I just returned to the United States from Lisbon, Portugal. I am a bit jet lagged. My ear is pressurized from being in the sky for 12 hours. The trip was necessary, though. I journeyed to Lisbon to attend a couple of high-profile tech conferences.
I was invited to speak at Steemfest. I was also invited to attend Web Summit as a member of the media. At both conferences, I represented Bitcoin.com. I made my primary mission to spread the gospel of bitcoin and anarchism.
Realizations from Web Summit
Both conferences were amazing, but I learned more from Web Summit. That is not to say Steemfest was uninteresting or unimportant. To the contrary, I probably had more fun at Steemfest. However, Steemfest was a legitimate crypto event. It was full of allies, friends, and co-conspirators in the shared dream of decentralizing the planet. Therefore, my considerations on it can wait until another blog post.
The Web Summit conference, however, taught me bitcoin is still a misunderstood and neglected item in the realm of technology. Matter of fact, the subjects of bitcoin and blockchain were underrepresented. Sure, Joseh Lubin from ConsenSys was there, and so was Jon Matonis of Nchain.
Still, there were not many blockchain ambassadors overall. How did I surmise this?
There were several talks on crypto, but each talk was so packed that not everyone could attend. In other words, the subject was popular, but there was not enough crypto and bitcoin information being disseminated. Demand was high. Supply was low. This is a tragedy for a tech conference that boasts 60,000 + attendees, and has enough pull to coax Stephen Hawking into giving a presentation. I may be biased, but blockchain technology is one of the most revolutionary technologies to emerge in the last decade. Therefore, why was its showing so weak?
What Does This Mean? Crypto-Anarchists Must get Involved
This means we have a lot of work to do. Bitcoiners have to attend these conferences to put crypto on the map. They have to educate people who run all manner of conferences and let them know there are people out there who can teach the uninitiated about the technology. Conference organizers and participants must grasp the power of crypto to transform this world and take the power back from the central bankers and governments.
There was one saving grace at Web Summit, though. BTC.com was there. To my knowledge, they were the only blockchain company showing people how to set up a wallet and use it. They were even giving away free bitcoin cash in order to entice people to learn about blockchain. I was blown away by their set up. Their booth was packed full of people eager to learn about the nascent field of crypto-technologies, and they were drooling to receive their free BCH.
But even with BTC.com being present, there was almost no one talking about how cryptocurrency can undermine governments and banks. I was basically the sole actor promulgating freedom. Most other attendees and speakers were kowtowing to the system and congratulating politicians for regulating technology. It was sickening, but they were almost excited to be in servitude to their political masters.
For example, attendees were discussing how banks should integrate the technology. In my mind, there should have been people talking about how bitcoin disintermediates and frustrates the banking elite, not how they can work together. Central banking is dangerous and dying. There should have been a large assembly of crypto-anarchists evangelizing the use of technology to free people. I mainly saw the opposite, unfortunately.
What to Do Next?
This was disappointing, but the fact I was there provided me with valuable knowledge on how much work still has to be done in the crypto-ecosystem. These conferences are channels that act as instruments to measure the pulse of public consciousness. If crypto-anarchists can drum up support for bitcoin’s ability to transform the world for the better — perhaps more people will become interested in abolishing governments and banking, I believe a lot of the community is on the right track. However, right now the political elite and legacy financial systems are totally immersed in the tech world, and they are tainting the content and direction of the industry.
This throws a wrench in the gears. It makes it more difficult for crypto-anarchists to gain a foothold and start helping people realize that governments are unnecessary. However, when the crypto-anarchists do arrive, they can start reminding people of the purpose of bitcoin and blockchain. They can help people see that certain technologies were built to free humankind, not keep it subdued under the thumb of tyranny. This movement would catch on fast, because the ideas are contagious.
Indeed, I believe we can change the conference perspective and thus society. I believe we can get more interested in freedom. Just the fact that Bitcoin.com was invited to the meeting as a member of media, and that people were interested in my perspective, means we might have some inroads to changing the current climate of statism. People are ready to hear the message. Everyone in the community just needs to continue pushing forward. In the end, crypto-anarchism will emerge and transform the world for the better.
This is just the beginning. We are legion.
What do you think about these tech conferences? Should there be more bitcoin and crypto information? Should crypto-anarchism be a part of the conference culture? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Sterlin.
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