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.