Australia’s first major international Bitcoin conference has been launched with the aim of celebrating the growth of the Bitcoin industry and the digital currency’s ongoing transition from interesting curiosity to mainstream currency.
Inside Bitcoins, set to take place at the Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre on July 9-10, is part of an international series of similar Bitcoin events organised by New York-based internet media company Mediabisto Inc. In association with local entity Bitcoin Australia, the Melbourne event will provide venture capitalists, lawyers, regulators, cryptographers, payment pioneers, public policy experts, developers, entrepreneurs, and Bitcoin users from across Australia with the latest intelligence on the digital currency, while also exploring its impact on businesses.
At the event, international industry experts, business visionaries and currency veterans will attempt to answer many the very many questions currently surrounding Bitcoin, including:
- Can it carve out a significant place for itself alongside today's mainstream payment technologies?
- What technical and regulatory obstacles does the currency need to overcome?
- Is large-scale Bitcoin mining sustainable?
- Will Bitcoin push the global economy forward by eliminating significant financial costs or will it fizzle out and be forgotten?
International speakers include, amongst others, former Wall Street senior portfolio manager and market strategist George Samman, who is COO of the world's first Bitcoin derivatives trading platform; and Executive Vice President of Stealth Bitcoin Start-up and Bitreserve, Juna Llanos. Local speakers include widely published policy economist Nicholas Gruen; Asher Tan, Founder of Australia’s largest Bitcoin company; Domenic Carosa, co-founder and Chairman of the Future Capital Bitcoin Fund; and a broad list of other Bitcoin experts and analysts.
“[Australia] is also well ahead of the curve in terms of Bitcoin businesses and actual users,” said Alan Meckler, Chairman and CEO of Mediabistro Inc. “For an industry with very little in the way of investment, Australia is truly punching above its weight. From nothing just a year ago, it now has a very active community with companies that are as good as anything overseas. There also is a real thirst for knowledge from Australian professionals looking to better understand the real world application of Bitcoin and how it will impact their everyday working lives.”
CoinJar’s Asher Tan, a former economist, added that Australia has around 20 start up companies based on Bitcoin – a mix of Bitcoin brokerages, exchanges, software solutions and point of sale providers - as well as 1,000 businesses already accepting Bitcoin as payment for goods and services. The former economist says the rapid growth of the Bitcoin businesses in Australia is doing much to legitimise the currency.
“Australia is one of the few places you can pay for meals, utility bills, rental, and even cars with Bitcoin!” Tan said. “I am confident we will increasingly see more and more institutional investors such as banks, insurance companies,hedge funds,investment advisors, and mutual funds seeing the merit of trading and using the Bitcoin network to reduce transactional costs. In time we will also see them embrace Bitcoin features such as micro transactions, instant remittance, and automated escrow as part of their business model.”
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