ChainXChange in Las Vegas wrapped up August 15th and left attendees with some valuable insights into the cryptocurrency and overarching tech industries.
The Mandalay Bay Convention Center hosted the three-day event that included speakers such as Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak, Wired Magazine Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Thompson, Wall Street Journal Deputy Editor Sam Walker, Famed Economist and Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, and more.
The conference was themed “How Will You Change the World”, and largely focused on how consumers and businesses can harness the power of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain.
Day 1 of ChainXChange officially kicked off Blockchain Week in Las Vegas.
The highlight of the event was a panel with all three keynote speakers of the day covering topics such as job displacement and even societal change through automation, the implications of quantum computing, and, of course, how blockchain will be a driver.
Wired Magazine Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Thompson explored the dynamically changing technological landscape and its impact now and in the future of all aspects of our lives.
Wall Street Journal Deputy Editor Sam Walker shared the key insights on leadership from his best selling-book The Captain Class, and helped the audience understand how to apply them in today’s rapidly changing world.
Houman Haddad blended expert knowledge with humanitarianism to roll out a successful pilot that proved Blockchain’s usefulness in meeting the needs of Syrian refugees.
Day 2 was highlighted by a panel consisting of crypto skeptic, Famed Economist and Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, Former JP Morgan Market Strategist and Founder of Fundstrat Tom Lee, Jessica VerSteeg, CEO of Cannabis Blockchain Company Paragon, Lilia Infante, Special Agent Department of Justice Cryptocurrency Criminal Task Force, and Cory Johnson, Chief Market Strategist of blockchain payment company, Ripple.
Additionally, Jason Derulo was brought out at a special guest, and he spoke with ChainXChange host and moderator Denise Roberson in a fireside chat about the launch of his Celebrity Token with Global Crypto Offering Exchange (GCOX), as well as his current philanthropic efforts.
Common also noted he’s a big believer in AI and his partnership with Microsoft was a propellant in encouraging AI being brought into inner cities
Gary Vaynerchuk encouraged everyone at the conference to deploy patience, referencing the early days of the internet and how it was deemed a fad.
The second panel of the night was with Common, Gary Vaynerchuk, Neil Sahota, and Phu Styles. The panel covered how artificial intelligence will impact the workforce, how women are coming to the tech forefront and other predictions for the future.
Wozniak shared a passionate story of how his fascination of creating computers at age 8 catapulted him as the creator of the first Apple computer.
Speakers of the day included Molly Bloom, who shared the story of her past ranging from beginnings playing underground poker and how her experiences have made her a better entrepreneur.
Other interesting components of the day included talks by Lottery.com CEO Tony DiMatteo, food science and technology expert Dr. Matthew Lange, prominent Bitcoin trader and educator Tone Vays, Michael Terpin (who had filed a US$223 million lawsuit against AT&T that morning), lawyer and philanthropist Robert Shapiro, healthcare angel investor Mary Jo Potter, and Wala CEO Trisha Martinez.
Wozniak and Bloom were joined by, to discuss everything from how coming innovations will change our world to personal philosophies about entrepreneurialism. All five see a remarkable impact of Bitcoin, blockchain and artificial intelligence in the future, though like some of the panelists from day two, Wall Street and Cryptocurrency expert Tone Vays remained skeptical on blockchain integration beyond the use of Bitcoin.
They shared words of wisdom. Molly Bloom highlighted the importance of meditating and self-work to find yourself before taking on larger initiatives. Vays insisted on maintaining privacy. Wozniak’s words concluded the discussion. He explained his philosophy that happiness is the point of life, which he has boiled down to the equation H = F^3, where H represents happiness and F cubed stands for food, friends, and fun. He followed up his equation with simple advice to entrepreneurs, “Do the things that make you happy.”
Earlier in the day, cryptocurrency entrepreneur approached the implications for blockchain across different industries. Terpin spoke in regards to sustainability, Shapiro law, Potter healthcare, and Martinez the global unbanked. With the exception of Shapiro, who is still skeptical of the immutability aspects of blockchain in law, all expressed very optimistic outcomes for the technology in respective fields.
The Common Ground Foundation is based in Chicago.
“We have been working with teens from Chicago from the inner city and just exposing them to all types of things, whether it goes from nutrition to Yoga to just having academic support and mentorship and when we partnered with Microsoft, we made a pact that they would contribute to not only technology, they contributed money and everything to our foundation to basically help advance our youth. I feel like kids everywhere deserve that opportunity black and brown kids white and Asian but the black and brown community is so underserved when it comes to where technology is and really feeling connected to it that we have to be the advocates for it and I have to be an advocate especially me, like I was a guy that was “really kinda” not moving close to technology, you know I’m about the heart but once I saw we can put our heart into this technology and putting these devices to good use, I was all for it.”
“I think the word that’s most populated to my mind at this conference is patience. When I think about blockchain or crypto, when I think about AI and more importantly when I think about my career, I think the word patience is something that needs to talk about here. This afternoon has been a lot of fun for me because it’s kicking me vibes of the social media conferences I went to in 2005, 2006, 2007… it’s kicking the same vibes to the feelings I felt when I watched the e-commerce business in 1995-1996, a lot of conversations today have been around when will this go mainstream.”
“There was a time when I went to search conferences where people are like when will search be accepted and all the way back to the beginning to the internet itself, to all the youngsters in here who are spending a disproportionate amount of time to justify blockchain and crypto, I want to remind you that there was a time where the internet itself fade.”
“The first time I was in a conference that looked like this, I sat in a chamber of commerce event on a panel, where literally old people made fun of me for 45 minutes because they laughed at the idea that people would buy wine on the internet, and multiple people on the panel I was on said that by the year 2006, the internet would not exist!”
“I really want to give a piece advice from old-timer who has been through a couple cycles of innovation, if you spent as much energy as you spend on debating whether crypto and blockchain are going to succeed if you took that same energy and actually became a practitioner in the execution within your craft, you’d be much further along!”
“If I could leave you with anything from my perspective and there are a lot of interesting people speaking during this conference, I would highly recommend deploying a lot more patience. Whether you’re right or their right, its completely irrelevant, it will all play out, and we will all Monday Morning Quarterback.”
“I think it’s very important that people in this space to understand, its likely that 90-98% of the currencies will not make it! What’s so incredible with this space is there is liquidation along the way. Unlike when I was investing in early-stage startups, where it was either feast or famine, there was no liquidation along the way.”
But please, I need people to understand, to me, blockchain technologies foregone conclusion, but the currencies that are built on top of that have enormous volatility.
“so please understand when we’re in these spaces, their enormous volatility, and it’s very fucking early, like “real” early, like really fucking early and I think that the lack of patience, of proving you were right and needing to make $10MM dollars or whatever the fuck is going through your mind, is the vulnerability. The lack of patience in this collective, our collective vulnerability is the lack of patience.”
“I run an international company, and at the end of the month it is a lot easier for me to pay all of my [employees] in bitcoin.”
“It is a mistake to be bearish when you are already down. The bear market has largely run its course in crypto. The only time when you can make money in a big way is to buy when others are selling.’’
“The rules of the road are not clear. Until that happens, the industry won’t develop to the scale it can.”
The following themes resonated throughout the event:
Bitcoin is king and here to stay.
Regulation is imminent and a very good thing for the community.
Many altcoins will not survive if they don’t solve true needs in the market, but blockchain technology will undoubtedly bring on the fourth technological revolution.
There are many implications for blockchain to aid the underserved and bridge global inequality.