5 takeaways from Bogota’s Bitcoin and Blockchain conference 2017

By January 25, 2018

This was the 5th installment of the conference in a bid to make cryptocurrency and blockchain mainstream within Colombia. The event was packed with expert speakers along with Colombian government officials. Latin American countries have, in general, not seen bitcoin with the same suspicion as other developing nations around the world (we’re looking at you India). Argentina still hasn’t regulated it and a number of other countries have taken to forming their own cryptocurrency (Venezuela having its own cryptocurrency). We looked at the top 5 things we learned about cryptocurrency and blockchain from the annual event.

1)Mintic and the Bank of Colombia come to the table

What’s Colombia’s position on cryptocurrency? The Ministry de Tecnologias left us with few answers but at least we know that we can expect the Bank of Colombia to look into the possibility of trading in the near future. Mintic had, also shown interest in using blockchain technology to combat corruption and boosting the public sector. Given the large number of uses of the technology– including combating online piracy and a fairly distributing digital content, like in the case of Swiss blockchain startup Decent–it’s hoped that Bogota may have been the turning point whereby the bigger players began to take notice.

2) Peter Todd was a non-troversy

Blockchain guru and developer Todd is a vociferous defender of privacy, frequently following the exploits of Edward Snowden, but at the conference he wasn’t as controversial as people thought he might be.

Peter Todd‏ @peterktodd

‘I often joke that the only two ways to be truly successful at life is to spread your genes, and spread your memes. AFAIK I’m not successful at the former, but as for the latter, seeing my ideas spreading is why I’m happy to spend so much time on planes.’

In fact the only controversy on his trip was when he left – he felt compelled to misspell Colombia – which irks everyone there.

“Creepy… while boarding my plane back to Toronto from Bogota they held everyone just prior to boarding in the skybridge just so they could find me and only me in the line, check my passport again, and ask where I was going, and why I visited Columbia.”


3) Nakamoto is not Nakamoto

‘I’m not a public person. Nobody had the right to reveal my and my family’s health issues.’ This is how Dorian Satoshi Nakomoto explained away the intense scrutiny when the community, wrongly, outed him as the founder of Bitcoin. Fortunately he still had a good sense of humour about it.


4) Concerns about security at the conference high but not as high as curiosity

The most well-attended panel was the  Tools for a successful ICO which, when turned into a Q&A session, the topic reverted into a lively discussion on security. Lisa Cheng of Blockchain spoke of the scams that have befalled them and the most effective way to deal with them using modern

technology. Eddie Travia CEO of Coinsilium spoke of how the crucial challenge to Blockchain being the uncertainty of enforcement of regulations being the more crucial problem to solve going forward.

5) New Kids on the blockchain

Perhaps the best part of the event had to be the flow-on effect that the event had on local newcomers to the show. For one Bitinka, the Peruvian cryptocurrency just recently added a partnership with Dash increasing their presence in the space.  Bitex and Blockchain Academy (from Brazil, who was also was a sponsor) also made some significant moves at the conference. RSK launched its bamboo network during the conference inviting the global community of developers to peer review the source code.

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