Reflecting on CBC 2018
17th December 2018
Last week, Jack and I attended CryptoBlockCon. This was my first time working in person with Jack (bringing my total number of QRL team members met to 8, only a few more to go!), and I have to say, while Canadians are supposed to be polite, it is always more impressive in person.
Blockchain In The Wider World
The event was held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. In addition to CBC, the MLB Winter Meetings, and a National Finals Rodeo competition was being held nearby, so many of the competitors were staying at Mandalay Bay. Certainly, literal cowboys, baseball executives and blockchain enthusiasts rubbing shoulders made for some interesting juxtapositions. As much as those of us within the industry can sometimes get weary of terms like “adoption” or “mainstream” or “awareness” — moments like these serve as an eloquent reminder, to me, that blockchain/cryptocurrency are still completely unknown to large swaths of American society, at least. It’s useful, I find, to sometimes recognize that for all the drama this space can sometimes produce, that in the long-run, these are minor speedbumps that will be hardly (if at all) remembered by the vast majority of crypto users within the next 10 years.
Spreading The Word
On the first day of the conference, I sat for an interview with LAB Radio, of Coinstructive Consulting. The interview went very well, though at the end of it we discovered that the camera had filled up its memory card part-way through. However, I believe all the audio was salvaged, so it is possible that interview will come out as audio-only. We will tweet out the link to that interview when it is available to us. It was an enjoyable interview, and I am very happy it was not entirely sacrificed to the gods of technological variance.
Met some individuals who are attempting to help inform the blockchain community more accurately and easily, something in sore need of in this space. Blockchain Weekly is, as the name implies, a weekly newsletter delivering various blockchain and cryptocurrency related links, videos, and articles. I cannot wait until there is true, comprehensive coverage of this industry in a reliable and accurate manner. Or at least until there is sufficient competition as to make that a plausible situation. As is, mediocre outlets with no interest in follow-up or fact-checking dominate the space, and sow confusion with every inaccuracy they publish, or quasi-accuracy they fail to properly vet.
Made An Impression
Over the past year, my speaking times, circumstances, and indeed my presentation itself has shifted and mutated as needed. This time, my speaking slot was at the very end of the last day of the conference. Now, while it might be nice to close out a music festival, functionally closing out a conference is a different matter altogether. After a few long days inside an at-times labyrinthine building like the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino (which was made more confusing by 3 separate conferences all being held inside it at once), people are tired. To be blunt; speaking first or last on the last day of a conference can be tough — people are tired, they may have already seen many of the booths available, and the disinterest is sometimes real.
Which is why I was so pleasantly surprised that, after my presentation was over, I was excitedly approached by a professor from a university in America who was interested in potentially collaborating with us, or at the very least exchanging information in a hopefully mutually beneficial way. I am leaving this description purposefully vague at this time as we are not sure what this potential relationship may or may not blossom in to.
CBC was our last conference of the year. It was also our 11th. I had the opportunity and pleasure of attending 10 of them (only one I missed was the Crypto Valley Conference), and can honestly say that while they were not all created equal, they all brought slightly different visions of what a blockchain/cryptocurrency conference could/should be.
To review, our 2018 appearances were:
Crypto Valley Conference 2018
New York FinTech Week
Voice of Blockchain 2018
CryptoBlockCon Las Vegas
One Final Note
One of the highlights of my conference tour in 2018 were those rare and precious moments when I got to interact with community members. These were all informal (mostly in the context of a bar/pub) meetups; we shared a drink (or two), and got to talk and get to know one another. Meeting the people that use QRL always fills me with a sense of optimism and opportunity. I know that this protocol, and its ecosystem, will continue to blossom in 2019, as it has in 2018.
17th December 2018