An open letter to the Montreal Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Community RePreSent…

Austin Hill
3 min readJul 9, 2018


Summer is a fun time in Montreal. It’s Festival season, Just for Laughs, JazzFest, MUTEK, Montreal Pride and one of my own personal favourites Startupfest.

The team at Startupfest have continued the tradition of bringing together great speakers and thought leaders to infuse and embrue Montreal’s already eclectic mixing pot community with a side event called CryptoFest. The organizing asked me if I thought doing a CryptoFest was good for the community and I gave them all clear because WE SHOULD BE.

Montreal is a hotbed of crypto innovation. Quebec is ground zero in ecological crypto currency mining economics. Many people may not know it, but Montreal has a long tradition in computer security, cryptography & cypherpunk history with the works of Dr. Gilles Brassard work on Quantum Cryptography at UQAM, Professor Claude Crepeau & Dr. Stefan Brands efforts at McGill and some of my own efforts with companies like Zero-Knowledge Systems and Blockstream. All companies and work that are Montreal born and breed.

But the community is so much bigger. The team behind the Bitcoin Embassy & Catallaxy, the growing Ethereum community in Montreal , the growing number of crypto currency miners moving into Quebec and those who have been mining in Quebec for years and done very well with Crypto currency mining. There are alt-coins and blockchain startups a plenty.

On Tuesday CrypoFest has a line up of some of the best minds in Crypto currency coming to our town to speak. Dr. Saifedean Ammous (author of my one of my favourite Bitcoin books that everyone should read), my friend Michael Casey co-author of another two essential books on the crypto currency community, we also have one of the smartest VC’s in the crypto game speaking with Alyse Killeen speaking about crypto from the VC perspective. Ethan Wilding is on a panel about Mining, Wallets and ICO’s. Hell, you might even be able to bump into the opensource wizemaster Evan Prodromou who had the great experiment of EvanCoin this year.

So for anyone who’s benefited from crypto currencies or Montreal, I ask you, If these things have been good to you, please be good & kind back.

Come out and support the community. Put away any “they called me a sh*tcoin”, “but you’re a maximalist” tribalistic stupidities and come enjoy some healthy ideas and conversations.

If you have a friend who’s trying to figure out this whole crypto currency craziness, come out and learn.

There was a time when Montreal was the intersection of trade & commerce and many were coming here to exchange pelts & fur for goods for the winter. We are not all that smart or distanced from then that we shouldn’t be able to enjoy a great day to Crypto learning and healthy debates and ask some fun questions about how Crypto currencies will shape our companies, our city and our future.

My favourite rumble in the jungle from Anchorman 2

We are coming off a great week of content from Building on Bitcoin in Lisboa, Portugal. Montreal also recently hosted the Zcash’s Zcon0 that brough together a cross section of crypto and blockchain experts in what was reportedly one of the better crypto conferences.

Let’s come together and have a great CryptoFest. I welcome you all to come out and learn. Put down your blocks & chains and enjoy some healthy good quality content and objective discussions. The organizers have put a limited number of $50 passes to the event here.

Just remember it’s all fun & games until someone losses a private key :)



Austin Hill

Entrepreneur, Investor, co-founder Blockstream, Zero-Knowledge