For this article, I want to share with you my thoughts on attending Inside Bitcoins in London. Even though I will post more in-depth articles regarding panels and people we met over the coming weeks, I do feel it’s important to give our readers a general impression of what it’s like to attend such an amazing event.
Both Serge and myself headed out to London on Sunday, even though the Inside Bitcoins London conference took place on Monday and Tuesday. Not only because we really enjoy being in London, which has a soft spot in both of our hearts, but also to be mentally prepared for the event itself. Plus, attending these kinds of events should also include one or two additional days of relaxation and sightseeing.
On this Sunday, we went to the Inside Bitcoins conference location, just to “stake out the venue” so to speak. Thanks to Google Maps and a working 3G connection, The Grange St Paul’s Hotel was located easily. It is a very impressive building to be honest, and near several tube stations, making it easily accessible for both Londoners and tourists.
As you can imagine, we didn’t get too much sleep overnight, as we were both extremely excited about attending Inside Bitcoins. When we walked inside The Grange St Paul’s Hotel, and were waiting for the elevator, we were joined by Mr. Stewart Quealy. I am embarrassed to admit neither Serge or myself knew who he was at the time, but we quickly found out he is the Director of Content of MecklerMedia. It was a true honor and privilege to meet him, but more about Mr Quealy in a minute.
When we got out of the elevator, which took us to the basement ( -2 ) floor of the hotel, we took a quick tour around the exhibition and catering area. It was great to see so many exhibitors representing companies we had never heard of before, and we did get a chance to meet a lot of these fine people. More on those meetings over the next few weeks.
Once we got ourselves a drink (water, of course!) and ate one of the delicious cookies served by the catering staff, we headed to the Conference Room, which is absolutely amazing. Not just because of its sheer size, but also the acoustic effect. Really, really impressive venue, and I absolutely loved every bit of it.
The Opening Keynote of Inside Bitcoins London day 1 was brought to us by Mr Gavin Wood, CTO of Ethereum. After getting a nice introduction by Mr Quealy, he talked in-depth about Crypto-Law, what it is and why we should care about it. A very interesting talk, which I will talk more about in a separate article this week.
Mr Wood’s presentation was followed by another stellar presentation by Michael Geike. He talked to us about whether or not blockchain technology is the solution to the world’s most urgent issues. Several interesting points were raised, of which you will read more over the coming days as well.
Mr Quealy told us there would be a 30 minute coffee break in between presentations, so we got ourselves another glass of water, as well as some more cookies. We also struck up some interesting conversations with the folks over at the BTC.SX booth, and you will read more about that meeting in a future article.
The final presentation we attended during Inside Bitcoins London day 1, was “Money Mania : A History Lesson for Bitcoin” by Dr. Bob Swarup. Even though things started off quite well, Serge and I found ourselves baffled by some of the “facts” brought up in this presentation. We don’t enjoy criticizing people for their hard work, but let’s just say there were some parts where we were both shaking our heads. Expect a more in-depth article from Serge over the coming days.
During the rest of the day, we found ourselves talking to several of the exhibitors, including Strevus, CoinsBau, BitMain, and many others. We also ran into our good friend Michael Morris of HelioPay, who is also the Director of the BlackCoin Foundation. As always, we had a blast hanging out with him, talking to people, sharing a laugh, excellent food and drinks.
I was also very fortunate to meet Freya Stevens, host of the very first Bitcoin Podcast in the UK, called Bitcoin UK Media. Even though I already knew she was awesome, it was a blast meeting here in person. We are planning to conduct a written interview with Freya at some point this week, so make sure to keep an eye out!
Speaking of excellent food, I really have to take my Bitcoin hat off to the catering crew at The Grange St Paul’s Hotel. We were served with an “all you can eat” buffet during lunchtime, and the food they served was of incredible quality. The side dishes as well as the “warm” courses were outstanding, and to top it off, I ate some of the best desserts ever. These folks deserve the spotlight as well for all of their hard work, kind service, and absolutely professionalism.
At the end of Inside Bitcoins Day 1, we were part of the Digital Jersey Networking Reception. After a brief speech by Senator Philip Ozouf, Treasury and Resources Minister, , we could all enjoy our alcoholic beverages and do some more valuable networking. A perfect ending to an amazing day of Inside Bitcoins London.
The party didn’t end there for Serge, Michael and myself though, as we headed to the CoinScrum afterparty. We met up with both old friends, such as Olly and XBTerminal’s Alex & Aleks ; as well as new faces who provided us with their insights towards Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general. A moderate amount of alcohol and food was consumed at this venue, and we found ourselves back at the hotel around 10 PM.
At some point tomorrow, I’ll do a write-up of Inside Bitcoins London day 2, which includes more amazing people, panels and presentations discussions, absolutely amazing food, and more. Make sure to check it out!