Feature Interview: North American Bitcoin Conference Organizer Moe Levin
On January 17 and 18, 2017, in downtown Miami, a worldwide audience of innovators, enthusiasts, developers and thought leaders will gather for the fourth annual North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC). Amid burgeoning interest in new frontiers of Bitcoin and blockchain innovation, this year’s conference promises to offer new insights into the future trajectory of these technologies.
The conference features a series of educational offerings and exhibits highlighting emerging ideas and trends in the field. Guest speakers at this year’s event include Intellisys CTO and Bitcoin evangelist Charlie Shrem, Veritaseum founder Reggie Middleton, Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik, OpenBazaar founder Brian Hoffman, Breadwallet CEO Aaron Voisine, Bitfury founder Valery Vavilov and many more. Exhibitors include the likes of Unsung, Genesis Mining and the Blockchain Education Network.
On the eve of this year’s conference, we had a chance to talk with conference organizer Moe Levin about the history of TNABC, hot topics of interest and his biggest hopes for the 2017 event. Here’s what he had to say.
The Beginnings of TNABC
“TNABC began in 2012, drawing 100 delegates. In 2014, the event welcomed more than 2,000 visitors from 40 nations, while 2015 and 2016 boasted over 6,000 visitors from 120 nations. I attribute this growth to our efforts at meticulously selecting speakers who share with our attendees the strategies, technologies and innovations they’ve developed and mastered.
“The North American Bitcoin Conference was created to draw [the] community together — a group ranging from enthusiasts to financial institutions that provide an open and hard-hitting forum for moving the conversation forward. Having been a part of the Bitcoin universe for several years, I’m truly excited about where these developments are going to take us in the coming years.”
Anticipated Topics of Interest
“This conference intends to cut through the noise in order to focus on actionable innovations and technologies that attendees can apply right away. We want guests to discuss strategies they’ve developed and mastered, and share them with others so that we can all apply and build upon them. With this in mind, we hope guests come ready to tackle complex concerns we face today, [and] leave armed with solutions that harness the power of blockchain technology.
“The first [topic] is obviously the huge price increase and Chinese demand. This in itself will mean that the conference will be crowded and electric.
“Bitcoin’s recent price surge has invigorated investors and entrepreneurs in the industry. Post-election, we’ve seen bitcoin prices steadily rise and more and more people become interested in alternative currencies as not only a viable but potentially necessary investment. All of this, I’m sure, will fuel some very interesting discussions around just what role bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will play in the future landscape of banking and fintech.
“The second topic is the block-size debate, and how it will be resolved. There’s been a lot of discussion in the past, and not a lot of movement. I’m hoping this conference will be able to move the conversation further.
“Right now is a critical moment for Bitcoin as it is entering a crucial phase in its development and adoption. In the past few months it has seen a dramatic increase in visibility, experiencing both the good and bad sides of the limelight — like rising interest among corporations and investors, alongside more regulatory scrutiny, and uncertainty. More than ever before, we need the global community to help us ensure a prosperous and well-balanced future for the technology.”
TNABC and the Future of Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology
“Bitcoin and Bitcoin technology is fast emerging as a key area of innovation, and is generating huge interest in the world today. In recent times, government entities and financial market regulatory bodies have come forward to express their keen desire to adopt this sophisticated technology to enhance the efficiency of their transactions. Not surprisingly, today the world is witnessing significant increase in digital transactions. While most easily identified with virtual currency, the software underlying bitcoin has demonstrated a range of business applications beyond finances, offering immense potential in several other areas for a variety of sectors and industries.
“The North American Bitcoin Conference offers a unique opportunity to explore these trends and understand the impact of this technology in various areas as well as look at its regulatory aspects. We also offer a broad platform to work together on possibilities of developing new relationships to encourage further innovation in this technology.
“Those who are not well schooled in bitcoin and its underlying technology are not alone. Most executives in fact don’t understand the repercussions of this new disruptive tech. The North American Bitcoin Conference [helps] to get up to speed on the applications, ramifications and nuances of Bitcoin and the blockchain, allowing one to profit from this new technology.”