After two successful meet-up events on the topic of bitcoin cryptocurrency, OraculeTang – a coworking space owned by SDVentures, in the heart of Old Town – is organising a full scale conference on bitcoins.
In 2009 a mysterious person (or a group) known by name Satoshi Nakamoto created the first cryptocurrency – the bitcoin. Cryptocurrency is a record in your electronic device, saying how many bitcoins you have, and it is not regulated by any central monetary authority. In July 2017 1 bitcoin unit passed a value mark of $4,000 and overall bitcoin amount in circulation has a market capitalisation of over $60 billion. In less than a decade, you can buy your flight ticket in Airbaltic or a Luxury Tesla in Helsinki using Bitcoins! How did Latvian capital become the centre-stage of discussion on the hot topic of bitcoin?
In spite of bitcoin becoming a buzz word, there are still very few people, who truly understand how the currency really works and what the blockchain technology actually is and how it relates to bitcoin currency. Why blockchain is being adopted by governments? You cannot learn answers to these questions in school (yet), but you can create a meet-up event where like-minded people can learn answers to all these questions, thought Maksims Keiduns, a founder of HoglHogl – a P2P bitcoin exchange platform. With this idea he approached Dmitry Volkov – the founder of SDVentures. SDVentures is an umbrella company for many digital brands; their portfolio is consisting of over 50 companies. Dmitry is one of the first investors in the blockchain technology. Together with the iTech Capital, SDVentures invested about 20 million USD in Bitfury, the leading manufacturer of hardware, which is used for bitcoin mining. Thus, Dmitry has supported the idea. And in May this year SDVentures hosted the first Bitcoin Meet-up in the OraculeTang Space, a co-working space in its office center. The two floor OraculeTang Space is situated in the Old Town of Riga, opposite of the Dome Cathedral. The admission was free, the invites were spread only through the social media. Initially it was planned to host 30-50 attendees, but the organisers’ were cought by surprise when 80 people came. Moreover, the demand and interest for the next event was so high that it was re-scheduled a month later – 130 people attended this time! One of the speakers was Alex Petrov – CIO of the famous Bitfury. Successful reputation of SDVentures has brought the high-calibre speakers of both events..
The aim of the event was nothing more than to initiate a dialogue, meet likeminded people and educate whoever was interested in the concept of bitcoin. The organisers didn’t know what to expect (how knowledgeable the attendees will be about the bitcoin), so they started their presentation from the basics and followed with more advanced topics. Maksims confirms that people in Riga overall are quite aware about the concept of bitcoin crypto currency and blockchain technology, probably due to the developed financial sector in the country. As people cannot wait for the third event, OraculeTang, together with SDVentures and HoglHogl now are planning to host a more professional bitcoin conference, with approximately 350 attendees at the end of November. The new bigger venue will be hosting the event, as OraculeTang Space cannot fit all interested audience (last event was so popular that the attendees were standing in the doorway).
These events are not only increasing the prestige of our country but also allows Latvia to join the race in the development of blockchain technology as it is getting more attention, especially from more and more governments. Bitcoin is built on blockchain technology, which by design is resistant to modification of the data. This has drawn attention from governments as this technology is virtually impossible to hack. Our neighbouring Estonia is a champion in blockchain – Estonians already can vote in national elections online, all thanks to blockchain.
Previously, Europe was monitoring the US, mainly its legislative developments regarding bitcoin crypto currency, however, now EU is taking the lead and has kickstarted several initiatives. For example, EU has allocated EUR 500,000 to European Blockchain Observatory and Forum, which aims to identify, analyse and monitor existing blockchain developments and trends. Additionally, European Commission has launched #Blockchain4EU project, which will identify which existing blockchain applications can be used for non-financial/industrial sectors.
Many say that bitcoin is just a bubble and very few realise that you have to solve complex computer problems to unleash digital coins into the market. Also very few realise that there is limited amount of bitcoins inherited in its design – 21 million, right now there are 16 million in the market. Will the bitcoin price burst or will it go up in value instead, as soon it will reach its maximum supply? Join the dialogue of like-minded people and you will get significantly closer to your answers.