B2029, also known as the “OG Bitcoin Citadel,” is based in Berlin and tucked away behind a huge wall of graffiti, so typical of Berlin’s unique, alternative culture.
The interior of B2029 is bright, inviting, and bathed in white, complete with a swing in the middle and a big sticker of Dr. Craig Wright‘s face on the bathroom mirror (yes, I’m serious). The space is notorious for meetups and workshops, bringing together locals to learn what Bitcoin is, how it works, and its benefits.
The July 25th B2029 meetup was a bit different than the norm, designed to run alongside IEEE COINS with the fusion of artificial intelligence (AI) and Web3 as its theme. While the theme and speakers were also part of IEEE COINS, the meetup content was much “lighter” and more general to account for those who are newer to the tech versus academics in the field.
Ekhard Seeßelberg, co-founder of B2029 and host of the meetup, was grateful for nChain‘s initiation and sponsorship of the event and said it was “an excellent idea.”
“We are on the back of this [IEEE] conference that happened about all of these topics, and so nChain suggested that we do a meetup on these topics because many, many interesting people were here,” Seeßelberg told CoinGeek.
According to nChain’s Chief Licensing Science Officer Dr. Owen Vaughan, nChain wanted an event that was more open to the public than the conference and geared towards folks interested in blockchain and BSV blockchain vs. academics or researchers in the industry.
“We had Jack Davies give introduction to what is Web3 and how does it relate to AI,” he said.
“We then had Konstantinos talk about cellular automata and how those can be implemented on the blockchain, and we ended with a panel discussion, which I hosted, which was really what were the takeaways from the conference? What did we learn from it? What could we that went well? What could be done better next time?” Vaughan summarized.
B2029 regular and BSV blockchain enthusiast Fredrick Keitel enjoyed his time at the meetup and was delighted to rub shoulders with academic speakers and attendees from IEEE COINS, such as Konstantinos Sgantzos and ZeMing Gao.
“Because of the IEEE conference, we had the opportunity to have some very quality speakers today here,” Keitel confirmed.
“I was always interested in the people in the BSV ecosystem, and to have more of the academics here as well today is interesting because usually we have people that use BSV or that are interested in BSV, but not so much people that actually do the theoretical work in the background,” he said.
“And today is a big representation of nChain here, and I hope to pick a few brains and in the next minutes,” he added.
When asked what he learned during the meetup, Vincent Riddell, founder of Fruit Data Kings, pointed out how all the technologies covered overlap in some way.
“So blockchain, AI and IPv6, I’ll admit I don’t know too much about them but have a general understanding, but in terms of AI and blockchain, I think the dovetail between the two, it’s relatively apparent where it’s going to slowly manifest, but I think it’s a very long way away,” Riddell said.
Gesa Schneider, senior manager of Central Europe at Markforged, was also in attendance, and when asked what attracted her to the meetup, she said it’s because the event brought together a lot of interesting topics.
“It’s about blockchain, Web3, AI, and making the world better. So I had to come here,” she said.
“I also met great people here, had some interesting discussions afterwards about how to use blockchain and AI to really scale up the technology and to use technology to have a positive impact rather than let the companies be faster than us and just use it to make money,” she added.
Looking back on the evening, Seeßelberg was delighted to see new faces come through the doors, something a bit different than usual, perhaps due to AI hype that we’re in the middle of right now.
“Usually in our meetups, like 80% of the people that come to our meetups, we know them already and are familiar. So tonight was different, and I must admit that I don’t know many of the people that came tonight except a few,” he said.
Vaughan was happy to see the meet-up audience was a younger demographic than the conference, and they were asking different sets of questions during the talks.
“They’re challenging us a lot more. It’s more of an informal atmosphere where we can really have some longer form conversations, so it’s a real different change in tone and a really nice way to end the three days of conference,” he said.
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