I attended #TokenFest in San Francisco from March 15-16 which allowed me to meet more of the cryptocurrency community. The event was very well organized and hosted over 130 exhibitors and over 1000+ attendees in the beautiful venue of The Palace of Fine Arts. It was a great event and I look forward to attending again next year. I am eager to share my experience and thoughts from the event. Takeaways from TokenFest in San Francisco include:
1. Bitcoin & blockchain is the real deal.
We hear a lot from the media, government, social media, etc. about whether Bitcoin is a scam or a bubble waiting to implode. Listening to the speakers and learning about the projects happening makes you realize that bitcoin and blockchain technology are around to stay. There is still a lot of unknown about the future of bitcoin but I do expect there to be one digital currency that is global and decentralized. Blockchain technology is being adapted by most governments and businesses across the world. A decentralized ledger is important and critical. Both bitcoin and blockchain are not going away.
2. Mama Draper has to be tired of listening about Bitcoin at dinner
Tim Draper and his son Adam were two of the keynote speakers at the event discussing their history investing in bitcoin. Tim was an early investor in bitcoin once buying almost 30 thousand bitcoins in 2014. Tim describes a future in 5 years where the Starbucks barista will be laughing at you if you true to use fiat. He is now looking for investing in projects that will decentralize the government. Adam Draper was one of the first investors in Coinbase.com and is managing partner in Boost VC. The conversation between the two was funny and engaging and Tim mentioned that his wife is getting tired of all the bitcoin talk at dinner.
3. The energy from the event was electric
Every attendee, speaker and exhibitor I talked to was excited for the future and willing to discuss their favorite project, ICO, altcoin or trading style. There was an excitement at the event which can only be found at new and growing industries. I have attended hundreds of conferences across the globe and this is one of the most energetic crowds to date. It might have been that most attendees were under 40 or it could be the true excitement around the bitcoin community.
4. The brightest minds are focused on cryptocurrency
The greatest minds in the US are slowly moving into this industry. More tech professionals and successful entrepreneurs are launching their own projects. The speakers were highly creditable and successful. Jeremy Gardner, Co-Founder of Ausum Ventures and investor in Augur discussed his vision about the future of bitcoin and how institutional investors will start investing soon after regulations are announced. Alex Mashinsky, CEO of Celsius Network, was launching the Celsius ICO during the event and was focused on bringing the next 100 million users into crypto. Nathan Nichols, CEO of TaxToken, described a bitcoin which can take advantage of a better user face which will allow users to travel internationally and use bitcoin to pay for Ubers across the globe. Peter Diamandis, Co-Founder of XPRIZE, provided a visionary view of the future of technology and his ppt slides can be found at www.diamandis.com/slides. Phil Sigler, COO of TheLendingCoin, is focused on bringing a SEC compliant, real estate backed token using blockchain technology.
5. Crypto community is changing the history of our global economy
Many speakers provided a visionary approach to the future of digital currency and usage of blockchain technology. I know bitcoin has made a small impact on the global capital markets to date, but I fully expect crypto to change the world. The new blockchain technology will begin to provide customers a secure, decentralized world in all industries from healthcare to online gambling. This event allowed me to continue to learn about this fast growing industry and I expect many great projects to be launched soon in the crypto world that will forever change our history.