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New Zealand Blockchain Conference 2017 Summary

This years blockchain conference was brilliant and engaging and will be remembered (at least for me) for the 2 keynote speakers, Andreas Antonopoulos and Vitalik Buterin who came to New Zealand and imparted their knowledge and engaged with the people of New Zealand.

It started on Sunday the 7th of May where an Auckland harbor cruise was organized and some of the speakers made it.

Afterwards, we all headed down to Monsoon Poon for drinks, dinner and more socializing.

The conference started on Monday and all the speakers were great but a few speakers stood out for me. Pamela Morgan’s talk on bitcoin was full of energy talking about the legal aspects of bitcoin and also the need to be able to secure it properly with multi-party signatures. She is a lawyer with an inner geek streak that uses Ubuntu as her OS of choice. Now that is impressive!

The other highlight was of course Andreas Antonopoulos. His talk was as always of high quality, thought provoking and to the point. He has this incredible knack for creating these superb analogies to explain various concepts.

One of the best parts was in the panel discussion where he addressed a comment someone made about having a master key controlling a New Zealand created crypto coin.

He also gave some pointers on what the NZ regulators should do too! #SomeoneHadToSayIt

Meeting the author of the DAO Christoph Jentzsch was great and it was amazing hearing his story on how he created the DAO, how all this money flowed into it and then how a bug was found.

When Andreas and Vitalik have a conversation, everyone listens. I was listening intensely but the conversation was way over my head. In order not to make a fool of myself, I decided to keep my mouth shut.

Vitaliks keynote at the very end of day two meant that everyone was glued to their seat to hear his talk on cryptoeconomics.

What was super cool was Vitalik also made it down to Wellington later in the week and gave a talk at the Wellington Blockchain Meetup on the following Monday.

Revitalizing the Wellington Blockchain Meetup has been hard work but enjoyable. We went from a handful of guys around a table at various locations around Wellington to a great place at BizDojo with currently about 45 members turning up each month.

Never in a million years would we have thought that someone like Vitalik would one day attend our meetup. I had the pleasure of saying thank you to Vitalik on behalf of the Wellington community and presenting him with some Feijoa flavoured chocolate and a t-shirt with a Kiwi and a fern on the front and the words “Wellington Ethereum Meetup 2017” on the back.

All the speakers were fantastic, it was a wonderful event run by Mark (3months) and his team and I’m sure we are all looking forward to next year’s conference and hearing all the amazing developments and innovation in between.




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