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Author Topic: VLAB Virtual Currencies Panel Discussion June 18th  (Read 1186 times)
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June 13, 2013, 10:59:08 PM

tl;dr - There will be a panel discussion at Stanford June 18th. Ripple, Coinbase, Winklevoss twins, SV bank, Forbes writer Kashmir Hill. $50, cheaper for students.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
6:00 - 7:00pm  Networking and Refreshments
7:00 - 8:30pm  Panel Discussion and Q&A

Munger Bldg 4, Paul Brest Hall,
555 Salvatierra Walk, Stanford Univ
Parking Address:
Parking Structure 6, 560 Wilbur Way
Please allow some extra time for parking; availability may be tight due to increased event activity at Stanford.
Susan Athey, Professor of Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business
Kashmir Hill, Senior Online Editor, Forbes

Fred Ehrsam, Co-founder, Coinbase
Chris Larsen, CEO and Co-Founder, OpenCoin, the company developing the Ripple protocol
Wendy Cheung, Director of Compliance and BSA Officer, Silicon Valley Bank
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, Principals, Winklevoss Capital
Event Description
What if currency wasn't something that exchanged hands physically, but moved instantaneously between networks, countries, and continents? What if it wasn't regulated by a government, system of banks, or any entity at all? And, what if it was completely open source?

This disruption of what we view as currency isn't just theory, it is already a $1.5 billion dollar movement. Leading the charge is Bitcoin. Launched in 2009, Bitcoin moved to decentralize currency in a big way by leveraging cryptography (instead of government authority) to digitally coin and transfer money. Users can choose to use the currency veiled in anonymity while steadily gaining ground as a valuable, peer-to-peer currency.

With over 11M bitcoins in circulation, the virtual currency is gaining significant traction. Thousands of companies and online retailers, and as many as 140 non-profits currently accept payment in bitcoins. The market value of a single bitcoin was as low as pennies at the outset, has risen as high as $266 and now hovers in the $100-120 range.

The emergence of an alternative currency has had a domino effect. As more people "mine" (create) new bitcoins, more retailers and organizations scramble to adopt the infrastructure to accept this new form of payment. Non-profits have also been early adopters and virtual currencies have provided new ways to fund and extend their work.

The spike in consumer interest has also lead to new currency exchange systems like Mt. Gox---the current most popular online exchange, and Ripple--an emerging platform that calls itself the world's first open transaction network to facilitate exchanges between all kinds of currencies, including Bitcoin. And the rise of Bitcoin has also spurred new similar virtual currencies such as Litecoin. The interest has not gone unnoticed by VC's. Andreessen Horowitz recently completed an angel round for an undisclosed amount to fund OpenCoin, the developer of Ripple.

This fascinating area is also fraught with its own concerns. The characteristic potential anonymity of Bitcoin has led to virtually untraceable funding of illicit activities. The government, which has been slow to recognize virtual currencies, is starting to take notice considering the booming growth of this largely untaxed, unregulated currency.

Whether you are bitcoiner yourself or are brand new to virtual currencies, join a panel of experts on June 18th 2013, to learn about the past and future potential of virtual currencies.

"It is a mistake to suppose that any technological innovation has a one-sided effect. Every technology is both a burden and a blessing; not either-or, but this-and-that." -Neil Postman Technopoly
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June 15, 2013, 03:13:30 AM

"OpenCoin, the company developing the Ripple protocol"

that's a brilliant use of language there.

do you think that's what they tell their investors?

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June 20, 2013, 09:00:47 PM

Wish we could make it out. Just to add some context, Crypto Street is relaunching as a crypto currency exchange. We will have strong support as a litecoin exchange. Would love to hear about how the panel goes. Will it be video streamed?
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June 20, 2013, 09:16:27 PM

Will the Winklevoss twins be attending?

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June 21, 2013, 12:43:26 AM

Will the Winklevoss twins be attending?

Yes, they were there.

The pre-seminar buffet was nearly the best part. Chris (Ripple) was clearly the most articulate person from the crypto-currency community and was respectful of the fact that it was a Bitcoin conference -- he also had an assistant give away 1,000 XRP to any and all comers. He didn't hit any new points and the whole conversation was really held at a beginners level. All questions were done through texting which really took nearly all energy away from the event.

The Stanford professor was really strong -- highly incisive and if there was video of her introduction that's worth your time. My main take-away, when the velocity of money is considered, Bitcoin could be deemed to be fairly valued. You'd have to see her presentation to dig into the criteria she used -- I didn't take notes. Of course, fairly valued today doesn't say anything about tomorrow -- i.e. if the velocity of BTC transactions drops then it's overvalued, etc...

The Winklevii were split as to whether it is a currency play or an infrastructure investment thesis. Since they've made a unrealized mint on the currency play already, it's easy to see how that point of view could dominate.

The Goldman guy from Coinlabs played his cards close to the vest. While he talked a lot, there wasn't a lot of take-away there (sorry dude.)

The Silicon Valley Bank compliance officer really didn't have much to say other than to note that her team spent more time on understanding the businesses brought to them to see where they would fit within the existing compliance regulations than they did on actually assessing compliance itself. And of course, she indicated that from her conversations, the IRS (or FInCen I was distracted at this moment) is less interested in stopping BTC than regulating it.

Kashmir Hill was fun. She briefly went through her week living on Bitcoin and did a good job as moderator.

Worth $30.00 plus travel time -- not really.

Bitcoin: 16i8sQWjZo3QPhhSfWupJff5PtwTxxpRJJ
Ripple:  rL7mRCDYBXsVSM2obdvEjwft5fPUmxv3ra
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