During day two of the Bitcoin2014 conference the participants learned about the existing problems being faced by bitcoiners in China, as well as the upcoming technological challenges and investment opportunities in the bitcoin industry.
Furthermore, Tony Gallippi the CEO of a bitcoin startup company BitPay, mentioned plans for his company’s expansion in the near future. the topic of mining arms race was covered as well. CoinPrism, the first Colored Coins web wallet, and Reality Keys, a new service by Social Minds, won the Startup Challenge awards.
Bobby Lee, the CEO of bitcoin exchange BTC China and a member of the Bitcoin Foundation’s Board, made a presentation about the crackdowns and rises that bitcoin has experienced in China.
Moreover, Mr. Lee draw up the reasons why the digital currency has experienced troubles over the last five months, referring to the restrictions by the People’s Bank of China. First of all Lee said that even though there were no official orders from the bank, all the major Chinese banks have stopped operating with bitcoin exchanges.
Bobby Lee said: “It’s had a very chilling effect. Due to the verbal guidance over the past few months, people are spooked.”
Lee suggested it hadn’t helped that the state-controlled media has switched its stance on bitcoin, now only reporting negative stories about digital currency.
Moreover, Chinese laws are mainly uncertain, that means that government is able to adapt when it is needed, however at the same time it’s hard to say what government will do next.
Lee mentioned to Coindesk that he was thinking about moving his business overseas.
The conference also covered the technical challenges of bitcoin in the future.
The speech was given to Michael Terpin, co-founder of BitAngels, an angel investor group for digital currencies, which has invested more than $7 million in twelve different bitcoin startups.
Mr. Terpin spoke about Bitcoin 2.0 and also discussed the potential advantages and disadvantages of adding services other than virtual currency onto the block chain.
David Irvine, the CEO of Maidsafe said that the digital currency community shouldn’t “pray to the block chain”. He said that such decentralized systems with various purposes can exist side-by-side, they don’t have to depend on the bitcoin block chain.
Mr. Irvine also mentioned the main thing that should be developed: a user-friendly bitcoin wallet.
The topic of alternative cryptocurrencies was covered by Circle’s co-founder and CTO Sean Neville. “Experimentation is fantastic,” he concluded.
BitPay’s Expansion Plans
“Amsterdam has more per-capita penetration for bitcoin than any other country,” said Tony Gallippi CEO of Bitpay in the beginning of his presentation.
In his speech he touched a wide-range of issues faced by consumers today, such as credit card fraud, “It claims 12 million victims each year,” and outdated payments technology:
“Credit cards were never designed for the Internet. They’ve changed [very little] in 55 years.”
At the same time, Gallippi was showing hopes for the future, referring impressive growth statistics: over 30,000 merchants worldwide and a demand for technological innovation.
The CEO specified that his company is committed to open-source development. Mr. Gallipi finished his presentation with expansion plans to open an Amsterdam bitcoin center.