The Bitcoin Alliance of Canada, Canada’s largest nationwide nonprofit Bitcoin organization, has announced the Bitcoin Expo 2014, a full-scale Bitcoin conference that will take place in Toronto in April 2014. Although the event will not be the first Bitcoin conference in the country, an honor that goes to the Bitcoin summit last month, it will be the first major conference in the country, attracting attendees from all around the world.
The location of the venue will be the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the largest conference and meeting facility in Canada. The space will include four different theater rooms for presentations, and an exhibition hall that can house 20-40 exhibitors – roughly the same amount on both counts as the San Jose conference in 2013. Anthony Di Iorio, founder of the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada and chief organizer of the conference, expects that there will be “upwards of seven hundred people” present; however, he says, the conference will be able to expand and adjust if even more people choose to come. “The great thing about the vanue is that we have a lot of scalability,” Di Iorio says.
Unlike the Bitcoin summit in Toronto last month, which mainly targeted the Toronto Bitcoin audience with a few entrants from the United States, Di Iorio intends for this conference to be a major event, bringing in individuals, businesses and community organizations from all around the world. The speaker list will include:
- Joseph David, CEO of the largest Canadian Bitcoin exchange CaVirtex
- Rodolfo Novak and Peter Gray from Coinkite, a company in Toronto developing Bitcoin wallet and merchant tools
- Stu Hoegner, Bitcoin Alliance of Canada legal counsel
- Adam Levine, Stephanie Murphy and Andreas Antonopoulos from Let’s Talk Bitcoin, a popular weekly Bitcoin podcast
- Charles Hoskinson, head of the Bitcoin Education Committee and creator of the Udemy Bitcoin course
- Jonathan Mohan, Bitcoin community organizer in New York
- Jeffrey Tucker from Laissez Faire Books, a book seller dedicated to selling books about libertarianism and free market economics
- Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed and more recently Dark Wallet
- Erik Voorhees (tentative) from Coinapult, a “send Bitcoin by email” service that is now reinventing itself as a full-scale Bitcoin exchange
- Jason King from the beloved Bitcoin homeless shelter Sean’s Outpost
And the list is not nearly complete; Di Iorio is currently actively looking for more speakers to attend, especially those from Europe and China. If anyone wants to speak but cannot afford to attend, the conference will also have a limited number of scholarships. Scholarships come in three levels: free registration only, partial (free registration plus a daily allowance) and full (free registration plus a daily allowance and travel costs), and will be decided on a competitive basis. Anyone interested in speaking, whether or not they would like to apply for a scholarship, should feel free to contact Di Iorio.
As far as we know so far, the event will be the third Bitcoin conference to take place next year, following the conference in Miami at the end of January and the Bitcoinvention in the Philippines in mid-February. There will also be a full-scale event in Amsterdam in May organized by the Bitcoin Foundation, but it is far from certain that it will overshadow the other events to nearly the same extent that the Bitcoin conference in San Jose did in 2013; today, Bitcoin organizations other the Foundation have had plenty of time to catch up, and Bitcoin conferences are happening almost every month. It is quite likely that the Toronto conference will attract more of the Bitcoin audience from North America while the Amsterdam event will be more popular in Europe, although the organizers hope that as many people as possible will attend both.
100 of the proceeds from the conference will go toward the supporting the Canadian Bitcoin community, and the exact way in which the funds will be distributed will be decided in a crowdsourced way by the organization’s members. The Bitcoin Alliance of Canada will also soon make its formal announcement in several weeks, unveiling its new website and announcing a statement representing the organization’s principles and beliefs – a move which Di Iorio believes the Bitcoin Foundation could also have benefitted from making when the organization first launched in September 2012. To find out more about the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada and the Canadian Bitcoin community, see the three part series on bitcoinmagazine.com. Hope to see you at the conference!
Vitalik Buterin is a co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine who has been involved in the Bitcoin community since 2011, and has contributed to Bitcoin both as a writer and the developer of a fork of bitcoinjs-lib, pybitcointools and multisig.info, as well as one of the developers behind Egora. Now, Vitalik's primary job is as the main developer of Ethereum, a project which intends to create a next-generation smart contract and decentralized application platform that allows people to create any kind of decentralized application on top of a blockchain that can be imagined.