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Jeff Garzik Highlights Core Development Progress at the State of Digital Money Conference

Op-ed - Jeff Garzik Highlights Core Development Progress at the State of Digital Money Conference

The State of Digital Money conference held in Los Angeles on April 18 focused on a variety of issues involving digital currency.

The conference showcased financial technologies and hosted expert conversations on the future of currency and financial activities. It was organized by Cureativ and took place in Rhubard Studios, a spacious studio in downtown Los Angeles’ Financial District.

Rhubbarb Studios is a venture builder that has emerged to become the tech center of Downtown Los Angeles.

Some of the speakers included Connie Gallippi of BitGive, Steve Beauregard of GoCoin, Andew Lee of, Paul Puey of Airbitz, Changetip’s Nick Sullivan and Bitcoin Core Developer Jeff Garzik.

The event lasted 12 hours with multiple “networking” breaks. It was a more personal experience than most Bitcoin conferences. During talks and panel discussions, conference attendees were able to network in the large space.

Topics covered included regulation, security, law, blockchain technology, investments in digital money, and merchant adoption of digital currency.

A panel discussion covered merchant and mass adoption of digital currency and was moderated by Steve Beauregard, CEO and founder of The panel included Connie Chung, senior payments product manager at Expedia; Andrew Lee, CEO; Paul Puey, CEO and co-founder of Airbitz; Justin Newton, CEO of Netki; and Nick Sullivan, founder of Changetip/Changecoin.

The panel explored some of the challenges to mass Bitcoin adoption, the main one being the current price of bitcoin. This has caused a relatively small number of customers paying with bitcoin in comparison to other payment methods.

The panelists discussed each other’s contributions to the merchant space and presented how each group is working to spur Bitcoin adoption.

Garzik’s talk closed out the conference. He spoke to the audience about his initial skepticism of Bitcoin and his subsequent decision to work as a developer on the project, and communicated his vision for the future of Bitcoin.

He spoke of some “layer-two” type services to be released in Bitcoin’s near future. Among them, “smart transaction fees” that determine how little a miner’s fee you need to pay to get a transaction confirmed.

One of the newer features will allow bitcoin users to lock funds on the blockchain for specified periods of time. It’s called BIP65, otherwise known as Check Lock Time Verify (CLTV).

“From the game theory perspective,” said Garzik, “this reduces the risk of someone else cheating you.”

Some have proposed using it for anti-spam products where the user can commit any amount of value, such as a dollar, and get an anti-spam technology, he said.

For the longer term, he spoke of the possibility for improved real-time supply chain infrastructure on blockchain technology and a network of satellites that enable the blockchain to be broadcast in space and on most parts of Earth.

Bitcoin has been faster and more secure than BitTorrent since the new version was released earlier this year, Garzik said.

“We’re in the early stages of Bitcoin,” he said “The services built on top of Bitcoin are just now being constructed. It’s very early.”

The State of Digital Money conference outlined many topics and provided a clear idea of development of blockchain technology use cases. The conference organizers’ intention was to create a different type of conference.

“We started Cureativ to curate unique, great events,” Alan Tse, co-founder of Cureativ, told Bitcoin Magazine. “We want to focus on emerging trends with good discussion points in a unique environment. Bitcoin was a good topic because there is a large community around it. It’s also young and creating a lot of buzz. We saw an opportunity for this in Los Angeles because it is home to a rapidly growing tech scene and there hasn’t been a Bitcoin conference of this magnitude here yet.“

Cureativ plans to host more Bitcoin conferences.

Photos courtesy of Melissa Yee, Rob Mitchell, and Jason Okuma.