BlockCon & Decentralized Identity

The Big News: BlockCon & Decentralized Identity

Sorry all for missing the last couple of weeks! We were both traveling - but getting back into the rhythm now.

I had the opportunity to attend BlockCon recently so I wanted to share some of my insights. First of all, interest in crypto has and continues to explode. BlockCon was buzzing. There was another crypto conference recently here in London that I attended in 2016, and in 2016 they were giving away tickets, begging people to come speak, they had presenters not show up to give their talks. This year - the conference was packed, people were waiting outside just to try and get tickets to get in. What a difference a year has made!

BlockCon was equally crazy with over 1,000 attendees cramming into the odd venue of an old airplane museum. The vibe was very “LA Hippie” for lack of a better word. I find it fascinating how blockchain has attracted such a diverse cast of characters. You attend crypto events in NYC and London, and it’s suits, but in Southern California… it’s burning man and Hollywood flare, but everyone is part of a community trying to do big things and the energy is contagious.

I learned a lot moderating  a panel on Identity with panelists Vinny Lingham (CEO Civic), Justin Newton (CEO NetKi), Armin Ibrahimi (CEO ShoCard), and Rouven Heck (Project Lead uPort). In this new movement to “decentralize all the things” we’ve first seen the decentralization of money, and very quickly everyone realized that decentralized identity was going to be one of the next logical moves. On the panel, we discussed how broken our current system is when we have massive data breaches like Equifax, and the fact that we have to give our data to countless websites without knowing what they’re doing to protect it.

Vinny shared a great example of how our digital identity should be like our identity in the physical world. When you show up at a bar, you show your ID to the security guard and he let’s you in. Your ID isn’t stored somewhere, he’s not going to remember your ID and use it in some malicious way. This is what services like Civic, Shocard, and uPort are trying to replicate. Users are in control of their data and who gets to see it, and users’ identity is always stored on their mobile devices only.

To learn more about decentralized identity, check out Vinny’s article in Forbes here. And once videos of the conference are live, I’ll make sure to provide a link.

Also, Spencer is moderating a panel at Consensys’ Ethereal this week in SF. You can catch the livestream here.



Interesting Articles

  • There has been a noticeable pendulum swing between BTC and alt coins. When BTC strengthens on a rally, altcoins get weaker. But then as BTC reaches resistance, the pendulum swings back the other way. Are we approaching alts season? Link

  • Moody’s says the threat of blockchains and cryptocurrencies is real but distant Link

  • Vitalik: 90% of token startups will fail Link

  • We have seen ICOs raise exorbitant amounts of money in an unregulated way, with questionable and new governance policies. We’re starting to see signs of strain as word leaked of a legal dispute with Tezos (they raised $232 million earlier this year). Link

  • Great case for crypto. Adam Ludwin’s response to Jamie Dimon. Link

  • China has wreaked havoc on the crypto space with their back and forth stance on the technology. Now it seems like they are inching closer to launching their own digital currency. Link Russia is right on their heels preparing to launch CryptoRubble. Link

  • Super in-depth article from Chris Burniske walking through Cryptoassets Valuation methods. Link


Chart of the Week

Josh Nussbaum, Compound.VC, put together this great chart providing an overview of the whole ecosystem. This is a difficult space to map because things are evolving so quickly - we’ll see how many of these companies are still around in one year. Full overview here.