found out a whole bunch of new ICOs and projects I’d like to invest in/support

I’m not sure I have a conclusion. I have lots of following-up to do with people I met. I am personally going to continue investing in crypto – both buying existing crypto’s like Bitcoin and Ethereum – and getting involved in ICOs and token sales. I’d like to go to more events and learn more.

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