Left: Chris Larsen (Executive Chairman, Ripple). Right: Brian Forde (Former Senior White House Advisor for Obama Administration)
Preface: I had the pleasure of being invited to the US version of the 2018 Crypto Finance Conference, a three-day event whose counterpart was first held in Geneva and St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Bringing together founders, investors, and social impact leaders in this space, the 2018 Crypto Finance Conference (CFC) is the highly-anticipated US answer to the original Swiss conference. 180 selected guests attended, and tickets were sold out on Day One.
Call to action for the US government
Brian Forde gave the call to action for more technical members in Congress. As the former Senior White House Advisor to President Obama, Forde wrote the first memo on Bitcoin in 2014. Currently, an alarmingly 4% of Congress members have a technical background. If we are truly to become a nation that is literate on topics such as cryptocurrency, this also needs to be reflected in the the lawmakers of the country. While we are seeing this phenomenon exhibit itself in top schools around the country (such as Wharton, Cornell and UC-Berkeley), where enrollments in classes on cryptocurrency and bitcoin are at record highs, it is unclear whether those students are interested in or trained to participate in national policy and governance.
Industry predictions on bitcoin and crypto
Tim Draper, the founder of Draper Associates, DFJ, and Draper University publicly announced that he believes that Bitcoin will reach $250,000 by 2022. Draper has invested in over 50 crypto companies, including Coinbase, Ledger, and Tezos.
Ripple’s executive chairman Chris Larsen also gave a keynote, calling blockchain “the Internet of Value” and “the completion of globalization.” He gave the example of Ripple’s XRP token facilitating international bank payments via blockchain. He concluded, “blockchain, digital assets, and interoperability technologies which are going to equal this Internet of value and fundamentally make this world a much more efficient place.”
Growing presence of women in crypto
Women in tech, and specifically, crypto and bitcoin were well represented at CFC in Half Moon Bay. Among the keynotes were Eva Gaili from the European Parliament, who called for more reform in Europe for the regulation and expansion of bitcoin.
Catherine Ross of Cointelegraph also predicted in her keynote and panel discussion a wave of social impact-focused bitcoin projects. Female-driven fund custodians and crypto-focused venture capitalists were also present, including Masha Drokova of Day One Ventures and Anu Bhardwaj of Crypto Queens (the world’s largest community of women in crypto). Women crypto founders such as KJ Erickson of Public Market, an open data protocol for marketplace eCommerce. They, and other attendees, have the vision to leverage crypto to create real change in the way that consumers and businesses leverage crypto. [Stay tuned for my in-depth profile of the women in crypto!]
Nancy Wang is a full-time B2B product manager at Rubrik, and passionate advocate of female inclusion in enterprise tech leadership through her international NGO Advancing Women in Product (AWIP). As the CEO and founder of AWIP, she leads programming and executive mentorship efforts that address the lack of female representation among the higher ranks in tech. CFC will be holding their 2019 conference in January 2019, at their original location in St. Moritz, Switzerland.