BlocPac presents at APAC Blockchain Summit

Paul Fox from Blockchain Pacific presented at the APAC Blockchain Summit 2018, hosted by the ADCA in Melbourne on 13-15 Mar 2018.

It was a fantastic event.  Nick Giurietto, CEO of the Australian Digital Commerce Association, and the team from Quest Events did a great job.  Those of us that went to the Austrade Blockchain Mission in China last September were also reunited with many friends. Thanks Austrade, this cooperation between China and Australia is crucial to the blockchain ecosystem.

Paul Fox presented on "Venture Capital Investing in the Age of Blockchain – Possible Futures".  We have embedded the presentation below.  It provides some insight into the way we are thinking about designing decentralised venture capital.

Impressions of NEO Devcon 1 in San Francisco Jan 2018

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NEO chose to have their inaugural Devcon in San Francisco.  The event was well attended and covered in NEONewsToday.

NEO is often clued the Chinese Ethereum.  I was fortunate to meet founder “Uncle” Da Hongfei in Shanghai last year - he is an impressive guy.  He kicked off the event with an Apple-like “moon shot” video and some stirring words for the newly faithful.

The recent Weiss Ratings assessed NEO as “Good”, alongside Ethereum, EOS, Cardano and Steem.  Check out the photo of a pleased looking Uncle Da above to see see some of the other ratings.

One of the most interesting presentations for me was Li Yanbo, who talked about tokenising the transmission layer in the same way that compute and storage are being tokenised.  He was inspired by Stephen Wolfram’s New Kind of Science, i.e. using simple rules to creat complex behaviours, like cellular autonoma.  Coming next: “proof of relay”.

There was two days of presentations on a variety of topics and projects. My overall impression is that NEO has won over a lot of developers due to the ability to code in several familiar environments like C#, js or Python.  Many developers told me they’d become frustrated learning Ethereum’s Solidity.

However, compared to Ethereum, they are clearly in early days in terms of developing the community and independent projects.  We wish them luck!  But do you need luck when you're the "Chosen One"? Check out the NEO Anthem, as performed live on stage.

Impressions from Blockchain Connect, San Francisco Jan 2018

Well this headline from says is all: Amidst Chaos, ‘First US-China’ Blockchain Conference Connects 1500 Eager Attendees (Coin Telegraph, Molly Jane Zuckerman, 29 Jan 2018).

I was pretty keen to see the US and China blockchain communities come together at this event, but despite some excellent speakers, the day was let down by stupendously poor organisation. The event was shut down my the fire marshall in the morning due to over crowding. After reopening, you could not afford to leave the auditorium for a bio-break for fear of the 40 min wait to get back in. I wont be going to another of their events.

Interesting talks by Charlie Lee of Lite Coin on creating a market for transaction fees. Essentially enabling miners in POW to signal their minimum fee in the header and enabling users to see a fee history.

Investor Elad Gil said that traditional financial institutions saying "Although we do not believe in cryptocurrencies, we do believe the blockchain technology." is like saying "Although we do not believe the Internet, we do believe in TCP/IP. "

A panel of the leaders of (mainly Chinese and Japanese) exchanges talked about how they picked which coins to list.  Unsurprisingly, all saying they are “highly selective”.  Included OK, Binance, Kraken, Huobi and Quoine. Transparency and rigorous of selection clearly varied between the exchanges.

Professor Shoucheng Zhang, Physics at Stanford and Chairman, DHVC drew parallels between the laws of physics (specifically entropy) and self managing blockchain systems.

Dawn Song of UC Berkley is developing open source secure hardware design for blockchain enabled IOT end points. Details to be announced.

Joseph Poon gave a thoughtful and opinionated talk about scalability.  He slammed IOTA, saying "If DAG worked we'd have had blockchains 20 years ago."

Out in the exhibition hall there were quite a few booths with Chinese blockchain projects.

Overall, a great event concept and some great speakers, spoiled by poor organisation.

BlockchainPacific sponsors Cryptomas, the Sydney Blockchain Party

Was great to see a massive (400+) crowd at the Metropolitan Hotel in Sydney for the combined Sydney Blockchain meet ups holiday party.  We were proud to be a co-sponsor. Special thanks to the organisers  from @SydEthereum, BitcoinSYD, Blockchain Professionals Sydney, Australian Healthcare and Blockchain and OzBerry.  They keep the community going all year.

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AML Regulation Unlocks Safe Growth of Digital Currency Sector

Amendments to Australia's Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing laws that passed today will facilitate the accelerated and safe growth of the innovative digital currency sector.

The Australian Digital Currency Association, ADCA, which represents most Australian digital currency businesses, has welcomed the move to formally regulate the digital currency sector that requires digital currency exchanges to register with AUSTRAC and meet AML policy and reporting obligations.

ADCA CEO, Nicholas Giurietto, said "ADCA has been calling for formal regulation of digital currency businesses in Australia since its inception and has been pleased to work with the Australian Government in an extensive consultation process to help ensure that not only the legislation but also the detailed regulation that will follow is as effective as possible."

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More Than Fintech Leadership At Stake, Australia Must Create Blockchain Friendly Environment

Good news today that Australia has bipartisan support for cryptocurrency (e.g. bitcoin) as an offical form of currency.  You can read the article here: Bipartisan push for the Reserve Bank to back Australian bitcoin (Eryk Bagshaw, SMH, 8 Aug 2017).  More commentary and history at Bitsonline (Jon Southurst, 7 Aug 2017).

Liberal Senator Jane Hume and Labor Senator Sam Dastyari have formed the Parliamentary Friends of Blockchain which launches today at Parliament House.

The government can do a lot to foster an environment where Australia can lead the world in the adoption of new technologies. They can use incentives and subsidies to level the playing field in the short to medium term.  They can also use regulation to create certainty and protect the vulnerable.

However, even well meaning government activity can create unintended consequences. What principles should we use to guide thought?  Here are my initial suggestions:

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