by David Drake
The CoinAgenda Europe conference held at the World Trade Center in Barcelona, Spain from July 16 to 18, 2017 brought together over 200 attendees from North America and Europe to discuss bitcoin and digital currency. The conference organized by Michael Terpin, founder of CoinAgenda, is the first held in Europe exclusively for bitcoin investors to discuss the future of blockchain technology and digital currencies across sectors.
Investment opportunities and risks in bitcoin and digital currency industry were discussed in the conference. In mid-July we saw bitcoin take a 40% haircut in valuation because allegedly TenX was cashing-out on investments. We also saw Bitcoin rebound quickly to $2,600. On Monday, July 24th, more than $7M worth of ethereum was stolen within half an hour when CoinDash site was hacked. The buyers in the market have very limited legal recourse. However, the recent announcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) show the same enforcement direction when the JOBS Act was created in 2012 in order to protect the investors.
The industry is expanding very rapidly and I won’t be surprised if it becomes mainstream very soon. The market cap for cryptocurrency recently exceeded $100 billion, from $11 billion a year ago. Companies such as Bancor, EOS, and Tezos have each already raised hundred of millions of dollars through ICOs.
Family offices, investors, startups, crypto-professionals and entrepreneurs had illuminating discussion with the conference speakers. I was in the panel where this topic was discussed: Family Offices Read the Tea Leaves: How Much Investment, How Soon?
Other topics included the enterprise of public blockchains and how it is anticipated to drive demand; new disruptors in the industry; how much investment family offices are projected to put in the industry; how to build your community; how to build your token; and best practices for token sale. Some of the speakers were:
- Brock Pierce, Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation
- Dominik Zynis, Co-Founder, Wings
- Emmie Chang, Superbloom Capital
- Erick Miller, CEO of CoinCircle
- Farley Duval, Founder, White Bull
- Igor Khmel, Founder at Bankex.org
- Jani Valjavec, Co-Founder, ICONOMI
- Jeremy Gardner, Founder, the Blockchain Education Network
- Joe Lubin, Co-Founder, Ethereum
- Joey Garcia, ISOLAS
- Kamil Przeorski, Founder of Experty.io
- Moe Levin, Founder, Keynote
- Pavlo Tanasyuk, CEO and Founder, BlockVerify
- Sasha Ivanov, CEO and founder, Waves Platform
- Steven Sprague, CEO of Rivetz
- Valentin Preobrazhenskiy, CEO of LAToken
I have encountered more challenging companies like Greeneum for tokenizing the whole solar industry on a global basis by rewarding data from the operators to analyze demands locally. At the same time, LDJcrypto, my own firm is structuring an insured crypto-currency acquisition and asset management company for Wall Street, institutions, and for our family office relationships globally. For now, every company is putting its best foot forward to build the best tokens, attract more investors, and sustain their businesses.
This three-day event was highly informative and educational. It presented a platform and avenue for open discussions, exhibits, startup presentations and networking. It was opened and closed by a party for all participants. The second day was concluded by a legendary Penthouse Cocktail with tapas at the W Hotel on the beach where I resided for the week.
Five innovative companies were also awarded during the event. These were: SALT Lending, Hive Project, Omega One, DENT Wireless, and Propy.
Some of the firms we met and now helping are Consultations.network aka Experty.io who was one of the platinum sponsors for this conference. Experty.io enables real time monetization of experts’ time leveraging smart contracts & blockchain tech in an end-to-end ecosystem delivering decentralized access to experts, athletes, celebrities, and advisers. Experty.io is a paid decentralized calling platform similar to Skype made for mobile and desktops.
Meanwhile, LAToken, a silver sponsor, will tokenize and make assets tradeable ranging from equity and debt to real estate and works of art. The platform is based on an existing home equity marketplace, founded by the CEO of LAToken, that has facilitated 12,000 mortgage offers and more than 1,000 deals for 7 banks and 25 investors in the past year.
“My dream is to make NASDAQ on Blockchain with a wider range of tradable assets and a dramatic reduction of listing costs, settlement time, and transaction costs,” says Valentin Preobrazhenskiy, CEO of LAToken, former portfolio manager at Avega Capital, and creator of a back office for hedge funds.
BankEx, a platform providing sophisticated and novel banking-as-a-service solutions to institutions globally, were sponsors and well-received presenters at CoinAgenda Barcelona. CEO Igor Khmel, a Stanford MBA and an alumnus of McKinsey and Citadel, founded blockchain-powered BankEx after a three-year tenure leading the Innovation practice at Sberbank, the largest financial services institution in Russia.
There is an ongoing revolution on cryptocurrencies. This is driven by the trust in cryptocurrency and its underlying blockchain technology. This trust is just like the note in the dollar that says ‘In God We Trust’. However, the cryptocurrency industry is a complicated ecosystem that will need a lot of growing up for its volatility is still unhampered.