[Bitcoin Munich] February Event Review
This time we held our meetup in the conference room of the Hotel Cristal in Munich.
We were cooperating with the 3-day Pirate Party Security Conference 2017
that took place there.
They had no talks in the evenings, so it made much sense to move there, as soon as we were told (on quite short notice) we couldn't use our usual location due to some accidental double-booking. This other event in most probability was in the context of the big political theater of the Munich Security Conference
with many additional sessions throughout the city.
The Pirate Party's conference in turn is an annual counter-event to it, or a tongue-in-cheek-cooperation, or, in the words of Birgitta Jónsdóttir
, "such a beautiful hack".
All this turned out to be a curious twist of fate, as our cooperation was the ideal solution after all in the best interest of everyone. Our meetup group members were introduced to the conference and the Pirate Party. Likewise, our speaker got more of the audience he wanted to address. We could get Bitcoin Core contributor "The Blue Matt" Corallo
this time, adviser for Blockstream
and working at New York-based Chaincode Labs Inc
With his talk "Bitcoin: Privacy and Censorship Resistance Beyond the Web
" he intended to be less technical and more political after all. Many conference visitors and Pirate Party members were still sticking around, some probably with misconceptions about Bitcoin that Matt wanted to address. We had a full house.
What is Bitcoin?
- First e-cash system without a centralized third party that you must trust
- Bitcoin strives to remove all trust requirements
- Uses hashpower for double-spend protection, everything else you trust only the software you are running
Crypto-activists have always been concerned with privacy and encryption of communication, but what about finance?
- Access to Financial Networks Critical for Everyday Tasks
- Post-9/11 Governments Block Organizations/Individuals from Financial Networks
- Financial Institutions Don't Have to Provide Service
- Governments use "reputational risk" to censor with simple pressure tactics
- Without Centralized Trust, Bitcoin Increases the Cost for Governments to Seize Assets
- Lots of Restrictions on Privacy to Prevent Tax Evasion
- Banks Must Report Activity to Protect their Reputation as AML Enforcers
- Post-9/11 Strengthening of International Financial Monitoring
- Bitcoin Largely Monitored at the On/Off Ramps
The complete slides are available here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/13f3OD5KrD5IgbU1faPObnsw8eYQZSKExQDmCWPa7zus/
After the talk, the Q&A part was extensive.
Since we had a core dev in town, we were planning a "technical part" to have a dialog about the next Bitcoin Core release and other matters. This however went on off-track and rather informally then.
There had been a chance that 1-2 further core developers would join and come to Munich from the event the day before in Zurich, but alas they couldn't make it after all, so Matt had to do it all alone.
Later it got even more informal in the hotel bar area.
Matt stuck around until 3 in the morning. Good he could sleep in the plane the next day.
The whole conference was live-streamed, including our track. A video of the talk should eventually be available here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb34y0mTzn5JOqjwUrypaFw
Some more impressions here: https://twitter.com/bitcoinmuc
And here: https://steemit.com/beeroftheday/
Thanks again to the Pirate Party for the spontaneous cooperation, and of course to Matt for the great talk and showing presence here in Munich, we're not a "Crypto Valley" after all quite yet.
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