The Blockchain Society Conference with Coinsquare's Cole Diamond
On July 25th, The Blockchain Society hosted an invite only special thought leadership conference exclusively for investors, regulators, corporate and blockchain thought leaders, in partnership with Shyft Network, Celsius Network, Netcoins, Yuser, Skrumble Network, Nobul, MLG, ConsenSys, BDC, and PwC.
Hosted in the wonderful and modern top floor space at PwC Canada, guests and speakers were treated to a hearty breakfast upon arrival, while networking with some of the biggest names in the industry. Netcoins were proud to sponsor the in-house wifi for guests to enjoy during the event.
A big thanks from Carvalho Capital for @Netcoins wifi sponsoring.
Without further adieu, he passed the microphone to the conference’s first speaker, none other than Trevor Koverko, the CEO of Polymath. Trevor took the time to let us all in on his path to success, and his pride in Ethereum’s growth. “Ethereum has created more millionaires than any other company in the world, and it all started here in Toronto.” He then went on to speak on the achievements of Polymath, and how it is now the first blockchain telegram group to reach 50K, along with being the largest single shareholder of the Barbados Stock Exchange. Furthermore, Trevor was particularly excited to announce the upcoming 2.0 launch, some of his proudest work.
We were then introduced to an ICO Panel, comprised of the CEOs of Celsius Network, MLG Blockchain, Skrumble Network, and CrowdMatrix. Alex Mashinsky of Celsius is one of the inventors of VOIP, Voice Over Internet Protocol, and is now working on MOIP, Money Over Internet Protocol. He has been issued over 35 patents in his lifetime, relating to exchanges, VOIP protocols, messaging and communication. He is a serial entrepreneur, and the founder of seven New York City-based startups, having raised over $1 billion, and exiting over $3 billion. He has also founded two of New York’s top 10 venture-backed exits, and has received numerous awards for innovation, including nominations for Entrepreneur of the Year.
Michael Gord of MLG Blockchain is a full stack blockchain developer, along with being the founder of MLG, StratX, and AirdropX. Michael is the first enterprise blockchain developer at TD Bank, one of the largest banks in Canada.
Eric Lifson of Skrumble Network has over 10 years of directing global strategic marketing projects, and now leads the team behind Skrumble’s innovative communication technology, solving the data ownership crisis with a new and secure communication-centric blockchain, and decentralized media comunication application.
Rounding out the panel was Rubson Ho of CrowdMatrix, a regulated online investment portal, making it easier for individuals to access alternative investments that were once only available to professionals. They are currently hosting an offering for the Matco Cannabis Investment Fund, giving investors diversified exposure to companies across the spectrum of the cannabis industry. Alex Mashinsky proclaimed “we’re all still waiting for that killer app that’s going to make us go, why didn’t we think about that?” Eric Lifson raised his concern that “Ethereum started here, and we are going to get passed by. Places like Malta. We need to be more business focused and open to the entire world.”
Next to take the stage was the Yuser team, an application aiming to change the way social networks work. We got to hear from Eunika Sot, the COO, who possesses years of social media experience and has been utilizing her knowledge about the influencer space to solve issues with current social media platforms, through the application of blockchain technology. Joining her was the finance manager of the company, Edwin Saraccini, who is an avid entrepreneur looking to be a part of the next big movement in the social media and tech space. The prospect of disrupting the current social media giants and being a part of the internet 3.0 movement is something that intrigues him, and is the opportunity he has long awaited.
At Yuser, they realized there’s a major problem in how social media operates currently. They decided to use gamification to make their application less susceptible to fake accounts, comments, and likes, something that has been tainting the social media experience for some time now. Gamification is important in the token economy, and has enabled them to introduce economic rewards to compensate positive behavior. Yuser uses blockchain-based smart contracts to solve problems with influencer marketing, by helping creatives to monetize from day one. Users of the application can use the Yuser tokens to buy electronic assets, exclusively distributed through the app as a reward for content creation to be used to create a profit sharing economy. At Yuser, they are “trying to become a platform for the people”.
It was then time for the guest of honour, the renowned Toronto native, Cole Diamond, CEO at Coinsquare. Cole aims to build Coinsquare into a 21st century financial institution that will disrupt how the financial services industry operates. He has a proven track record of taking companies from nothing to millions of dollars in monthly revenue, and is now in the conversation for Coinsquare being Canada’s fastest growing company. He spoke about the future of finance and what Coinsquare intends to do about it. His vision is that you will able to see and have all of your assets, all in one place.
Coinquare's Cole Diamond, the guest of honour.
The next to grace the stage was a Disrupting Financial Services panel, with representatives of ConsenSys, PwC, RBC, and CSE. Kevin Zhang is a seasoned blockchain developer for ConsenSys, spending his last six years as a full-stack developer, and dedicating his time to blockchain technology. He has spent his time learning the intricacies of distributed ledgers, and how they can be applied to various industries, particularly banks.
Behram Faroogh is a partner in the Risk Assurance Services practice at PWC Canada, who is a chartered accountant by profession. Behram has over 25 years of experience, spanning from shop floor to the board room, conducting assignments that consider the interplay, optimization, and oversight of strategy, people, systems, and processes.
Kaushik Venkatadri is the leader of of Blockchain Centre of Excellence at RBC, who has spent a number of years working with Wall Street banks in New York City. Currently, his role allows him to combine his two passions of financial technology and distributed systems. Last but not least, we had Barrington Miller, the Director of Client Listed Services at CSE, who provided his expertise and rounded out the all-star panel.
The crowd was then treated to Bruce Silcoff, the CEO at Shyft Network, who had a tremendous and captivating stage presence. Bruce is a visionary with a proven track record of incubating game-changing technology solutions, providing thought leadership and strategic guidance through board participation. He is a pioneer in the development and execution of loyalty, recognition, and incentive programs. “They say that necessity is the mother of invention,” he said. “Fortunately, when there is an epidemic, you look for a remedy, and Shyft is that remedy.”
Shyft's Bruce Silcoff
At Shyft, they are looking to provide “social impact in the world”, being ‘crypto with a conscience.” Bruce looks not only to solving a business problem, but a social problem--”a solution that’s global.” With a plethora of quotables and memorable moments, he capped his presentation off with a resonating set of words, “It is time for a paradigm shift, and we’re proud to be a part of changing this world.”
Fittingly, to conclude the conference, Alex Mashinsky took the stage to let us into the inner workings of his mastermind, allowing the guests to pick at his intellect, and discover his brilliance. Having been at the top of several company pyramids, he has now shifted his focus not to being atop the pyramid, but part of the blockchain circle; a growing and thriving community that needs all hands on deck to ensure its success.
Netcoins will be keynoting our August 28th conference in Vancouver, for those who are interested.
Alex Mashinsky of Celsius Network
“Decentralization is about a circle, not a pyramid, and how much you can contribute to society”.