The London BCH Conference took place on the eve of April 25th at the IDEALondon, a trendy venue in the heart of the city. From 6pm until 10pm, dozens of excited BCH enthusiasts, users, merchants and other professionals came together to network, learn and nurture the local BCH community.
“The energy is amazing!” Alex Fauvel of Cyber Capital told CoinGeek.com.
“I came to the first Bitcoin Cash Meetup in London I think in November, just after the fork- about 30 people in a small pub- and its grown to be an actual conference with proper speakers which is fantastic to see that growth rate in such a short period of time,” he said.
Six speakers made up the conference agenda with four short presentations and one panel discussion, with networking breaks before, during and after.
The conference sessions were dedicated to growing the BCH ecosystem, including topics such as economics of crypto currencies, the importance of and how to generate merchant adoption, why BCH is the original Bitcoin, how BCH is being used for charity, regulatory challenges and more.
Fauvel, Cyber Capital’s Fundamental Analyst, spoke on the economy of cryptocurrency networks and after five years of research on cryptocurrencies, he has decided to stand behind BCH.
“When I first discovered crypto currencies in 2013, like everyone, I fell in love with Bitcoin and then it broke my heart and Ethereum was all the rage”, Fauvel shared.
“Something never really sat quite right with Ethereum to me, that’s probably partly because it was supposed to be built on Bitcoin. And then Bitcoin Cash happened,” he said.
“And to be honest, before the fork, I didn’t think a minority fork could survive, but then my understanding of the incentive mechanisms that drive miners to continue to mine developed, so that I realized they are not hostile. If they are hostile, the whole thing breaks down. But because [miners] are part of the system, they are never going to be hostile,” he added.
Ricardo Sancho, co-founder at Cryptartica, the company behind the conference’s organization and online shop selling BCH-branded merchandise for BCH, delivered a presentation on the importance of merchant adoption.
“I think that one of the most important things is to get both users and merchants on board. I think that at the end of the day the price is not the most important factor. I think its actually getting those merchants who have options for the users to spend and having the users actually wanting to spend that money,” he said.
“Making the money move around is what actually creates an economy and that’s what will actually get BCH off the ground and into a real cryptocurrency that can be used by everyone in the world,” he added.
The importance of education on Bitcoin Cash and how the technology behind it can improve our world was another popular topic of discussion throughout the conference.
“People tend to forget that one of the most important things is actually to educate people. They will not learn and they will not find out about Bitcoin Cash or any other cryptocurrency unless we put in that effort,” Sancho said.
“And it has to be us enthusiasts—us the first Bitcoin Cash users—to actually do that work, to go out there and educate people. Then let them find out by themselves how great this technology can be,” he said.
In addition to bringing the general public up to speed, regulators around the world must be educated on cryptocurrencies and blockchain otherwise we’ll start to see more and more clampdowns due to misunderstanding.
Panelist Mohit Lalvani is from India and after working in the crypto industry for six years, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to prohibit any association with crytpocurrencies. Being an RBI-regulated Payment System Operator in the crypto space, Lalvani’s plans have been disrupted, to say the least.
“So clearly what’s happened is there is a lack of education and I believe its actually down to incompetence. These guys are completely incompetent to understand how crypto currencies work,” Lalvani told CoinGeek.com.
“They come from a Central Bank mindset where they print money and clearly [crypto currencies are] something that they just don’t understand. And so I think that’s very important for the whole world and regulators across the world to start understanding how this technology works,” he added.
According to Lalvani, its all down to education and its up to us as an industry to invite regulators and government officials to our events so they can learn about all the wonderful ways BCH and its blockchain can improve daily life, globally.
One of the highlights from the evening was James Howells’ presentation on why BCH is the true Bitcoin and the story behind his loss of a hard drive containing 7,500 Bitcoins (!!!) from his mining days back in 2009. Since Howells has been involved from the very beginning, his perspective on the progression of Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) over the past nine years is crystal clear.
“In terms of technology, we have gone backwards, not forwards,” Howells told CoinGeek.com.
“The Bitcoin Cash chain represents the version of Bitcoin that I used to use in the old days. In the end of 2017—everybody knows about the price increase—but at the same time, [BTC] fees were increasing rapidly. In the past week, the Bitcoin Cash network has experienced its own spike in price, the different being when Bitcoin Cash spikes in price, the fees don’t spike with it. That is the real Bitcoin that I used back in 2009 and is the real Bitcoin that many other early adopters have also backed and use,” Howells said.
In an effort to help move technology forward again and to “re-build” the ecosystem, Howells has Founded “MiniPOS”, a piece of hardware allowing merchants to accept BCH in-store.
“MiniPOS basically started as an open source project between myself and three developers on Slack. We came across this software and we now refined it into an actual product which can be purchased by merchants in order to accept BCH in-store for goods and services with checkout times in 10 seconds or less,” he explained.
“There are absolutely zero private keys held on this device so there’s no chance of losing any funds by using this device. The actual store owners can leave the store, they can leave the cashier in charge and be safe in the knowledge that the funds that they have received will not be stolen,” he added.