Recap: CoinGeek Zurich Conference – Day 1

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By Jamie McKane Published: June 27, 2021
CoinGeek Zurich Conference stage lightning

CoinGeek’s Zurich Conference 2021 kicked off on June 8, featuring a variety of presentations from speakers involved with blockchain technology and the Bitcoin SV ecosystem.

CoinGeek Zurich takes place over three days, each packed with an exciting line-up of presentations and discussion panels. These sessions focus on the latest developments within the Bitcoin SV space, as well as on both existing and new use cases for blockchain technology.

Topics of discussion ranged from iGaming and eSports to healthcare and NFTs, with speakers also looking at the environmental impact of digital assets and the future of money itself.

The first day of CoinGeek Zurich saw presentations from speakers whose experience encompassed a wide range of industries and technologies. These included Bitcoin Association Founding President Jimmy Nguyen, Transmira CEO Robert Rice, Centi general manager and chairman Bernhard Müller, EHR Data vice president of integrations Meghann Chilcott, nChain Chief Scientist Dr Craig S. Wright and many more.

Viewers were also treated to several panel discussions on technical and popular topics related to blockchain technology, including triple-entry accounting, sustainability, the future of money and consumer payments.

The event played host to a limited number of attendees at its physical venue in Zurich, Switzerland and was broadcasted to thousands of viewers around the world.

In case you missed the first day of CoinGeek Zurich 2021, we have summarised the highlights of the event. You can watch a replay of the entire live stream of day one of the CoinGeek Zurich Conference here.

Recap: CoinGeek Zurich Conference – Day 1

Ignite the power of data – Jimmy Nguyen

The seventh CoinGeek conference began with an address from Bitcoin Association Founding President Jimmy Nguyen, who detailed the key proposition behind Bitcoin SV and how the technology was designed to enable a new generation of data processing and storage.

He noted the unbounded scaling offered by the BSV blockchain compared with that of other platforms, as well as its support for smart contracts and complex data transactions.

‘The Bitcoin SV ecosystem recognises and optimises the power of data as the most valuable commodity of our digital economy,’ Nguyen said.

‘We seek to build real value with real utility with real data, and that separates BSV from the rest of the cryptocurrency world. We don’t want a coin that you just hold for years; we built a blockchain to be used on a daily basis for billions of payment and business interactions, to create technology infrastructure, to be the new digital plumbing that works with the Internet to ignite the power of data.’

He referred to the exponential growth in the personal generation of data by consumers, as well as the challenges faced in managing this data by enterprises. The answer to this problem, Nguyen explained, is Bitcoin SV (BSV), which offers an efficient and secure way to record data transactions.

Bitcoin was built to scale, as evidenced by the founding vision in its original 2008 white paper. Nguyen explained how BSV has restored this ability and undone the changes made by the Bitcoin Core (BTC) development team over the years, which were aimed at limiting the technology’s scalability.

Watch this session in full.

Bitcoin SV Teranode – Steve Shadders

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Technical Director of the Bitcoin SV Infrastructure Team Steve Shadders took the stage next, describing the current state of the Bitcoin SV network and the future of the BSV ecosystem.

He said that in order to fulfil the original vision of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin as outlined in the original whitepaper, a greater order of scale is required to process unprecedented numbers of transactions per second.

‘To fulfil [Satoshi’s vision], we need a system that can process millions, even billions of transactions per second. That requires a shift in paradigm and the architecture of the Bitcoin software,’ Shadders said.

To address this need, the Bitcoin SV Infrastructure Team has been working on the Teranode open framework, of which Shadders gave viewers a sneak peek during his presentation.

‘The first step in building an engine like [Teranode] is understanding the requirements. The first one is a high scale factor,’ Shadders said.

‘Another key requirement is that we need to process and propagate transactions within 100ms. Another is incentivising a competitive ecosystem where miners compete to improve their efficiency and capacity. And of course, the last one is “don’t break Bitcoin”.’

Teranode aims to address all of these needs, and there is a careful plan to roll out the software as it comes online to ensure compatibility and the continued optimal functionality of the BSV network.

Shadders explained the open nature of the framework, as well as its customisability and modular design. He also showed a visual dashboard of a live Teranode deployment on Bitcoin SV, which he used to conduct a ramp-up test to demonstrate the scaling capacity of the software. During this demonstration, he showed how Teranode can process 50,000 transactions per second using horizontal scaling across four cluster nodes, with support for up to 100,000 on ten nodes.

He said that by the end of June, the team is hoping to have Teranode nodes listening on the Bitcoin SV main-net. Following this, protocol compatibility will be tested before blocks are mined on the main network using the Teranode. Eventually, the Bitcoin SV software itself will be retired in favour of the more scalable Teranode software once it has seen significant adoption by miners and is proven to be stable.

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BSV in Switzerland – Bernhard Müller and Patrick Prinz

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The next session saw Centi general manager and chairman Bernhard Müller and Bitcoin Association Europe and operations manager Patrick Prinz take the stage to speak about Bitcoin SV in Switzerland.

They spoke about the business focus around Bitcoin SV, the evolution of the industry and how quickly adoption by enterprises has grown. Switzerland has seen continued growth within Switzerland, which Müller noting that many local entrepreneurs had begun building solutions on the Bitcoin SV blockchain.

‘We have seen a lot of interesting dialogues with larger enterprises who understand that this is infrastructure – it is plumbing and anybody can use it,’ said Prinz.

Prinz also encouraged attendees to network at the conference and find out more about the businesses being built on Bitcoin SV, especially those burgeoning opportunities within Switzerland.

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The Metaverse with Bitcoin SV – Robert Rice

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Next up was Transmira founder and CEO Robert Rice, who outlined the concept of the Metaverse and how they are building an XR Metaverse on their Omniscape platform.

‘[The Metaverse] is much more than games and virtual worlds… they are just individual stars in the void. They are a multiverse,’ Rice said.

‘The true Metaverse blends augmented and virtual reality together, linked to the real world, connected to everything. Data brought to life. It is the whole and the sum of its parts.’

He said that every object in the real world will eventually have a digital equivalent in the Metaverse, which is why it is so important to link the digital world to the physical world using Bitcoin SV’s blockchain.

‘I am frequently asked “why BSV?”, and I answer: “because it can do it, now”,’ Rice said.

He noted that the unbounded scaling, low transaction fees, and high data throughput of Bitcoin SV made it the only possible candidate for the deployment of this Metaverse. Omniscape, which is built on Bitcoin SV, will soon launch new services and technologies that enable the building blocks for this tokenisation of real assets and other objects.

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Panel discussion: Micro and nano-payments

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The next session was the first panel discussion of the day, moderated by CoinGeek Chief Bitcoin Historian Kurt Wuckert Jr and featuring the following speakers:

  • Alex Agut – CEO, HandCash
  • Robin Khoze – co-founder and CEO, Vaionex Corporation
  • Connor Murray – co-founder and CEO, Britevue
  • John “Jack” Pitts – co-founder, SLictionary.com

The discussion began with a debate around the ideal transaction fees on the BSV network, with the consensus being that as the technology grows the transaction fees will continue to fall or at least remain lower than traditional digital payment processors, subject of course to market forces.

Panellists noted how these low transaction fees enable new business use cases, including those that rely on micro and nano-payments. These in turn allow many users to access new types of services at negligible individual costs.

Agut, whose business HandCash facilitates precisely these types of payments, said he expects the next year or two to be significant for adoption. The panel of experts also discussed possible solutions to reducing friction for everyday users who buy digital currency with fiat and want to transact value to others over the Bitcoin SV network.

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Panel discussion: Consumer payments, incentives and rewards on Bitcoin

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The next panel discussion was moderated by CoinGeek North America associate editor Patrick Thompson, who was joined by:

  • Phuong Dinh – founder and president, Mijem
  • Dr Maximilian Sinan Korkmaz – managing director, Stabilwerk Bau and P2P Software
  • Bernhard Müller – chairman and general manager, Centi

Each panellist spoke about how they were integrating BSV into their businesses – Bitcoin SV cashback rewards at Mijem, Stabilwerk token incentives at Stabilwerk, and BSV payments and exchange at Centi. They also explained why they opted to build functionality on top of the Bitcoin SV network, with each citing the low transactions fees, protocol stability and unbounded scaling as important enablers of their respective services.

The discussion then moved to the relationship between fiat and cryptocurrency, and whether digital ledgers are ready to replace fiat currency systems as a means of transacting. This topic centred around accessibility to digital tokens through on- and off-ramps, with Bernhard Müller explaining how the Bitcoin SV network can be used as ‘rails’ for digital payments without needing to use the blockchain’s satoshi tokens as the unit of payment.

Phuong Dinh explained the importance of low fees and high transaction throughput for enabling payments, incentives and rewards on the Bitcoin SV blockchain. He also highlighted the sustainability of the Bitcoin SV network, noting that this environmental factor paired with impressive transaction processing capacity make the blockchain attractive for emerging fintech start-ups.

Dr Korkmaz said ease-of-use was one of the key features of implementing payment, incentive and rewards systems on Bitcoin SV. He noted that the digital ledger removes the need for unnecessary paperwork, which was one of the reasons he recommended it for incentive systems.

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Panel discussion: Healthcare and Bitcoin SV

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Next up, Jimmy Nguyen moderated a discussion including EHR Data vice president of integrations Meghann Chilcott and VXpass founder Zachary Weiner. This discussion focussed on the numerous benefits blockchain technology offers the health sector.

Weiner began by detailing VXpass’s core project offering and the project it has embarked on in partnership with a private-public partnership in Lesotho to track and trace the distribution of the vaccine.

‘VXpass at its core is a digital replacement for your paper vaccination card. It is secure, it is patient-owned and it is signed by the medical professional in a way that cannot be faked,’ Weiner said.

‘[Lesotho] does not have the technical infrastructure to store vaccination records in cloud services, nor do they have the funds to pay the licence fees for something like Microsoft or Amazon so a pay-per-record model where the data is stored forever is perfect for tracking and tracing the distribution of the vaccine.

Weiner also made an exciting announcement during the discussion, stating that any COVID-19-vaccinated patient living anywhere in the world will be able to get a digital record using VXpass by visiting their licensed medical practitioner, each of whom will be able to easily register with the VXpass platform.

Chilcott spoke about the inefficiencies of the siloed data system prevalent in the modern healthcare system, agreeing with Weiner that patients should own their personal health data and it should be accessible by medical professionals when necessary. Privacy and ownership of health data by each user is of paramount importance to both speakers, as evidenced by Chilcott’s explanation of how EHR Data stores information on Bitcoin SV.

‘In short, a person’s private health data isn’t actually on the blockchain. We write a hash of the data to the blockchain so it isn’t human-readable,’ said Chilcott.

‘The data we write is the metadata of the user’s private data. In addition, we don’t make the linking record available, so even if somebody were able to discern the private data, they wouldn’t be able to tell who it belongs to.’

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Data integrity and the blockchain – Philip Runyan

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Veridat managing partner Philip Runyan took the stage next to explain how data integrity and provenance is better preserved and audited using Bitcoin SV and blockchain technology.

He spoke about the motive for centralised data storage and processing entities to alter data in their favour and proposed that a better solution is required to ensure data retains its veracity.

‘If we truly want to ensure the veracity of data, we need a better, auditable solution. That is why we built Veridat,’ Runyan said.

Veridat uses blockchain data storage and hashes to trace all changes and additions to data entries, creating a verifiable log of research and manufacturing data that can easily be audited. One of the most significant applications of this platform is to combat the counterfeit pharmaceutical market, which is rife across developing markets.

‘Fake medications can be very difficult to identify – you can’t really tell the difference. Asia and Africa consistently rank as the highest amongst recipients of these fake and sub-standard pharmaceuticals,’ Runyan said.

‘Blockchain, and by extension Veridat, is the solution which I feel we all deserve for tomorrow.’

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Panel discussion: Supply chain and blockchain

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Following a lunch break, the conference resumed with a panel discussion moderated by Patrick Prinz. The panellists were as follows:

  • Husen Kapasi – blockchain lead, PwC Europe
  • Tatjana Meier – blockchain practice leader, IBM Services Switzerland
  • Stephan Nilsson – co-founder and CEO, UNISTOR

The panel focussed on supply chain monitoring on Bitcoin SV, as well as the sharing of data within and across industries to improve supply chain efficiency and data provenance. Panellists spoke about regulatory pressure to improve supply chain transparency for both other businesses and consumers who want to know where the products they are consuming originate.

Kapasi noted that blockchain technology should be perceived as an upgrade to the existing supply chain monitoring system. ‘Blockchain does not replace the existing database solution – it is complementary. It acts as a single source of truth and enables provenance for specific products and goods,’ he said.

When it comes to using Bitcoin SV over other blockchain technologies, Nilsson said there were no other options that could meet the demands of their business, as Bitcoin SV’s low transaction fees and high data throughput are crucial to their solution.

Speakers also mentioned the main concerns raised by clients due to a misunderstanding of the term ‘public ledger’, noting that just because Bitcoin SV comprises a public timestamped ledger of data transactions, that does not mean the data written to the blockchain is public.

Speaking about the real deployment of blockchain technology in the supply chain space, Meier noted how greater transparency into how products reach consumers can also improve sustainability, which she said many consumers are willing to pay more for.

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Re-inventing conventional finance – Muhammad Salman Anjum

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Next up, InvoiceMate Chief Mate and Head of BSV Hub for Middle East & South Asia Muhammad Salman Anjum took the stage to speak about how blockchain can be used to re-invent conventional and Islamic finance.

Salman explained the problems InvoiceMate is solving with blockchain technology and how this type of platform can be used to transform the traditional finance ecosystem. He highlighted the problems with the current process of digital transformation and showed how blockchain-based services can address these.

However, he also noted several problems with the current blockchain ecosystem, stressing the need for production-grade applications and the lack of adoption, which he said has led to speculative trading and volatility.

InvoiceMate solves these problems in the invoicing space, as well as improving security, efficiency, and integration with cryptocurrencies.

‘Without this platform of blockchain, there will be problems, and that is what we are all experiencing,’ Salman explained.

He broke down how InvoiceMate addresses these issues and named several key partnerships the company has made to research and finance its solutions to the various problems in the conventional finance ecosystem.

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RegTech on BSV – Peter Bainbridge-Clayton

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Kompany founder and CTO Peter Bainbridge-Clayton took the stage next to speak about regulatory technology, or RegTech, on blockchain and KYB on Bitcoin SV. Kompany functions as a business information provider that operates a proprietary worldwide, real-time network of official business registers.

‘We are the people who make the difference between being fined by regulators and not,’ Bainbridge-Clayton said, explaining how they provide clients assurance of compliance with all required regulatory checks for operating their business.

‘We want to save our customers from spending too much money, spending too much time, and taking too much risk when doing their job.’

To mitigate the risk involved in KYC and KYB, Kompany keeps a record of each transaction on the Bitcoin SV blockchain to establish a source of truth, which makes meeting regulatory requirements provable and verifiable.

Bainbridge-Clayton explained that the speed, scalability and block size provided by Bitcoin SV enables the creation of a KYC market and an efficient and secure environment for ensuring regulatory compliance for their clients, making the Bitcoin SV the best choice for Kompany.

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Panel discussion: Triple-entry accounting on BSV

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Following Bainbridge-Clayton’s presentation, Kurt Wuckert Jr took the stage to moderate a panel discussion on triple-entry accounting with the following panellists:

  • Ian Grigg – financial cryptographer
  • Juan Ignacio Ibañez – centre administrator, UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies
  • Torje Vingen Sunde – CTO, Abendum AS

The discussion began with an explanation from Ian Grigg on the advent and history of double-entry accounting as a method to secure bookkeeping against individual manipulation. He went on to outline the history of this accounting method and how the study of cryptography led to the creation of triple-entry accounting systems secured by a third-party source of truth.

‘Bitcoin came along, and it enabled a triple-entry accounting system. The blockchain that uses proof-of-work to decide what goes in each block is the third party,’ Grigg said.

Juan Ignacio Ibañez elaborated further on the utility of Bitcoin as the third party in triple-entry accounting and bookkeeping systems.

‘In my view, if you have a UTXO-based blockchain, you do have a triple-entry bookkeeping system,’ he said.

He added that the shift to triple-entry accounting on the blockchain is something that must be enforced by companies in order to be adopted, highlighting how transitional adoption of this technology could provide intermediate benefits which will encourage further transition towards a triple-entry system.

Torje Vingen Sunde showcased the application of this concept based on Bitcoin SV in the Abendum minimum viable product (MVP) of a commercial triple-entry accounting product.

‘We want to allow companies to vary easily make the third entry in the blockchain, and it is very important to make it easy for businesses to try it. We also want to make it very easy for their counterparties to verify the transaction. The first thing we are looking at is a dashboard that illustrates how much of the extended accounting onto the blockchain has been verified by a third party,’ Sunde said.

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Panel discussion: BizTech on blockchain

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The next panel discussion focussed on BizTech services built on the Bitcoin SV blockchain. Jimmy Nguyen acted as moderator, and the speakers were as follows:

  • Ryan Byrne – co-founder and CEO, BuzzCast
  • George Siosi Samuels – founder, Honā
  • Dr Holger Vogel – financial engineer and Avaloq developer

Samuels kicked off the discussion with an outline of Honā, a social accountability platform for businesses and professionals, and explained how the application keeps remote workers and companies honest.

‘We are using Bitcoin SV to provide an audit trail and use the payment mechanism for those who want to get more serious with their commitments. We found that this becomes more interesting when applied to teams, and so we built this product to test our hypothesis that we could marry goal- and habit-tracking as well as micropayments,’ Samuels said.

Ryan Byrne said they are looking at Bitcoin SV to drive behaviour as well as to allow sponsors and hosts to obtain the results and behaviour they want to achieve at events.

‘We deal in content – we have a big range of the type of events that go on. For example, you have a particular speaker who makes a speech that could potentially be used at other events, so there is the potential of creating an NFT out of that piece of content that could be used at other events,’ Byrne said.

Dr Holger Vogel spoke about the utility of blockchain’s KYC and identity functionality to financial institutions.

‘I think there is much that is beneficial in those technologies in terms of sustainability. There should be a shared ledger, which is Bitcoin SV, that stores data created by the clients,’ he said.

He noted that it would be better for banks and financial institutions to obtain data from RegTech entities or other verifiable sources instead of incurring the costs and risks of storing and processing data themselves.

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Panel discussion: Stablecoins on Bitcoin SV

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Jimmy Nguyen remained on stage to chair the next panel discussion on stablecoins and their role in the Bitcoin SV ecosystem. The panellists for this discussion comprised:

  • Matthew Dickson – co-founder and CEO, BitBoss
  • Richard Groome – executive chairman, ALT 5 Sigma Inc
  • Daniel Lipshitz – CEO, Gap 600

The panel was full of announcements, with each speaker detailing plans to launch stablecoins on Bitcoin SV in the coming year.

BitBoss is just days away from launching a US dollar-backed stablecoin on Bitcoin SV, according to Matthew Dickson.

‘We got a bank to issue us a pool bank account that many people can funnel money into, and as the money hits the account, we mint a stable token on Bitcoin SV that is actually FDIC-insured by the United States government,’ Dickson said.

When asked when users could expect this stablecoin to launch, Dickson told attendees they could expect the token to be released ‘any day now’.

Daniel Lipshitz explained the business model of Gap600, which offers guarantees that facilitate instant Bitcoin transactions with no confirmed transactions required, and their approach to stablecoins.

‘We have been passionate about Bitcoin SV since the hash war, driven by the opportunity to execute on the original Satoshi vision of Bitcoin and the enablement of a global massively scalable protocol – those things for us are a work of passion,’ Lipshitz said.

He lauded Bitcoin SV’s approach to development and accessibility and explained how Gap600 saw huge potential for the creation of more blockchain services through the use of a stablecoin, which they plan to launch in the near future.

‘In Q4 of this year, we are going to launching a stablecoin platform which will be issuing multiple stablecoin instances and we will offer the onboarding and the offboarding from the traditional banking environment,’ he added. Supported currencies will include the US dollar, Swiss Franc, Euro, and British Pound, and thereafter, new fiat support will be a function of demand and compliance.

Richard Groome also announced that ALT 5 Sigma would soon launch its own stablecoin in partnership with Tokenized.

‘We are going to partner with an Australian-based company called Tokenized and a significant US bank, and it will be an open protocol with full KYF and all the legal framework in place,’ he said.

The deal is currently in the contract stage, but Groome said he expects the stablecoin to go live in Q3 or Q4 of 2021.

‘We’re going to start with US dollar, Euro, and some South-East Asian currencies,’ he said.

Watch this session in full.

 

Building a sustainable financial future – Zumo

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Next up, Zumo co-founders Nick Jones and Paul Roach took the stage with moderator Jim Duffy, host of the Crypto-Standard Podcast and contributor at The Scotsman, to explain how they are using non-custodial technology and Bitcoin SV to build a sustainable and inclusive financial future.

Zumo is a project aimed at positively impacting people’s lives around the world using blockchain-based services and payment platforms.

‘We were super excited about the space and we identified pretty quickly that it was inaccessible for most people. It was extremely hard at that time to buy any cryptocurrency, so Paul and I set out to build a product that was a non-custodial wallet which was as accessible and easy to use for as many people as possible,’ Jones said.

Roach explained that building a non-custodial wallet was an important foundation for them, as they believed this approach is integral to the ethos of the Bitcoin protocol.

‘When we set up Zumo, the non-custodial approach was a long approach from an engineering point of view, but it was an approach that we felt would be backed up by the development team of the businesses and it allowed us to be chain-agnostic,’ he said.

‘So, we started off with a Bitcoin release, and the next release will be a Bitcoin SV release.’

The co-founders said the release of a Bitcoin SV non-custodial wallet is ‘imminent’, which will include a powerful suite of functionality that will continue to be expanded going forward, as well as a referral reward to boost adoption and allow users to begin using Bitcoin SV by referring friends.

Watch this session in full.

 

Panel discussion: The history of money and the future of Bitcoin

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Closing off the busy first day of CoinGeek Zurich 2021, Jimmy Nguyen invited a series of eminent speakers to the stage to join in a panel discussion on the history of money and the future of Bitcoin. These comprised the following experts:

  • Urs Birchler – Professor of Banking, University of Zurich
  • Dr Jürg R Conzett – founder and President, MoneyMuseum (Switzerland)
  • Thomas Moser – alternate member of the governing board, Swiss National Bank
  • Dr Craig S. Wright – Chief Scientist, nChain

The discussion opened with a semantic debate on the definition of money, its different categories, and the importance of inspecting the methods of its creation.

‘The best form of money today is digital, because it is credited and not something tangible. Some people try get this gold anchor we had in the Middle Ages, but it does not work and it has disappeared,’ said Dr Jürg R. Conzett.

Thomas Moser, Dr Craig S. Wright, and Urs Birchler also spoke about the definition of money as a medium of exchange and gave their own criteria for the categorisation of different mediums or commodities as money.

‘Money isn’t the value you are creating; it is not capital. Money is the measurement of that and the means of exchanging other things,’ Wright argued.

Moving onto Bitcoin and the common narrative of its creation as an attempt to replace fiat currency, the panellists discussed how Bitcoin would fit into existing economic and currency models.

‘Bitcoin is not about stopping fiat or stopping banking – it is nothing like that. Bitcoin is just a mechanism and a protocol. It is the way money should be. It is completely arbitrary; the rules of the game don’t change,’ Wright said.

Birchler’s approach to Bitcoin was to classify the digital token as ‘natural money’ due to its reliance on physical scarcity in the form of its reliance on electricity. He also added that Bitcoin Core (BTC) would not replace fiat.

‘[BTC] will never be the new world currency – for that it is too inefficient,’ he said.

With regards to the adoption of blockchain and digital tokens, Conzett predicted that governments may be pressured to put transactions and build their monetary systems on blockchains like Bitcoin SV as public interest around the technology increases and more transparency is demanded by citizens.

The conference was closed out by Jimmy Nguyen, who thanked all attendees – both those who viewed online and who were physically present at the conference.

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