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2019 Stanford Blockchain Conference Spotlights Blockchain Security and ‘Risk’

Blockchain will come under the microscope for a third year next month as Stanford hosts its now annual conference event.

Security and “systemic risk” will form the focus of the third Stanford Blockchain Conference at Stanford University on Jan. 30 – Feb. 1, organizers have revealed.

Continuing the institution’s ever increasing interest in blockchain technology, the three-day event will see presentations and discussions on a variety of technical issues.

Chaired by Stanford professors, among others, the event will see contributions from multiple cryptocurrency businesses, with input from names such as Blockstream, ConsenSys and Polychain Capital.

Talks will come from representatives of industry businesses including Stellar-focused startup Interstellar and smart contracts platform Chainspace.

The conference, which first ran in 2017, “will explore the use of formal methods, empirical analysis, and risk modeling to better understand security and systemic risk in blockchain protocols.”

Organizers wrote as part of the introduction to this year’s event that “multidisciplinary collaboration” is a main theme:

“We aim to foster multidisciplinary collaboration among practitioners and researchers in blockchain protocols, distributed systems, cryptography, computer security, and risk management.”

Stanford has sought to offer students more direct study of blockchain in recent times, in June this year opening a dedicated blockchain research center.

In October, meanwhile, the establishment was rumored to be one of several in the United States investing in crypto funds.

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Bill Clinton to Deliver Address at Upcoming Ripple Swell Conference

Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, will deliver a keynote address at the upcoming Ripple Swell conference. The former U.S. President will also participate in a question and answer (Q&A) during the meeting.

Clinton: The President who Presided Over the Dawn of the Internet Age

Former president Bill Clinton helped usher in a period of extreme growth and adoption of the internet. When groundbreaking technology and regulation were on a collision course, Clinton’s activities shaped the internet to what it is today. He also gave communities and individuals access to the internet by initiating programs which bridged the digital divide.

Ripple commenting on the importance and relevance of blockchain technology and digital assets said:

These learnings are perhaps more relevant now than ever before. Like the Internet boom of the 90’s, we are at an impasse: digital assets and blockchain technology offer a way for value to be exchanged as quickly as information – creating more financial inclusion and economic opportunity. However, with this new technology comes with the potential for concern, requiring thoughtful policy to protect consumers from risk without hampering innovation.

About the Ripple Swell Conference

The Swell Conference 2018 will highlight the following three crucial areas. These areas consist of the following:

  • Financial services companies using blockchain technology in production
  • New market opportunity in remittances, e-commerce, and corporate marketplaces
  • Frameworks for regulating digital assets across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

This year’s Swell Conference will hold in San Francisco, California, from October 1 – October 2, 2018. There will also be a question and answer (Q&A) session that will be moderated by Gene Sperling. Gene Sperling was the former National Economic Council Director and Advisor under former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Sperling is currently on Ripple’s board of directors.

Ripple’s Expansion Plans

Ripple continues to pursue an aggressive expansion agenda that aims to see increased use of both the Ripple ledger and the XRP cryptocurrency. Recently, the company partnered with pop icon Madonna on the occasion of her 60th birthday, to raise funds for vulnerable children.

Apart from charitable activities, Ripple is also trying to enter into new markets like India and Malta as the company strives to create a global presence for the XRP cryptocurrency. The company also recently announced its Q2 2018 performance with a decline in sales but an increase in user adoption. A recent Weiss report revealed that XRP is the best cryptocurrency for moving funds between exchanges.


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China: Blockchain Conference Shut Down By Police, Organizers Claim ‘No Legal Issues’

Organizers of a Chinese Blockchain conference that police suddenly shut down have denied rumors they invited a suspected fraudulent Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to the event, local news outlet reported Thursday, April 12.

Local media reports cite PTP International, the organizers behind the Global Fintech & Blockchain China Summit 2018 (GFBCS) in Shanghai, as saying the only reason given by police for the raid was “security risks”.

“We are investigating the reasons for the suspension of the event,” quotes PTP as telling participants.

While many aspects of cryptocurrency use remain illegal in China, Blockchain and fintech have considerably more room for maneuver, with various Chinese conferences continuing to successfully draw in international crowds.

According to media sources, there was controversy surrounding GFBCS due to the alleged presence of an unnamed ICO operator, which attendees claim lost them money.

Some of those attendees subsequently informed authorities, leading to the sudden infiltration of the event by police, according to local reports.

Promising an update on the situation and a possible rescheduling of the remaining portion of the conference, PTP asked the community not to believe or spread “rumors.”

“This is a formal event and there are no legal issues related to its content,” the company continued:

“Please do not spread rumors or listen to rumors propagated by unscrupulous media.”

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‘A Sociological Innovation’: Big Finance Advisors Preach Blockchain At T3 Conference

Mainstream financial advisors are publicly propagating Blockchain this month, telling that it is a “sociological innovation” during the US Technology Tools for Today (T3) conference, CNBC reports Monday, Feb. 12.

A summary of the T3 Advisor Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which ran Feb. 6-9, demonstrates the significant U-turn in attitudes from advisors in 2018.

“Blockchain is a sociological innovation. It is a piece of technology, but it enables us to transfer and transact value on the internet and to organize networks in a way that we were not able to before,” senior economist Magdalena Ramada of the global advisory company Willis Towers Watson told the audience.

Traditional finance and banking have long studied the cost savings and increased efficiency Blockchain promises, but its impact on a human level is rarely mentioned outside cryptocurrency circles.

A focus on so-called distributed ledger technology and ‘permissioned’ or ‘private’ blockchains have become bywords for financial institutions looking to create Blockchain-based products over which they still exert centralized control.

This week, Cointelegraph reported how CMEGroup, which released the first Bitcoin futures contracts in December 2017, had applied for a patent on a system which would allow changing the rules of a Blockchain without requiring network consensus.

Prior to that in September last year, Accenture had acquired a patent for what it called “editable Blockchain” technology.

Regardless of its packaging, however, high-level business consultants are now aware of the need to embrace the disruptive nature Blockchain presents.

“Anyone who stands between the buyer and seller is gone, so stockbrokers are gone, mortgage brokers are gone, ticket sellers are gone,” Ric Edelman, founder and executive chairman of Edelman Financial Services continued.

“Anybody who serves as that middleman is obsolete due to the blockchain.”

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Amidst Chaos, ‘First US-China’ Blockchain Conference Connects 1500 Eager Attendees

The Blockchain Connect conference, which took place on Friday, Jan. 26 in San Francisco, did not get off to a strong start. However, the content of the panels, talks, and informal meetings that took place that day arguably delivered for the 1500 attendees.

The event, hosted in part by media company SV Insight, was designed to unite Blockchain communities in the US and China and attracted more attendees than the organizers — or rather the venue itself — could handle.

Yi Lu, Chief Growth Officer and one of the founders of SV Insight, admitted that the number of people who actually attended was overwhelming, stating, “[the] content is very good…But we didn’t expect so many people, it’s totally too many people.”

The venue, a classical European structure leftover from a 1915 art exhibition, has a theater meant to hold about 900 patrons. 1500 tickets were sold for the event.

Lu added that there were an additional 800 people on the event’s waitlist who did not receive tickets.

The ticket discrepancy meant that many of the conference attendees, who had paid from 500 to 1000 dollars for the event, were not allowed into the theater to hear the speakers in person and were forced to watch from the “overflow room,” which was unheated and had a bad sound system.

Strict room occupancy standards, enforced by the Fire Marshal and a number of security guards, often stranded conference attendees in whatever room in which they found themselves.

A massive open room that doubled as the overflow room and an exhibit space was filled with booths promoting Blockchain-based companies, including BlockShow, Cointelegraph’s partner Blockchain event company, offering steeply discounted tickets to their next event.

Those lucky enough to initially be seated in the theater were able to hear a range of panel discussions, with topics spanning from the problems of token valuation and Blockchain investment strategies, to scalability and the language of math.

Charlie Lee and Tim Draper set the tone

Litecoin creator Charlie Lee unexpectedly opened the conference as the first keynote speaker, after the virtually present venture capitalist Tim Draper’s pre-recorded introductory video failed to start.

Lee’s opening talk centered on explaining the details of his latest idea, first announced earlier this month, for a new kind of fee market for Litecoin.

During the Q&A after his talk, Lee discussed what he sees as the purpose of altcoins, but also made a point of noting Bitcoin (BTC)’s “gold standard.” status, dominance as a first mover and superiority in terms of security and decentralization, twice declaring: “Bitcoin will be the king of crypto for as long as I can tell.”

China and the US connect

Blockchain Connect set out to bridge the gap between Blockchain and crypto communities in the US and China, countries which are both large players in the industry.

SV Insight’s Lu called China and the US “powerhouses” in Blockchain, stating that the conference was intended to set a tone for the future of Blockchain. When asked if there was a possibility for a similar conference to be held in China, a country that had banned crypto exchanges and ICO funding in September 2017, Lu was positive but not overly optimistic:

“If we got a chance, and if the policy was allowed, we would definitely do that [hold an event in China.]”

Perhaps because of current regulatory situation in China, Blockchain Connect’s American location was an attractive place for Blockchain experts to gather from the two countries.

Kavita Gupta, Founding Managing Partner at New York-based ConsenSys, said that one of the main reasons she agreed to be a panelist at the conference in San Francisco was the ability for her to meet with companies from China and Singapore “in [her] own backyard:” She noted:

“[This is] one of the first initiatives to bring Asia within the US economy, because Asia is one of the biggest pillars of what token economics is, even after China banning it […] all the companies which we invest in, in the US, we want to take them to the exchanges in Asia […] We want to build that ecosystem for our companies.”

China’s regulation, revisited

The final panel discussion on the conference focused particularly on China’s current regulatory environment, offering a fresh take on the topic. The panel’s three participants, all of whom are based in China, noted that the Chinese government actually has a positive, bullish outlook on Blockchain tech long term, and that the bans on trading and ICOs are likely temporary, preemptive measures put in place to bide the government some time.

Yu Lang, the founder and CEO of the platform VeChain, told the audience the September bans were implemented in order to “give more time to regulators to find the right way to regulate.”

Another panel participant Eric Gu, CEO of Metaverse, marketed as China’s first open source public Blockchain, pointed out that the ICO ban was based on an inability to fully understand the market, saying:

“[from the government’s perspective] we can’t distinguish between Ponzi schemes and good projects, so we need to shut them all down for now.”

Gu also stated that the reason the government was trying to bide time with bans before rolling out clear regulations in the crypto space was the simple fact that the Chinese government did not want to set any examples in the industry, but would rather “follow other governments’ lead.”

Blockchain in academia

As part of a research project at UC Berkeley, conference panelist and Computer Science professor Dawn Song is currently building a platform that will incorporate various AI and Blockchain applications, including in healthcare and smart building with IoT technologies.

In conjunction with two other professors from the University’s business and law schools, this semester at Berkeley, Song is also teaching a “first of its kind” interdisciplinary course on Blockchain. Commenting on the student demand for the course, Song stated:

“It’s extremely popular. We’re limited by room capacity, so it’s 70+ students. But it’s a 4:1 ratio, so basically for every four students applying, we can only select one.”

During a period when a Cointelegraph reporter was trapped in the overflow room, she conducted an interview with regional manager Chris Cagle from the South Bay Work Investment Board (SBWIB) and Dr. Jose Navarro Martinez, an associate professor of economics at Cal State Dominguez Hills, about Blockchain in academia.

The two men have partnered for a study, set to be completed in June, on identifying potential career pathways for businesses working with Blockchain, from aerospace to healthcare management. The study will highlight tools that would make both high school and college students more attractive candidates for Blockchain-based companies.

When asked about the specifics of how Blockchain college-level instruction could look, Cagle said:

“They [students] could major in business, and get a certificate in Blockchain.”

The study will also explore the possibility of accessing federal funding that would subsidize training costs, making this type of program available to lower income students.

SV Insight has their own Blockchain education course as well, with 180 students learning Blockchain software development. There were more than 10,000 applicants to the course, which has a selective 10 percent admission rate.

A space for risk

Blockchain Connect took place the same day Cointelegraph broke the story about the massive hack of the Coincheck exchange, in which user funds totalling over $500 million in XEM — losses larger than those during the infamous 2014 hack of Tokyo-based exchange Mt. Gox — were stolen from a low-security hot wallet.

Just after the story came out, Cointelegraph got the chance to speak with Charlie Lee. Lee’s first comment was about the story, joking, “It wasn’t me.”

Lee’s perspective on the risk associated with investing in cryptocurrency — and opting to leave your funds on a third-party service, like Coincheck — was straightforward and to the point. “It’s the nature of the game,” he said, adding that:

“Freedom of money means that you have full control of your money, and if you give your control away to the exchange, they can easily lose it.”

Eric Meltzer, partner at INBlockchain Capital, took a similar view on customer risk during a panel on new crypto trends. In reference to investing in today’s crypto market, Meltzer said he thinks it is important to let investors learn lessons from the market the hard way, stating bluntly:

“You have to let people get wrecked.”

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BlockShow Asia: Everything You Missed

Just a couple weeks ago 1500 blockchain entrepreneurs, experts, investors, and enthusiasts gathered in Singapore at BlockShow Asia, Cointelegraph’s second Blockchain event of the year.


During the event 67 speakers from 20 different countries shared their insights and ideas, and attendees from a variety of backgrounds –from Blockchain to business to finance — met to discuss topics ranging from practical application of Blockchain technology to new ICOs launching right at the event.

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What is BlockShow?

BlockShow is an international event powered by Cointelegraph and centered around innovation in Blockchain technology. The event is more than just a conference — it’s a meeting place, a chance to discover new projects, and an opportunity to showcase your ideas in front of an active and interested audience.


BlockShow brings together entrepreneurs, experts, investors, and enthusiasts searching for exciting new projects and potential partners, as well as exclusive industry announcements and insights.

BlockShow has held two events so far — the first in Munich this past Spring, and the second just last month in Singapore.

What is BlockShow Asia?

BlockShow Asia is the second BlockShow event so far. It took place Nov. 29-30, 2017 in Singapore.

The event included ICOscar (a competition for new Blockchain startups sponsored by WAVES and Crypto Bazar), Hypethon (a chance for 12 select ICOs to jumpstart their funding, sponsored by CryptoFriends), and a place for businesses to show their new products, acquire feedback on various new solutions, and share their thoughts and ideas, both on stage and in informal meetings.

Why Singapore?

Singapore is one of the biggest financial hubs in the world. Both on at the government and private levels the city-state has recently shown serious interest in the Blockchain industry.


One of the events attendees, Simon Dixon, CEO and co-founder of, shared his thoughts about the event and the location choice, stating:

“Well you couldn’t have picked a better place in Asia! Singapore is awesome! There is a really great attendance here. Seems like the right diversity of both investors and entrepreneurs and people who are new to the sector. You know we are going through rapid growth at the moment, the prices are at record highs so that’s attracting a lot of people and you’ve done a very good job of putting them all together in Singapore.”

BlockShow Asia highlights

  • 12 new ICOs launched at BlockShow that have collected over $40 mln so far
  • 12 Blockchain startup pitches made during ICOscar (Blockchain startup competition sponsored by WAVES and Crypto Bazar). The ICOscar winner was, a product designed to be the first retail electricity marketplace in Southeast Asia that runs on the Blockchain. They will receive a $20,000 prize and full assistance from WAVES in launching their own ICO.
  • 23 sponsors
  • over 1000 meetings held

BlockShow brings together a healthy combination of seasoned Blockchain entrepreneurs and investors along with newcomers to the crypto space. Reflecting on the diversity of the event, Joshua Lavin, Senior Analyst at ii5 Hong Kong, told Cointelegraph:

“It’s really clear that there is a lot of excitement in the room. In the last year it’s been really terrific to go to conferences and just see more and different types of people starting to get into the crypto space and into the Blockchain world. Having a huge conference like this is really a great way to interact with that and to meet a lot of new fun people.”

For the event Cointelegraph gathered its most brilliant articles of all time, exclusive materials on the latest trends, and crypto-industry statistics in a special glossy edition. A series of interviews with fascinating guests of Blockshow is being published on our site and Youtube channel in order to give you idea of the crypto trends discussed at the venue, and the overall atmosphere reigning there.

Daniel Finn of Smartmesh, one of the ICOs that launched during BlockShow Asia  (and raised 36,000 ETH there!), commented on the overall atmosphere of the event saying,

“It was very exciting to be here. The energy is great. Everyone’s been really interested in both the whole community in general as well as our projects, so it’s been very exciting.”

Considering the success of both BlockShow Europe and Asia this year, the creators of BlockShow aim to hold another series of meetups in Bangkok, Seoul, Tokyo, Australia, and Europe in the near future.


BlockShow Europe is currently planned for May 2018. Given the thousands of attendees at the past two events this year, the organizers are expecting even more demand for coming events. So stay tuned for more details and be sure to book your tickets in advance.

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New Ripple Gateway Application – Ripple Announces

The California-based firm Ripple Exchange LLC announced that the new Ripple [XRP] gateway will be showcased on October approx the time of Ripple inaugural conference known as Swell.

The company shows limited information but on a timeline from their official website, it’s documented that back in April they began development and experimenting with Ripple blockchain integration and started creating some test applications leveraging the technology.

An information gathering process did start back in July, as the company had a goal to understand what the users really do need – issuing polls, gathered opinions to craft the best and fine-tuning what the software should look like and what it should deliver for the best experience.

The company’s current target trajectory is to release the initial version of Ripple Exchange for users by October 15th, just in time for the Ripple Swell Conference.

Ripple price [XRP against the USD] is now trading at $0.2002 while its descending on a general understanding with the total market as its price is being tanked by sellers after hitting the major important mark of $0.2000.

ripple price

Source: coinmarketcap

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Dash Conference 2017 Brought News of Major Integration, Hints on Future

The digital currency Dash held its first conference this past weekend in the Oval Space in London. The conference was pre-funded by Dash’s treasury system, where projects are funded directly by the Blockchain. A portion of each block reward is withheld to fund such proposals, if the currency’s owners vote in favor.

Over 500 were in attendance and almost 1000 more watched live streams of the event. Presenters touched on all aspects of Dash, including the upcoming Evolution update. Wirex, a Bitcoin debit card company, announced they will be integrating Dash fully into their platform. According to Cash Alternative TV, the Wirex card will have full support for both PrivateSend and InstantSend:

Future plans

Dash Core CEO Ryan Taylor gave a sneak peak of future partnerships that will be announced over the next few months, including:

  • Global brokerage service with free bank transfers
  • New exchange integrations
  • Dash will have access to 20 new fiat currencies
  • An additional ATM manufacturer
  • Integration with several large retailers
  • A healthcare integration

Few details were given, but Taylor mentioned that the community should expect press releases to be coming soon.

Keeping it low key

Ryan Taylor is notoriously stingy when it comes to anything that might resemble hype. Recently, he and founder Evan Duffield penned an open letter to the Dash community. In response to repeated proposals to use unallocated budget funds for marketing, Taylor stated:

“Any gains from this type of advertising would be temporary. As soon as the marketing is removed, the artificial influx of investments would deteriorate followed by the price. Wild price appreciation and crashes would actually detract from Dash’s utility as a currency and medium of value transfer, thus directly working against our stated mission and vision. We encourage the community to take a longer-term view to their investments and refrain from hyping the coin… there is plenty of hype inherent in the industry already.”

Taylor has consistently supported a relatively low-key approach as Dash continues to build its ecosystem and its Evolution update. It’s not surprising, then, that Dash Conference 2017 failed to reveal any earth-shattering announcements. Any major news in the future will likely come by means of a press release, rather than at a splashy conference.