Calvin Ayre with a mirror next to him

Calvin Ayre: Blockchain can make governments look good to their citizens

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The London Blockchain Conference next week will be held at a prestigious venue in Parliament Square—no coincidence because its tagline is “Bringing government and enterprise onto the blockchain.” As conference creator Calvin Ayre explained in this week’s CoinGeek Conversations, the use of blockchain could benefit both governments and citizens:

“Governments can use this technology to manage data in a way that makes them look really good to their citizens. They’re saving costs. They’re being able to provide unique services that weren’t possible before.”

But the “honesty and truthfulness” of a government will also become more transparent to its citizens, which may not always be welcome, Ayre believes: “It’s going to be interesting to see how this unfolds because we do know that a lot of governments don’t like things that force them to be honest.”

The conference is “about solving big data challenges in a unique way with blockchains.” And although Ayre is a big supporter of the BSV blockchain—partly through his Ayre Ventures, which invests exclusively in BSV businesses—he insists that the conference is not a BSV event: “BSV is just a tool. If someone else has another tool that wants to compete in that space, then the conference is open to them.”

Indeed, the conference advertised for participation by supporters of any other blockchain that had what Ayre considers essential to serve this market—unbounded scaling, the ability to make nano payments and a readiness to follow all existing laws—but nobody applied: “Nothing came back. Not one person. And I found that shocking actually.”

Image of Calvin Ayre and Charles Miller
Ayre Group and CoinGeek founder Calvin Aye with CoinGeek Conversations host Charles Miller

Ayre draws a complete distinction between the work he supports and the rest of the ‘crypto’ market. He sees no future for crypto and backs the suggestion of a Select Committee of British MPs who recently recommended that crypto should be regulated under gambling laws rather than financial—as it currently is under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom.

“Innovation on blockchains will happen after the crypto nonsense is cleared out of the way,” he says. And as a former entrepreneur in the world of online gaming he believes that crypto is “like gambling—only it’s like illegal, unregulated gambling.”

On the current media focus on AI, Ayre believes that more important technological developments will be centred on the implementation of BSV blockchain and IPv6—an internet protocol that allows greater scaling of IP addresses than the currently more common IPv4.

“You’re not going to solve the challenges that the Internet has with artificial intelligence. You need what BSV does to make the Internet work better, for artificial intelligence to work better. They are things that will actually work together.” The BSV blockchain could provide a record of the provenance of data used in AI—an essential additional component to make its results more trustworthy.

On the question of Dr. Craig Wright’s many ongoing court cases, closely followed in BSV circles, Ayre is a huge supporter of Dr. Wright on social media, but admits, “I’m not a fan of all his court cases. I actually wish that there was a lot less of that and a lot more focus on business.” Nevertheless, Ayre has no doubts about Dr Wright’s claims: “Of course I support him because he’s right. I just don’t think that all that stuff needs to be proven right now.” He jokes that “everything looks like a nail to Craig and he’s got a couple of hammers in his hands.”

The London conference will be the first of a regular annual event, Ayre says. From next year, he wants to expand it from this year’s two stages—focusing on business and technology—to three, and to extend the conference from three days to five.

Hear the whole of Calvin Ayre’s interview in this week’s CoinGeek Conversations podcast or catch up with other recent episodes:

You can also watch the podcast video on YouTube.

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