The first time anything new happens with a place, person or an industry, it’s often looked back on with a perspective of endearment or nostalgia. A photo of Jeff Bezos of Amazon at his lone desk before his company exploded to being wildly successful shows how big things always start small. A photo of a young Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak in their garage office area before Apple Computers took over the world shows how hard work and creativity are more valuable than the wealthiest of investors. The first annual crypto-currency convention in Calgary entitled “Bitcoin Rodeo” occurred on July 9th & 10th 2018. The event was planned and put together by Oleum Capital (Oleum.io) and held at The Palace Theatre (thepalacetheatre.ca). This was to our city just like one of these moments in time where technology sets some roots so that we can look back on with a range of positive memories and emotions.
The event boasted a collection of budding entrepreneurs, tech-savvy minds and also the curious general public. This combination of experts and amateurs is a breeding ground for creative, sustainable business to flourish across Canada and across other countries of attendees. If you hadn’t already noticed, Alberta is growing exponentially with business being established in the crypto-currency industry. There are large world renowned mining facilities in a number of areas. Blockchain tech companies are using brainpower and finance from numerous other industries. Brokers are bringing all of crypto to the general public. Students are buying crypto and HODLing their investments as if to say “This is my hope for the future”, which can expand in one hundred different directions. Many have compared the blockchain revolution to the internet revolution. Although they are very different, it did take some time for the internet to be accepted worldwide. The same is happening now with opportunities in blockchain tech percolating at events such as Bitcoin Rodeo.
Many in the general public feel left behind or overwhelmed by blockchain technology. They don’t have to! The entire crypto community is invested in bringing everyone along for the ride. Bitcoin Rodeo was proof of this, as they provided an introduction to bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Here are some of the highlights that I enjoyed from the 2-day event!
In day 1 of Bitcoin Rodeo, Frederich Pye from 3iQ gave a warm and simple introduction to Bitcoin. He has a history of working with new financial concepts for investors. For example, he brokered the sale of certificates for new investments such as platinum certificates many decades ago. So Frederich had seen times of adoption
Ben Perrin sat down with Luis Buenaventura to talk about “Crypto Culture”. Naturally, we loved that discussion with Ben being a local legend in crypto and Youtube, as well as with Luis sharing his art from cryptopop.com. Ben brought out some good points of discussion about how the public is responding to the adoption of crypto and blockchain. Luis is an established traveller to conventions all over the world, and he brought a nice mix of his experiences to the table. Luis also created custom artwork for Bitcoin Rodeo which was also featured on the “Bucking Horse Brew” beer which was branded just for the event, which you can see below here.
One of the most interesting presentations, in my opinion, was from Saifedean Ammous who spoke about “The Bitcoin Standard”. This talk was based on his book which I purchased at the event along with many others. Saidedean spoke about how the world will change when Bitcoin becomes the standard currency of value. His focus was comparing the inflationary nature of all world currencies vs the deflationary nature of cryptocurrencies. Ultimately this affects so many things such as unemployment, personal financial growth, and the availability of opportunity. I recommend this book if you would like to understand some very eye-opening concepts about the use of Bitcoin.
In Day 2 of Bitcoin Rodeo, we had a very detailed presentation from Nav Dhunay from Imaginea AI. Nav highlighted the opportunities to use next level Artificial Intelligence for many industries. Imagine having computers that can crunch data so that it is easier to use, algorithms that combine data for a more three-dimensional view about a product, focus group or an industry. What Nav spoke about also which will take us toward a glimpse of the future is targeted marketing. Data streams that are combined and registered with blockchain technology, can be secure, encrypted and help companies to use a more focused means of advertising to their buyers. The number of uses available for artificial intelligence is endless, but Imaginea AI will continue to define these uses for us to that we can wrap our minds around them and then implement new technology into our lives.
Next was a presentation from Ben Gagnon from Lutech Limited based out of Hong Kong. His company specializes in the sale of mining equipment for cryptocurrencies. He spoke about how mining is affecting the world and the value of the economics which are being established from crypto. An interesting point made was that despite much power being used worldwide for the mining of crypto, it is really nothing in comparison to industries such as paper and other manufacturing facilities. On top of that, the power consumed in this industry is really worth the cost because the world is having so many benefits financially from Bitcoin. Ben made further points for example on how many industrial plants producing energy are taking advantage of excess natural gas that is typically burned off when made in excess of power consumption needs and can be put to use to create energy used for their own mining facilities for cryptocurrencies. Ben highlighted that mining facilities in Iceland operate using geothermal power production, which is fantastic environmentally and on many other levels.
In the afternoon of Day 2, we heard from Eric Lifson from Skrumble. This amazing company has created blockchain technology that can be used to create secure and encrypted lines of communication through their software. This has become especially valuable to those around the world who not only want secure communication but to those who worry about freedom of speech in their countries such as China. Eric spoke about some contacts of his in China that said “Thank you for bringing freedom of speech back to China” which is a massive contribution to residents of China. An interesting statistic was shared by Eric about trading volumes in Canada. I have checked and updated these statistics. The largest licensed digital exchange in Canada is Coinsquare, who trades roughly four million Canadian dollars per day currently on their exchange. Scrumble recently completed their funding and token release for their platform which is trading over two million Canadian per day, which is just for one token. The point made is that Canada is growing still in its infancy with cryptocurrencies, and many in the industry need to step up for the advancement and growth that we all want to see in our country.
The final speaker that I will highlight is James Graham from GuildOne. This is a local company from Calgary, AB. James brought some fantastic history to the table about his company including its use of Blockchain, implementation of their Royalty Ledger contracts within blockchain and their Synmine software for monitoring large cryptocurrency mining operations. One of their new technologies which have been implemented with blockchain technology includes smart contracts under their Energy Block Exchange (EBX). They have created an efficient manner of settling contracts with transparency for parties involved. Again Blockchain technology has enabled a way to save time, money and more. After covering the exciting accomplishments of his company, James addressed the need for continued and focused organizations to help the public and institutions to work through the learning curve of this industry. I asked about some current groups in Canada with the live questions submitted through the event app. My question to James was whether he thought that some of these Canadian groups were headed in the right direction to help adoption and progress within the crypto / blockchain community. James basically shot down that idea in flames. His point was that many organizations have good intentions but have no focused agenda to accomplish what we need to keep Canada on the map of leaders of this industry. This was an eye opener for me so that we can keep making targets for what we are doing. “A sail without a wind will have no direction”, as you may have heard. Focus is important. Then James presented information about his own organization called “Blockchain Embassy”. This new organization of his will have targeted and focused agendas to forward the needs of the industry in Canada. James challenged those to step up who want to be involved from individuals to companies who will commit their resources. It was an inspiring finish to the 2-day event, that left myself and others wondering what we can do to support this endeavour and the industry itself.
What I realized about the speakers was that these industry professionals have a mindset that you cannot gain overnight. There are many people in the world who do not have much experience with cryptocurrencies. To listen to these speakers who have years of experience in the industry, can shape our decisions and ideas in a way that will bring us great success.
Ross Macdonald (CryptoCultureMagazine.com), Jan Cerato (BitcoinWorkshops.ca) & Ben Perrin (Bitnational.com / BTC Sessions – Youtube)
At the end of the day we strive to better ourselves, others and hopefully be able to smile along the way. By the end of Bitcoin Rodeo, the attendees all seemed to be grinning from ear to ear. The sound of a buzzing building full of discussions about ideas, concepts and the successes to build on will be something to hold on to. This is what drives us to work together on new ventures, new profitable efforts along with building industries and the crypto-currency community or as we refer to it now as “the cryptosphere”. The last thought I had leaving Bitcoin Rodeo was, “When can I buy my ticket for next year”. I’m sure we will find that out very soon, and whether you made it there this year or not, we would all love to see you there in 2019.