This is a guest contribution by Antoine Tardif is the CEO of Gold Key Investments. If you would like to submit a contribution please contact Bill Beatty for submission details. Thank you.
I recently had the pleasure of attending the first CoinAgenda Caribbean Bitcoin conference, which was held from March 3rd to 5th at the Caribe Hilton, one of the most famous hotels in Puerto Rico.
The CoinAgenda conference focused on investing in bitcoins, and other crypto-currencies. While the first day featured presentations from institutional investors, and wealth funds, the highlight of this day had to be the panel discussions.
The future of the industry in general was discussed with both pros and cons being debated. While there was overwhelming optimism for bitcoin, there were some major concerns. One of these concerns is how bitcoin transactions often face a bottleneck when there are too many transactions occurring simultaneously. This surge in volume often causes delays for the processing of transactions. The problem is how to scale a significant increase in transactions when bitcoin mining is so cost-prohibitive.
Ethereum, the number two crypto-currency in the world is proposing to solve this by removing the mining aspect of their crypto-currency. Bitcoin purists are up in arms at this proposal as the purpose behind mining is that it serves as a proof-of-work function. This ensures that transactions are tamper proof. Proponents to remove mining argue that they can replace mining with a proof-of-stake model which is just as safe. This would allow Ethereum to easily handle the volume needed by larger corporations such as IBM and Microsoft, both which have recently invested in blockchain technology.
The market is currently agreeing with Ethereum which has nearly doubled in value in March, 2017. This currency went from $10 to over $20 in less than 2 weeks. This is significantly more than the gain that was seen by Bitcoin in the same time-period.
The second day of the conference featured 10 companies pitching to investors. While most of these companies were simply new wallets, or crypto-currency exchanges there were some interesting pitches.
One company that pitched was Matchpool which is a matchmaking app that would reward members with a crypto-coin every time a member matches entities, corporations, business partners, or even singles.
My personal favorite of the session was Healthcoin. This is a company that will reward users who are suffering from diabetes with healthcoins. Every-time a member does something positive that can potentially move them away from the disease they will receive a healthcoin. The healthcoin can then be spent at a health store, pharmacy, etc. The healthcoins could be provided by employers or insurance companies.
Another highlight, was a company called the Bancor Protocol. This would enable anyone to launch a local coin for small organizations. This easily serves as an out-of-the-box solution for someone who wants a crypto-coin but doesn’t have the necessary knowledge or infrastructure to launch this coin.
Overall, this conference served as a reminder of the fast pace of innovation in the blockchain and crypto-currency space. For investors such as myself it was a very rewarding conference with excellent networking and learning opportunities
Antoine Tardif is the CEO of Gold Key Investments, born and raised in Canada, Antoine relocated to the Caribbean in 2008. He travels for most of the year, and has visited over 40 countries including such oddballs as Saba and North Korea. He is a serial entrepreneur and invests in promising start-ups.