Despite the conspiracy theorists concerns, there were no evil plans discussed. Quite the opposite actually. For those who don’t know, organizer Bruce Fenton took some undeserved criticism for hosting the meeting. Coindesk called it “a secretive, closed-door gathering of elite bitcoin CEOs and luminaries this weekend.”
This was a group of about 60 people who are all dedicated to making the world a better place.
That makes sense when you consider many (but certainly not all) of the attendees hold libertarian and voluntaryist philosophies. Never heard of a voluntaryist?
C’mon, does this look like a group of evildoers?
Feeding the homeless, giving people discounts on Amazon purchases, providing financial services to the developing world, reducing fraud in worldwide aid, stopping financial crisis, and introducing people bitcoin.
I was fortunate to attend last weekend’s Satoshi Roundtable.
Bruce did a great job of putting on a high end event.
It is awesome getting to hang out with smart, modest, interesting people. The meeting was an off the record-meeting so I won’t disclose any non-public information, but here are some of the people I met.
- Justin Newton, CEO at Netki - helped build the Internet and is now laser focused on making bitcoin easy to use with his first product focused on hiding wallet addresses while retaining security and privacy.
- Dave Carlson, CEO Mega Big Power - runs one of the largest single-operator mines in the world. Dave taught me a lot about the mining world (which I know almost nothing about)
- Nic Cary, CEO Blockchain - Don’t like bank fees, limitations, and slow speed? Blockchain is building a viable alternative to the existing (legacy?) banking infrastructure.
- Michael Cao, CEO Zoom Hash - Counts among his mentors people like Mark Cuban, Arianna Huffington, Daymond John and Tim Ferriss.
- Tuur Demeester, Adamant Research - smart Austrian economist specializing in the study of boom-and-bust cycles in the economy. Check out Tuur’s Coindesk bitcoin articles.
- Dan Held, ChangeTip VP of Product - it was cool meeting the creator of ZeroBlock, an app I use daily. Ironically I didn’t use the app at all at the Roundtable because of the limited onsite Internet.
- Ira Miller, CEO, Coinapult and Justin Blincoe, COO Coinapult - it was awesome hanging out with these guys and hearing how they want to help the people of countries being ravaged by hyperinflation.
- Michael Perklin, co-founder Bitcoinsultants Inc. - is working to eliminate security incidents and hacks (aka. getting Goxxed). Check out the draft standard he helped create.
- Elizabeth Rossiello, CEO BitPesa - speaks 5 languages, has 2 kids, lives and works in Kenya. Elizabeth is working to put more money in customer’s pockets when they send money to Africa.
- Peter Todd, Bitcoin Core Developer - it was awesome being able to pick Peter’s brain. He cleared up some of my confusions around mining and shared new (to me) scalability ideas, and his proof chains project.
- Josh Rushing, Host of Fault Lines – an engaging speaker with a unique perspective on events that shaped history.
- Erik Voorhees, Entrepreneur - brought a historical perspective to some of the bitcoin discussions.
I also got to further connect with colleagues like:
- Bruce Fenton, Atlantic Financial / Bitcoin Association - a fantastic host. Bruce was a fantastic host. I appreciate him organizing this conference and I appreciate the sense of humor he had regarding the criticisms of his conference.
- Steve Beauregard, CEO, GoCoin - it is always great to see and hangout with Steve. It is amazing what an awesome 2014 he and his company had. The man works hard to help merchants save money through cryptocurrencies.
- Vitalik Buterin, Founder Ethereum - very cool to talk with one of the key people building out one of the most highly anticipated bitcoin 2.0 platforms.
- Anthony Di Iorio, co-founder KrytpoKit, Ethereum - he has done a LOT in the bitcoin space and I’m sure will continue that streak as most prolific entrepreneurs in 2015. Plus he wears cool hats :)
- Marshall Long, CEO Final Hash - fun guy. He also puts up with my dumb mining questions as I try to understand what remains a big mystery to me. :)
- Reeve Collins, CEO, [Tether] - inventor of the Internet pop-up ad, one of the first aQuantive employees, and founder of multiple companies (Traffic Marketplace, RedLever, Pala Interactive.) Reeve is bringing some serious experience growing companies that solve real problems to the bitcoin space.
- Paige Freeman, VP of Sales for Bitnet - she works with select partners across international trade, air travel and finance, enabling them to accept bitcoin, at scale, and without risk.
- David Johnston, Chairman of the Board at Factom Foundation - one of the first bitcoin people I met. David is like Wayne Gretzky, always skating where the puck is going to be. He is part of the all-star Factom team. If you haven’t heard of them yet, you will. :)
- Jason King, Sean’s Outpost - has fed 147K meals to homeless people. In addition to that I learned he has quite a history as an entrepreneur and many interesting stories about his life.
- Charlie Lee, Coinbase Engineer Manager & LiteCoin Creator - Charlie is a very nice guy. He and his Coinbase team are focused on making it easy to securely buy, use, and accept bitcoin currency. You may have heard of them :)
- Trace Mayer, Author, investor, and early adopter - he has funded core infrastructure build out. It was awesome talking with Trace and learning more about the history of money. I is something I used to think I knew a lot about, but now realize I know almost nothing about.
- Brock Pierce, Crypto Currency Partners - one of the best connectors I’ve ever met. If you have a ‘mission impossible’ brock is your best shot at achieving it.
- Marco Santori, Pillsbury Winthrop - one of the few lawyers recognized as an authority in the law of digital currencies. He counsels exchanges, payment processors, institutional miners, and other companies making new and exciting uses of distributed finance technology. In this highly regulated industry he helps founders comply with the morass of regulations (my words not his).
- Ryan Singer, Entrepreneur - Working to save us $400 billion in annual financial transaction clearing costs at Domus Tower
- Craig Sellars, Co-Founder & CTO at Tether - leading the development of one of the most practical bitcoin 2.0 technologies, Tether. Craig is one of the rare people who can talk to an audience but also dive deep on the technology. I’ll never forget he become involved with Mastercoin because he while reading raw bitcoin transactions (channel the Matrix scene where they are reading green text) he saw Mastercoin data.
- Paul Snow, Texas Bitcoin Alliance and Factom - he has forgotten more about the history of money than I’ll ever know. Paul is the creator and founder of Factom, letting developers build safer and more secure record keeping on a global scale.
- Nick Sullivan, CEO ChangeTip - a startup mentor, bitcoin investor, and very nice guy. Nick has built ChangeTip which many are calling the first bitcoin ‘killer app.’
- Michael Terpin, Founder and CEO Transform PR - one of the few bitcoiners with a Public Relations background. Michael helps bitcoin companies accelerate their progress. Clients include Bitcoin Shop, Gyft, Kraken, KnCMIner, KryptoKit, MaidSafe, and Mastercoin. Michael also runs the high-end Coin Agenda bitcoin conference.
- Jeffrey Tucker, Liberty.me - another one of the people who have forgotten more about history than I’ll ever know. Jeffrey is an engaging person to talk with. Always a kid at heart and always interested in what you have to say. However he has an amazing historical perspective and every time I listen to him talk I seem to learn a ‘shocking’ fact about history.
- Alyse Killeen, March Capital Partners - an expert on peer-to-peer networks and the Internet of Things. Alyse is one of the people helping to identify early stage companies that can use a capital infusion to create ‘tomorrow’s’ great companies.
- Will O’Brien, BitGo - working to make the bitcoin world a safer world. Will is working to make the bitcoin services we rely on everyday: wallets, exchanges, etc. safe.
- Shawn Wilkinson, Founder Storj - super smart dude working on a ‘decentralized Dropbox.’ Many people think that means a cheaper solution, but Storj will also be more secure and private. Say bye-bye to scandals like the 2014 celebrity photo leak
- Vadim Telyatnikov, CEO AlphaPoint - every country needs an exchange, Vadim is helping them get one. Vadim provides a white label exchange platform for digital currency businesses. Bitcoin and altcoin exchanges all over the world have launched leveraging the AlphaPoint platform, helping people globally adopt digital currencies.
- Roger Ver, Memory Dealers - one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. Roger or ‘bitcoin Jesus’ is one of the most famous bitcoiners. He works tirelessly to help the world see how bitcoin can benefit them.
Unfortunately the event wasn’t public or open to reporters, but here are some Twitter highlights:
What do you think?
Was this a secretive meeting that unfairly excluded people? Share your thoughts in the comments!