Consensus: DAY 3/DAY 4
Day 3 and day 4 was jam packed with some incredible speakers.
Jimmy Song & Todd Share
We firstly got to see the ultimate Bitcoin Maxi in Jimmy Song discuss all things Bitcoin. He spoke at length on the technical upgrades to Bitcoin, the most recent being the Taproot upgrade, in his infamous cowboy hat!
Jimmy Song is a Bitcoin developer, educator and entrepreneur. He’s a programmer with over 20 years experience, an open source contributor to many different Bitcoin projects and the author of Programming Bitcoin from O’Reilly, The Little Bitcoin Book, Thank God for Bitcoin and Bitcoin and the American Dream. Jimmy has been a lecturer at the University of Texas, an expert witness in legal cases involving Bitcoin and is an advisor to multiple companies. Jimmy writes a weekly newsletter, Bitcoin Tech Talk and has a podcast Bitcoin Fixes This.
Quite simply, the Taproot upgrade batches multiple signatures and transactions together. Digital signatures are required on Bitcoin’s network to verify transactions. They are generated using private keys and are validated against public keys.
Before Taproot’s implementation, verification of transactions on Bitcoin’s network was slow because each digital signature was validated against a public key. This method multiplied the amount of time required for complex multisig transactions that require multiple inputs and signatures.
The Taproot implementation enables signature aggregation. In simple words, this means that multiple signatures can be batched together and validated. The benefit for multisig transactions—or transactions that require sign offs from multiple parties—is even more pronounced since the upgrade condenses transactions containing many inputs, such as those from multiple addresses on Bitcoin’s network, into a single one.
It’s always refreshing in such a period of negativity and downturn to hear one of Bitcoin’s greatest maxi’s speak at length of the growing importance of Bitcoin!
Also speaking at the same time was Todd Share – Director of Tech Ops for Foundry Digital.
Todd is the Director of Technical Operations Engineering at Foundry, a DCG subsidiary. He has spent the last 20 years in the software engineering field working in various software development, quality, and operations lead roles for Fortune 500 companies and financial services leaders such as Xerox, Thomson Reuters, and Paychex. After discovering Bitcoin in early 2013, it quickly became a personal passion for him. Having the opportunity to leverage both his personal and professional fervour at Foundry, Todd is committed to executing on Foundry’s goal of empowering a decentralised future.
Todd was able to speak at length on the future changes coming to how mining pools are built, potentially seeing alternative mining pools launched which give more users end power and transparency, essentially allowing miners to individually vote on proposals, also showing more transparency that the computation they put in, gets paid out accordingly.
Can the little guys win or is the game forever rigged? – Jaime Rogozinksi Founder Wall Street Bets & Matthew Roszak Co-founder of Bloq
Jaime Rogozinski is a serial entrepreneur, public speaker and published author. With a cutting-edge view of technology and business, Rogozinski is best known for founding WallStreetBets, which yields a commanding presence in the world of finance. WallStreetBets was launched in 2012, and has since amassed over 11.5 million subscribers. Both WallStreetBets and Rogozinski himself have been featured in prominent news outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNBC, Money Magazine, Forbes, Business Insider, Fox Business, CNN and more. Rogozinski holds a degree in economics and is actively involved with technology and startup communities. Notably, Rogozinski is a strategic advisor to the WallStreetBets decentralised application (WSBDApp), a blockchain-based platform where the WallStreetBets retail investor community can immerse themselves in the booming sector of decentralised finance. Through the WSBDApp, investors can compose, rebalance and terminate portfolios, similar to index funds, of fiat-linked crypto stablecoins, tokenized commodities and crypto native assets.
Jaime spoke about his move from the stock markets to cryptocurrency markets due to the sophistication of the technology and the growing spaces of liquidity, DeFi, automatic market makers and many other possibilities. Jaime, being most famous for the Game Stop era, was able to really describe the importance of community engagement and what the little guys can do once they band together to achieve a certain outcome.
Jaime also spoke of the importance of impending regulation (e.g. protection from things such as LUNA/UST) – people lose money, people have gambling issues, it’s important that the overwhelming majority understand losses and that it’s a part of trading. Sophisticated people even get caught off guard through trust, example being earning 20% through anchor on UST until the crash. DeFi is still a huge market in which there’s roughly ~150b market, and will continue to grow, thus, it’s important that things continue to get engineered properly as these things are a pressure test and DeFi is around for many years to come. He also spoke of a reckoning on the definition of a stablecoin, as these coins can break and depeg and are not ‘stable’ in nature (ie UST). Very insightful!
Matthew Roszak is a leading blockchain investor, entrepreneur and advocate. Mr. Roszak is chairman and co-founder of Bloq, a blockchain technology company – and the creators of Vesper, Titan, Lumerin, Atmos, Capsule and Metronome. Mr. Roszak is also founding partner of Tally Capital, a private investment firm focused on crypto and Web3 technologies, with a portfolio of market leading companies including: Binance, Block.One, Blockstream, Coinbase, Core Scientific, Messari, Niftys, Sfermion, and The Graph. Mr. Roszak serves as chairman of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, the world’s first and largest trade association representing the blockchain industry.
In addition, Mr. Roszak serves on the board of BitGive, a non- profit foundation that improves philanthropic impact with blockchain technology. Mr. Roszak was a producer of the industry’s first ever documentary, The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin. “Web3 represents one of the greatest generational opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors.” – Matthew Roszak Mr. Roszak is a sought after thought leader on blockchain technology, and has testified as an expert before the U.S. Congress.
Speaking with Jaime, he was able to reiterate a lot of what other leading investors from the early days were, that is, the importance of understanding your investments in the underlying technology and that cryptocurrency is here to stay. Together, both Jaime and Matthew were able to provide important insight into community engagement through various digital applications we now have, such as Discord, Telegram, and others, and how communities and likeminded blockchain enthusiasts can strive to ensure that blockchain technology continues to strive. They were also able to conclude that there are always losing investors or projects that make mistakes, such as Terra, but it is these risks and innovations that lead to failures that allow the market to grow, improve and prosper the entirety of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Chainlink & Fantom
We were also able to go along to the smaller stages and see the likes of Sergey Nazarov, Co-Founder of Chainlink, the leading decentralised oracle network used by global enterprises and projects at the forefront of the blockchain space. Chainlink enables smart contracts on any blockchain to reliably connect to real-world data and currently secures billions in value for smart contracts across the decentralized finance (DeFi), insurance, and gaming industries, among others. Working with leading banks, insurance companies, and large technology firms on the creation of universally connected smart contracts gives Nazarov a unique perspective on what is required to drive mainstream adoption of blockchain technology. This was the gist of his talk, explaining the utility of Chainlink and how it can continue to grow as one of the most important projects in the blockchain ecosystem.
We also visited Fantom. Speaking at Fantom was Clay Kilgo. After a decade long career in advertising technology, Clay made his full time transition to the crypto, blockchain, web3 space. He’s been in the crypto space since early 2017 and currently focuses on the growing Fantom Layer 1 ecosystem. He is a currently a host and the producer of the Fantom Unchained podcast and YouTube channel. Also speaking was Austin Rampt. Austin is the Founder and CEO of FTM Alerts. Austin is the leading social media and educational KOL on the Fantom network. Austin is committed to helping the advancement of Web3 and the Fantom network by acting as a liason between developers, the Fantom community and the Fantom foundation. With a focus on Defi education and adoption Austin has created a series of high quality instructional content to help lower the “Barrier of entry” for new participants to the space.
Additionally Michael Kong was also present. Michael Kong is the Chief Executive Officer of Fantom. He has a background in Finance and Information Technology from the University of Sydney, where he published papers on smart contract security. He worked as the first full-time engineer for Block8, a blockchain development company in Sydney, and later founded one of Australia’s first funds in digital assets (now Trovio Group). Speaking alongside him was Pete Ho, one of the founders of Fiberblock Company Limited (fiberblock.io) and the Tank Wars Zone project (tankwars.zone) on Fantom. He has been involved in the blockchain market quite early since 2013, mining and trading Bitcoin and some other cryptocurrencies. In 2019, along with Paul, his co-founders, and Lawson, their strategic advisor, they became the first community validator on Fantom Network, only after the founding ones from the Fantom Foundation. They’ve been operating Fantom validator ever since and that opportunity actually has given us an incredible amount of knowledge, experience, and also in capital returns. Currently, they are also one of the most staked validators on Fuse Network, another promising sidechain. Moreover, the company also launched an NFT marketplace (Artrific.io) and DEX (fluxswap.io) on Fuse. All of these speakers provided great insight into the ecosystem of Fantom and upcoming protocols to help it grow, including a spotlight on the Liquid Driver – providing liquidity as a service and on demand, as well as weight pools. Furthermore, the protocol of Beethoven was spoken on, a protocol that is the next generation of Decentralised Exchanges, a more Uniswap style trading with unique differentiators. Also very cool NFT protocols incoming! We were excited to hear from independent developers and the team behind Fantom that they are still bullish on their prospects and remaining very busy after a tough few months.
Changpang Zhao – CEO and Founder of Binance
We were able to conclude our speakers at Consensus by listening to the great CZ!
Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ, is the CEO and Founder of Binance, the leading blockchain ecosystem behind the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Raised and educated in Canada, CZ started his career at Bloomberg Tradebook where he developed futures trading software for Wall Street. He then founded Fusion Systems which built high-frequency systems for brokers. Before launching Binance in July 2017, he was involved in various cryptocurrency companies, including serving as Head of Technology for Blockchain.info (now known as Blockchain.com), the first bitcoin blockchain explorer. As an engineer who developed trading software for traditional financial platforms and the son of a professor who was exiled from China, CZ is passionate about the transparency and efficiency of crypto. In 2020, CZ was recognized in Bloomberg 50 as one of the most influential people of the year who has changed the global business landscape. CZ studied computer science at Montreal’s McGill University.
In his speech, it was a short, sharp yet very insightful talk on all things Binance, regulation, the future of cryptocurrency and even his own popularity! The Coin Desk reporter was quick to note that CZ is a celebrity in the realms of the Chinese cryptocurrency communities, in which he was quick to reply with wit that he is also a celebrity at the American ones! CZ was able to speak very confidently on the long term future of cryptocurrency and the market that is developing at such a rapid pace, oozing confidence too in Binances long term approach to the market. He specifically spoke on the size of Binance’s “war chest” and noted that Binance did not over leverage themselves with crazy sponsorships (such as sport ones), but rather been investing in their development, free education and of course their own team. Binance is currently picking up some of the worlds best developers which are being let go by other struggling companies in such bearish times. Long live CZ!
Consensus was an amazing experience for us Mining Store members. We were able to get our foot in the door with a very few select important individuals in the industry that could open up many doors not only for us, but our members. We look forward to attending in the future and expanding this great community even more.