We took a 7-hour train from Brno (Czech Republic), the home of Turing Technology, to Berlin, the home of the Crypto Conference.
On the listings were several crypto talks that we were very excited for, and so we took notes and wrote down quotes for the benefit of those who couldn’t make it.
Here’s our review:
08:00 — 09:30
Event Registration & Networking Breakfast
We loaded up on coffee, croissants and cheese sandwiches, before finding our seats…
Crypto Market – an Overview
‘Bitcoin as money’ – why Bitcoin is money and how it compares to fiat and gold.
As business editor of the Epoch Times, Valentin was well placed to discuss the topic of ‘Bitcoin solving the issue of corruption in money’ and the various side effects of a decentralized economy. He discussed the current status of Bitcoin and what it needs to do to be accepted as money.
He started my discussing ‘What is money?’, and validated Bitcoin as money, by noting the issues of adoption, scaling and volatility. He then compared Bitcoin to fiat money and shared all of the flaws of traditional money, before moving on to gold and explaining the problems of this resource. Running around with gold coins in your pockets was pretty much the main issue.
Pros of Bitcoin
Decentralized, ultimate ownership, nobody’s liability.
Bitcoin is not a bubble, according to Valentin.
How to scale Bitcoin
‘Technology is making progress, whereas the price is stagnating’ Valentin said. If the banks were to go bust, Bitcoin would be even stronger, as we have a functioning payment system while the banks are closed. Stability of the Bitcoin price would enable it to be used better for loans and purchases.
10:00 — 10:15
Future of Entertainment: Television & Lifestyle on a Blockchain
‘Outlook on how the industry will change, and it will change.’
Hendrik discussed the history of German media, then the changes when the internet arrived. He worked with the first live online media network in Germany and witnessed the changing media first hand. One day there were zero people on his network and they wondered what had happened. The community then wrote in and said they weren’t happy with the network and they had some suggestions, shaping the way the network changed their content.
This is how blockchain can change the media now, making it accountable with better feedback, make it shaped by the community, it can even solve licensing and contract problems. Value tokens for networks, but not as currency, are one way. The tokenization process for industries in an industry with $500bn in licensing fees every year can be a game changer. They want the audience to be an influential part of the system to improve the quality, allowing many more people to become a part of the media industry.
A system in which people create free content that the media can pay to use could create a new generation of producers and content in a new format. That’s the goal.
10:15 — 11:00
Future of Entertainment: Television & Lifestyle on a Blockchain – Panel
Stefan Schulz – Founder and former CEO of Watchever
Axel Hesse – Founder and CEO of Vyda
Jan Philip Hofste – Co-founder of TV-TWO
Sebastian Deyle – ConcertVR
Discussion of how blockchain will affect content, media, audiences.
‘What is the future of tv, lifestyle, and entertainment in the blockchain space?’
Jan: We made it central to our mission for users to get rewarded for their data and attention. Something that GDPR will impact, for us and Netflix because we hold so much data.
Sebastian: Consuming content whenever you feel like and on demand, rather than when a channel entertains you as you feel. Technologies will move in this direction (away from scheduled content).
Stefan: We can create and monetize thanks to the blockchain, this is the disruptive technology. My idea is to bring more content from all the users, protect them and make them some money.
Axel: Another currency, aside from Bitcoin, Euros and the Dollar, is attention. Even the tiniest consumer from the smallest city wants to feel like he or she has an impact. Everyone wants to put something out there, so I think tv will be interactive and live. This would be called the Attention Economy and it may be the currency and economy of the future.
‘In a decentralised system, how would you make it economically viable to produce content?’
Hendrik: If a technology solves a problem, use it, whether they are big or small problems. The future will then appear during the process, along with the audience. Good content in a pay per view system will fund more content. Eventually, the viewers will earn for watching, because they are partially responsible for the earnings of the network. People want to participate and they want to know how it all works. Viewers will be a part of the investment process in deciding what shows get made.
Jan: If you built a token model with fixed supply and each new member increases the value of the token, everyone becomes a part of a powerful system.
Sebastian: Do people really want to participate and make decisions? Or is this a process that will change in 2, 5 or 10 years?
Hendrik: I always listen to what the audience wants. Sometimes they are loud, sometimes not so loud, but there is always feedback. You will see it in the ratings straight away if you don’t listen. What was missing was a channel for people who want to influence television. Follow your community and you will be successful.
Stefan: I find it easier to find the audience if you are a content creator in this p2p model. Augmented reality is a way to interact with television. The future of augmented reality is where all of the traffic goes to an augmented place where all media exists side by side.
‘What are the key drivers to get engagement in this new television market, is it payment through tokens, gamification or engagement of audiences?’
Axel: The audience wants something tangible because they give their data away. People don’t realise what is done with this data, so they want benefits, whatever they are.
Stefan: Ease of access is important. The ease of access for TV is great, there are few borders. Ease of access also leads to the paradox of choice. Too much content could be an issue.
Some other notes we caught:
“In the future, we are going to have virtual meetings in virtual worlds. This is surely going to happen because now we can see that in all major large cities, there are huge problems with traffic and this leads to the inefficient loss of time.
The similar technology was seen, for example, in Second Life, which was a game in early 2000 where people were meeting in a virtual space. Now we are able to build professional solutions for enterprises, which would highly benefit such technologies.
Payment and tokenization of such systems would be possible thanks to blockchain technologies, but generally speaking, this field has only some crossovers with the blockchain, it is not dependent on it.
11:00 — 11:30
Women in Blockchain – Panel
11:30 — 11:45
Use Cases of Blockchain Technology
11:45 — 12:15
Blockchain Entrepreneurship in Berlin – Panel
12:15 — 12:45
Future of Money – Panel
There was a very interesting comparison of the current situation, and the situation in middle-ages. In that time, the king has his own currency and once somebody would like to move out of his land, he could start his own currency and fuel up his own economy.
Currently, there are more than 2000 cryptocurrencies. Anybody who is interested can make their own and use it for their own purposes. Literally, it would take you only a couple of hours to create your own one, for example, based on the ERC20 token technology.
12:45 — 13:00
Participating in ICO’s
We paused for lunch here.
The talks so far have been great, giving a basic outlook on the cryptocurrency world, and what potential uses it can have. We walked over to ConcertVR’s exhibition stall and tried out their technology.
14:00 — 14:15
Future of Commerce: Challenges & Solutions
14:15 — 15:00
Future of Commerce: Challenges & Solutions – Panel
15:00 — 15:15
How Tokenization works in the Real Economy
The real economy is currently not prepared for tokenizing everything – it wouldn’t be possible due to legal and technological reasons. Currently, it is legal reasons that block many industries from using their own payment systems based on cryptocurrency.
The problem of Bitcoin is that it is not widely accepted yet. For mass distribution, an acceptance system is needed. Once we will able to pay anywhere in the world with Bitcoin, it may become a global currency and fuse together economies.
15:15 — 15:45
Legal & Tax Frameworks for ICOs
We understood this mainly as a PR campaign for their company, and that they are about to offer ICO legal framework. Generally, they spoke about the difference between utility and equity tokens and how they should be used.
15:45 — 16:15
Fireside Chat: MADANA & Lisk
16:15 — 16:30
Future of Security: Smart Contracts & Wallets / Audit as Trust Factors
16:30 — 17:00
Future of Security: Smart Contracts & Wallets / Audit as Trust Factors – Panel
17:00 — 17:15
AI & Blockchain: Today and the Future
‘The two most disruptive things in technology right now are the blockchain, because it’s disrupting governments, and AI, which is the most disruptive technology of all time, because in theory, it’s the last invention humanity will make.
- Blockchain AIs will transform communities and computing.
- In the future, AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) will use data from tokenized APIs automatically, connecting all computers to a planet-covering AI brain.
- AI will provide mechanisms for understanding human behaviour
- In the future decentralised autonomous organisations govern human communities
- UBI, Universal Free Healthcare, and Universal Free Education all possible with AGI (and blockchain combination).
Despite all of the hype with AI and blockchain technology, it could actually be very helpful to join these two giant fields together to accomplish a self-sustaining and independent society. All people are talking about is how AI will take jobs from blue-collar workers, but actually most of the non-creative jobs, such as lawyers, medical doctors and many other ‘non-blue collar’ jobs should really be those with a fear of AI, because basically what they do is that they analyse a lot of data and find clues and ways to reason the current case with past cases and situations. They are finding the current consensus and precedent.
17:15 — 18:00
Future of Corporate Business – Panel
End of day review
We had a good look at the exhibition room as well as catching half of the day’s crypto talks. There were some interesting projects, and for each one whose team we engaged with, we had one ‘simple’ question – ‘Why does it need to be on the blockchain?’. We heard a variety of answers, all were convincing to various degrees, though there were some, we won’t name names, that didn’t really need the blockchain.
Max Krupyshev was perhaps the most interesting speaker of the day.
There was great food included, a hospitable atmosphere and a great moderator of the talks. We looked forward to what the next day would bring.