Token Summit, New York City 2017

Token Summit, New York City 2017

May 25, 2017 Arkilio attended inaugural conference on token-based economy in New York City. The event was held at the prestigious Paulson Auditorium at NYU Tisch Hall, a theater-style venue that can accommodate up to 470 seated participants and which is part of the NYU School of Business.

Token Summit was the first-of-its-kind event dedicated to the exploration of the economics, regulation and best practices around blockchain-based tokens. The main target audience of the conference were entrepreneurs, investors, lawyers and fund managers active in the space.

Arkilio went to the conference to learn more about crowd-funding of token-based crypto platforms and meet new friends. We were not disappointed, and judging by the informal feedback, neither were the 560 attendees. The event organizers, William Mougayar and Nick Tomaino, have delivered an engaging conference filled with substance and one that did not shy away from difficult conversations.

Our main takeways:

  • We are in the midst of a new global funding experiment where young entrepreneurs, often with limited business experience and no product, can raise $5M to $20M through token sale process generally bypassing national security registration requirements. The raised funds can then triple or quadruple in value due to the rapid price appreciation of raised crypto assets (typically ETH, less so BTC).
  • There was a general recognition in the room that regulators will eventually step in and that this is most likely to happen in the event of a major fraud or bankruptcy of a few prominent crypto startups. No one in the room felt comfortable to predict timing of such an event. Our own feeling is that in the next two years, time within which most reasonable startups should be able to go to market with a product, we will start seeing first high-profile failures.
  • But people also agreed that the token-based economy and decentralization potential of blockchain-based platforms are the most disruptive forces that are here to stay regardless of what happens with the new crowd-funding model or the crypto asset prices. Most people we spoke to agreed, that the companies that will take advantage of these forces and will execute well, will lead the next technology-driven disruption cycle. 
  • Finally, the conference confirmed our earlier feeling that Arkilio needs to consider itself to be a globally-connected company. The talent working on blockchain technologies, innovative ideas and funding are all globally distributed now. Moreover Arkilio clients often operate across national jurisdictions. The conference was an eye opener for us. We have met many interesting people and made new friends. This effort must continue.

The most memorable moments:

  • When Bill asked who owns cryptocurrency (BTC) or token (ETH) most people raised their hand. When he asked who used them for payment or to acquire services, only few hands went up.
  • According to CoinFund survey, over 90% of token investors are male, 66% are between ages 25-40 years old, 60% worked in technology firms and 26% were accredited investors. The average respondent invested 50% of all their investment capital in blockchain assets and 33% of respondents invested more that 75% of all their investment capital.
  • Chat service Kik, which has 50M monthly users, has announced token sale. Justification for it was "we always meant to have a token".
  • Fred Wilson, managing partner of Union Square Ventures, making a prediction that all of the existing top 5 crypto currencies will be unseated in the not too distant future.

 

Journey to New York City Token Summit begins here.

Journey to New York City Token Summit begins here.

Sir, do you have any bitcoins to declare ??

Sir, do you have any bitcoins to declare ??

New York City in sight....

New York City in sight....

Promoting Nike hat at Token Summit :)

Promoting Nike hat at Token Summit :)

Connected with a dear friend Victor Li, a self-described crypto junkie with a serious analytical side.

Connected with a dear friend Victor Li, a self-described crypto junkie with a serious analytical side.

Luke Williams from Berkley Innovation Labs welcoming everyone.

Luke Williams from Berkley Innovation Labs welcoming everyone.

Bill describing blockchain ecosystem evolution. Make a guess what is the last missing block at the bottom right corner??       .... EVERYBODY  :)

Bill describing blockchain ecosystem evolution. Make a guess what is the last missing block at the bottom right corner??       .... EVERYBODY  :)

Fireside chat with ShapeShift Eric Voorhees. Announcing PRISM, Portfolio management platform for crypto assets.

Fireside chat with ShapeShift Eric Voorhees. Announcing PRISM, Portfolio management platform for crypto assets.

Very impressed by SIA, no flashy stuff, just focus and interesting technology..

Very impressed by SIA, no flashy stuff, just focus and interesting technology..

Had an interesting conversation with Andy Milenius from MAKER. It  turns out he cares deeply about land and buildings.

Had an interesting conversation with Andy Milenius from MAKER. It  turns out he cares deeply about land and buildings.

Interesting presentation on how to value crypto tokens by Chris Burniske from ARKInvest.

Interesting presentation on how to value crypto tokens by Chris Burniske from ARKInvest.

Using novel stats like number of developers and size of communities as a valuation parameter.

Using novel stats like number of developers and size of communities as a valuation parameter.

And what do investors have to say? We were very impressed by Olaf Carlson-Wee from Polychain Capital. Optimistic and focused. Yet the guy shows up in running gear. With Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures as backers, we should be able to do that as well.

And what do investors have to say? We were very impressed by Olaf Carlson-Wee from Polychain Capital. Optimistic and focused. Yet the guy shows up in running gear. With Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures as backers, we should be able to do that as well.

Blockchain Canada Special Meetup, May 16th 2017

Blockchain Canada Special Meetup, May 16th 2017

On May 16th 2017, Blockchain Canada has hosted a special meetup dedicated to insurance industry's use case. Cristina Ignatenco from Manulife was a keynote speaker of the event and presented her views of challenges and opportunities of the new technology from the insurance industry's perspective.

The presentation again highlighted the strong appeal of private consortium blockchains to large corporations. However, we believe that this use case significantly waters down the benefits of distributed ledger technologies. It also raises potential antitrust issues and makes us wonder what happens to all the data when a corporation decides to join another consortium.

Arkilio was also asked to present as one of the three winners of the BlockgeeksLab Hackathon. Unfortunately last week's update of Web3.js libraries has destabilized our hackathon demo and Mark Gituma and Tom Yano had to work overtime to ensure we have something to present.

Mark and Tom delivered and our presentation and demo was received well. Kregg being a practicing architect can tell the Arkilio story in a way that people can relate to. Many follow up questions confirmed our feeling that we are pursuing a goal that people can understand and see the tremendous benefits of.

Thank you Alan (Blockchain Canada) for organizing this event and thank you to all those people that showed up and asked questions.

Inspiring presentation by Cristina, self-educated blockchain enthusiast.

Inspiring presentation by Cristina, self-educated blockchain enthusiast.

Mark doing his magic and pretending to be architect submitting a payment request.

Mark doing his magic and pretending to be architect submitting a payment request.

Attentive audience listens to Alan's update on Board of Directors' election.

Attentive audience listens to Alan's update on Board of Directors' election.

With Kregg talking, not much for Mark to say.

With Kregg talking, not much for Mark to say.

"How do you deal with resistance to adopt automated payment?" Great question! Here is how we answer it. "Economic incentives via lower design fees combined with industry associations' pressure targeting public segment of the construction market." At least that is our working thesis.  Prompt Payment Ontario  initiative gives us a hope we have a fighting chance.

"How do you deal with resistance to adopt automated payment?" Great question! Here is how we answer it. "Economic incentives via lower design fees combined with industry associations' pressure targeting public segment of the construction market." At least that is our working thesis. Prompt Payment Ontario initiative gives us a hope we have a fighting chance.

Great presentation by HealthChainRx, BlockgeeksLab Hackathon winners and Toufi from PrivacyShell. 

Great presentation by HealthChainRx, BlockgeeksLab Hackathon winners and Toufi from PrivacyShell. 

Thank you Alan for giving time to all the aspiring startups!!!

Thank you Alan for giving time to all the aspiring startups!!!

Blockchain Revolution Meetup at MaRS

Blockchain Revolution Meetup at MaRS

Arkilio attended a great meetup hosted by Sunny Ray from Unocoin. Kudos to Sunny and Fintech Canada for putting together such an impressive roster of speakers and a well-organized meeting. We estimated close to 800 people have attended the meeting and an overflow room had to be used to accommodate everyone safely.

"Charlie Shrem's robotic incarnation" was admittedly the most entertaining part of the meeting. Imagine iPad mounted on a telescopic pole with a microphone, speakers and a camera all of it on two wheels and remotely controlled. See the pictures, you will love them.

Speakers that have left the most impression on Arkilio were Matthew Roszak, Charlie Shrem, Andrew Filipowski and Bill Barhydt. 

Matthew Roszak is a co-founder and chairman of Bloq, a blockchain enterprise software company. He has spent over 20 years in private equity and venture capital with Advent International, Keystone Capital Partners, Platinum Venture Partners and SilkRoad Equity, 

  
Charlie Shrem is a founder of the Bitcoin Foundation and co-­‐founder and former CEO at BitInstant LLC, an early Bitcoin startup that provided a secure, fast and convenient way of globally buying and selling Bitcoin.

Andrew Flip. Filipowski CEO, COO of Cullinet, the largest software company of the 80's and founder & CEO of Platinum technology, inc., 8th largest global software company at time of sale to CA for 4 billion dollars. 

Bill Barhydt CEO of Abra, a smartphone app developer of a non-custodial Bitcoin wallet that allows you to see the value of your funds in any world currency you choose. Goal at Abra is to be the WhatsApp of Money. 

Enjoy the pictures.

Got in late, but overflow room is not where we wanted to be. Thank you for getting us in Antoine. All smiles!

Got in late, but overflow room is not where we wanted to be. Thank you for getting us in Antoine. All smiles!

The room really is packed. No kidding!

The room really is packed. No kidding!

Perianne Boring from Chamber of Digital Commerce providing an update on regulators' attitude towards the crypto startups.

Perianne Boring from Chamber of Digital Commerce providing an update on regulators' attitude towards the crypto startups.

"Unsung" heroes of the crypto world. James Gonzales on Jason King's vision to connect abundance to poverty using a mobile app and bitcoin. It is not all about drugs and crime!!!

"Unsung" heroes of the crypto world. James Gonzales on Jason King's vision to connect abundance to poverty using a mobile app and bitcoin. It is not all about drugs and crime!!!

Star of the evening, Charlie Shrem as a robot. Too bad my kids are not here. They would take him home.

Star of the evening, Charlie Shrem as a robot. Too bad my kids are not here. They would take him home.

Andrew Fillipowski reminding the audience that future is hard to predict

Andrew Fillipowski reminding the audience that future is hard to predict

How much off even the experts can be. McKinsey in 1980 forecasting cell phone adoption to be less than a million. It turned out to be 109 million.

How much off even the experts can be. McKinsey in 1980 forecasting cell phone adoption to be less than a million. It turned out to be 109 million.

Great Brainstorming Saturday

Great Brainstorming Saturday

Saturdays are a great time to dream, if your family let's you.

Today, Arkilio team has met to start a series of brainstorming sessions to design details of Arkilio token and define scope of the minimum viable product (MVP).

Brainstorming can either be a creative gold mine or a time wasting disaster. So what are the tips to make it a gold mine?

1. Get everyone in a good mood. In our case, we started the session with coffee and bagels from Tim Hortons. Big thank you to Kregg for his generosity.

2. Identify goals. Never go into a brainstorming session without a clear idea of what you want out of it. In our case we wanted to sketch out details of main user flows.

3. Set a time limit. Don't hesitate to split the brainstorming into multiple manageable sessions if the subject is too big. We set 2hrs.

4. Agree on a moderator. Choose someone who knows the project and has a respect of the team. Eden, as an owner of token design exercise, took on the role of the moderator. He did a great job.

5. Document everything. Use stickers and pencils. Be visual. We did not hold back! Scribbles on the beautiful glass wall were hard to miss. And KFA staff loved it.

6. Embrace wild ideas, don't judge. Record the ideas and move on. Don't analyze. The craziest one I heard today; "we go home and you clean Ladislav"

7. Don't be afraid to include at least one outsider. Out of the box thinking is healthy for the process.

8. And don't forget to take pictures of your wall and turn them into a document.

9. CLEAN UP THE ROOM!!! Being an entrepreneur means to get your hands dirty.