Important Information for Participants

BITFIN starts tomorrow, and we’re looking forward to seeing you. If you are registered for the full conference, please enter the RDS using the Merrion Road Entrance. If you are coming for the Expo only, please enter the RDS using the Anglesea Road Entrance.

Getting-there

All attendees are expected to abide by the BITFIN Code of Conduct. We’ve got over 45 speakers from all over the world coming to share ideas and discuss the near and long term potential of bitcoin. You can download the full schedule as a PDF. BITFIN is going to be an incredible and intimate conversation. There will be no recordings made of the talks or panel sessions. The only way to join the conversation is to be in the room, and continue at the exclusive social events. We hope you can make it to Dublin. Today is your last chance to register for the full experience.

Why should consumers care about bitcoin?

Today, we’re delighted to announce that Jay Bregman, CEO of Hailo, will be coming to BITFIN to offer his personal view on the coming “tidal wave” of financial innovation that bitcoin will drive.  Welcome to the conversation, Jay!

Why would a consumer elect to spend a currency that may prove to be worth more next week?  Or worse, how would a loss-averse consumer feel about spending a currency that lost value in a week?  There are much clearer incentives for investors to hoard bitcoins and merchants to accept bitcoins than there are for consumers to spend them.  There seems to be only one way to bridge the gap and get consumers excited about bitcoin…

Give them what they want, of course!  A free, fast and private currency that works like digital cash.  Sure, most of today’s bitcoin consumers are also bitcoin investors – people who are diversifying their gains by spreading their bitcoin wealth around to new merchants who now embrace the currency and technology.  But real bitcoin consumers probably won’t even know they are using the bitcoin currency.  Instead they will just see a cheap, reliable tool that helps them settle their dinner tabs, collect rent or grocery money from roommates, or send money to a child away at college – in real-time.

In developed economies with wealthy bitcoin users, the superiority of bitcoin for consumers might be a bit hard to identify for consumers with lavish credit card rewards and bill-splitting apps.  But talk to the underbanked who rely on things like pre-paid debit cards, or the migrant workers who send hundreds of billions of dollars of their earnings to family living abroad, and you quickly get a better appreciation for the power of bitcoin’s portability and near-zero fees.  When it comes to foreign exchange and remittances, even an upper-middle class consumer will feel the pinch of 5-10% money changing fees!

Finally, regardless of demographic, the security benefits of bitcoin may still outweigh the benefits of using even the most favorable credit card or banking service.  In an era in which authorities can force banks to freeze customer assets, odd spending patterns can cause a payment service to temporarily deactivate an account, and nearly 7% of online consumers face the prospect of identity theft, it simply doesn’t make sense to share one’s credit card information with dozens of different companies.  Especially when even the largest and seemingly safest retailers have proven to be susceptible to data breaches (read: Target).

Perhaps the most underestimated and important component of future consumer bitcoin demand: the “latent” variety.  Most consumers won’t realize how much they want bitcoin until they use it.  It will help if their first experience dulls the pain of a peer-to-peer payment, foreign currency exchange, or online checkout process.

Join us at BITFIN in Dublin next week on July 3-4, and learn more about the types of merchants that will benefit the most from integrating bitcoin into their strategic plans. Hear experts like Jay Bregman, along with  Stripe’s Greg Brockman, BitPay’s Moe Levin, Bitnet’s Stephen McNamanra, and GoCoin’s Steve Beauregard discuss the near-term business cases for bitcoin.

 

What’s Driving Merchant Adoption of Bitcoin?

It’s getting easier for merchants to embrace bitcoin.  From day one, bitcoin has intrigued savvy companies that wished to save 2-3% on credit card fees, eliminate chargebacks, obviate the need to secure sensitive financial data, and attract new customers from lucrative young, affluent demographics.  Yet it is only recently that ventures like BitPay and Coinbase have mass-marketed tools that make integrating bitcoin simple and inexpensive.

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So which companies are likely to pave the way for widespread bitcoin adoption?

Many e-commerce platforms are already queueing up to accept bitcoin.  Large companies such as Overstock.com and electronics vendor TigerDirect have generated millions of dollars in new bitcoin revenue over the past several months, instantly adding new profit to their razor-thin margins.  Even more exciting: bitcoin is now being considered and implemented by payment processors that already service hundreds of thousands of online merchants, such as PayPal, Stripe and Square.

Bitcoin also has the ability to reinvigorate industries whose businesses have been most disrupted by the internet, such as news, gaming and philanthropy.  Bitcoin finally makes economically viable those business models that charge customers less than one dollar at a time.  News sites with paywalls, mobile game operators with “in-app” purchases or micro-donation platforms can now accept $0.25 transactions without worrying that fixed credit card “swipe” fees will swallow all of their earnings.

And yes, certain “sin” industries like gambling and pornography will thrive with bitcoin.  These industries can ensure that their payments are processed safely and reliably, while customers can enjoy peace of mind regarding privacy.

In 20 years, we might all wonder how any company ever processed payments without Bitcoin and the blockchain technology.  In the meantime, let’s focus on the early adopters.

 

BITFIN Accredited by Institute of Banking

We are delighted to announce that BITFIN has accredited by the Institute of Banking in Ireland.

BITFIN: ”Digital Money and the Future of Finance” (2014-1297) has been accredited for 10 CPD hours for Chartered Bankers and 1 hour for LCOIs (Institute of Banking/ACOI)

The Institute of Banking is the largest professional institute in Ireland, with a community of 33,000 members who work in banking and in both international and local financial services in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Institute provides university-level banking education programmes and related services. These enable members to achieve and sustain their professional qualifications and continuing professional development.

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Getting up to Speed on Bitcoin

Bitfin 2014 is dedicated to helping  professionals from a wide range of fields understand and embrace the stunning possibilities of bitcoin. So far, we’ve talked about the growing institutional interest in bitcoin as an investment class, the merits of crypto-currencies as “true” viable currencies, and the ability of blockchain technology to radically alter the integrity and transparency of the global financial system.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves!

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As Bitcoin evolves at a breakneck pace, we know how tough it can be for newcomers to cut through the noise. If you are a newcomer, BITFIN will help you get up to speed fast with a variety of sessions that touch on both the basics of bitcoin (key concepts, history,  players and its growth trajectory) as well as the most exciting and advanced applications of the technology. Go beyond the typical sound bites, and let us help you dive into the foundations of bitcoin and crypto-currencies.

Many people familiar with bitcoin can tell you it is both a payment technology and currency, but don’t you want to know how the technology works, and why the currency just might survive despite its volatility? Wouldn’t you prefer to learn from the world’s experts and test your criticisms with bitcoin’s sharpest minds?

Direct your toughest questions towards the experts and entrepreneurs in the bitcoin trenches, and the payments and banking professionals who are starting to explore the possibilities.

Join us at BITFIN in Dublin next week on July 3-4, and mingle with industry leaders and experts like Colm Lyon, Jeremy Allaire, Nic Cary, Alan Reiner, Greg Brockman, Flavien Charlon and over 40 other speakers to hear why they became believers in the wild idea that is bitcoin.

Skeptical finance veterans are welcome. You just might leave a convert.

BITFIN Welcomes New Speakers

With only 10 days to go before BITFIN, we’re delighted to welcome some great new speakers and panelists.

Max Keiser, host of The Keiser Report, and one of the leading voices behind StartCOIN, an altcoin-powered crowdfunding initiative will be joining the debate on the future of bitcoin and financial services.

Emily Spaven, Managing Editor of CoinDesk will be hosting the Global Perspectives session.

Stephen Sprauge, CEO of the Rivetz, and thought leader in trusted computing will be joining the Key Challenges in Bitcoin session.

Jeremy Kandah, Founding Partner at TeamBlockChain will be exploring new applications of blockchain technology in  the Beyond the Currency session.

See the Full Schedule

Bitcoin: Sound Investment or Tulip 2.0?

There’s no denying that Bitcoin has been a red-hot area of investment so far this year. While the digital currency’s price has dipped from its December highs amidst regulatory turmoil in China and the collapse of Japanese exchange, Mt. Gox, a look at the bigger picture shows tremendous institutional interest in bitcoin.

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Half a dozen companies have raised more than $10 million in venture capital funding in the first six months of the year vs. just one in all of 2013. Bitcoin saw its first IPO via Australian mining and trading venture, DigitalBTC, which currently trades at a 70% premium to its prospectus price from just last week.

Bloomberg, Yahoo and Google now allow users to track bitcoin prices. We might see, not one, but two publicly-traded bitcoin ETFs come to market before the end of the year, via the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust and SecondMarket’s Bitcoin Investment Trust. And the recent leak from the US Marshall’s Office shows the wide array of parties participating in the US government’s upcoming Silk Road bitcoin auction.

SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert recently told CNBC that bitcoin would enter its “Wall Street phase” this year, where institutions begin to recognize bitcoin and other digital currencies as a new alternative asset class. Will bitcoin see significant price increases this year?

Are you evaluating investment in bitcoin or digital currencies? Join us at BITFIN in Dublin this July, and hear first-hand accounts from leading experts like Karl Grey, Bobby Lee and Jeremy Kandah talk about their outlook for digital currencies and the investment opportunities in the bitcoin ecosystem.

Will Bitcoin bring better transparency to the financial system?

Earlier this week, we learned that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was actively investigating a number of large “dark pools” to better understand if their opaque, off-exchange trading activity undermined the integrity of the stock market. Just days later (as if on cue), Fayez Choudhury, the CEO of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), wrote that he believed bitcoin’s public ledger and related encryption technologies might evolve into “transparent, systemic safeguards” that ensure responsible behavior and appropriate record-keeping.

Could the Bitcoin blockchain be used to demystify some of the more mysterious elements of the financial system like dark pools? Could it help prevent rogue trading, eliminate market manipulation and offer new approaches to internal controls?

According the Choudhury, the answer seems to be yes. His comments reflect the potential for bitcoin to allow financial exchanges, organizations and possibly even governments to begin operating with a degree of radical financial transparency that would have seemed preposterous just several years ago.

“Everything from managing business operations, accountability to investors, and consumer protections can be improved,” said Choudhury. “As the bitcoin system relies more upon cryptographic proof than on human trust, its transparent processes may eventually require different audit procedures, given the complexity of the technological environment.”

Choudhury recognized the opportunity bitcoin poses to strengthen, expand and streamline financial controls, and noted that with blockchain technology closing the gap between accounting and IT, there is enormous potential for new specializations and advisory services that enhance trust while reducing costs.

That’s good news for accountants and great news for market participants everywhere.

Want to dive deeper into bitcoin’s potential to overhaul financial reporting and internal controls? Join us at Bitfin in Dublin this July 3-4, and hear experts like Jeremy Allaire, Colm Lyon, Gareth Murphy and over 40 others, talk about re-imagining the status quo and integrating bitcoin into financial institutions.

Will Bitcoin Ever be Accepted as a True Currency by Central Economists?

Bitcoin is often equated to “digital gold” that will maintain its value versus other fiat currencies, yet its high volatility leads most experts to dismiss its viability as a unit of account.  Today, the digital currency is inflationary by design, yet many criticize its deflationary long-term nature and rigid cap on future circulation.  Bitcoin acts like both M1 and M2 currency, yet some question whether it has any intrinsic value at all given its lack of backing by governments or commodities.

How then should we even begin to think about bitcoin within the context of our modern economic theories of money?This isn’t an easy question to answer, but we do know this: bitcoin breaks the mold for a currency.  For the first time ever, millions of people have been able to reach consensus on the value of an intangible, global currency with no central backing, based purely on technology that obviates the need for trusted third parties.  Just as there is no central arbiter to verify the legitimacy of bitcoin transactions, there is no central authority that can require bitcoin payments as legal tender or dictate monetary policy.  Some claim that Bitcoin is the best voluntary alternative to other debt-based fiat currencies.Whether it can crossover from a niche project to a widely-embraced international reserve currency will likely depend on central economists’ abilities to reconcile bitcoin’s volatile, deflationary, voluntary nature with their preference for stable, inflationary, tightly managed money supplies.

Want to hear what experts think about bitcoin’s future as a currency?  Join us at BITFIN in Dublin this July, and hear experts including Ferdinando Amatrano, Jonathan Levin and Robert Sams discuss the economic theory behind Bitcoin during the Economics of Bitcoin Panel on Day 1. 

Early Bird Registration Closing

Book before Friday May 23rd to save €200

Bitcoin Finance 2014 is the first conference about Bitcoin for payments networks, banks, and financial institutions. The event will be held in Dublin’s iconic Royal Dublin Society on July 3-4 2014. For more details visit www.bitfin.com.

Bitcoin Finance brings together the brightest minds in payments, finance, business, banking and Bitcoin. Over two days in Dublin, we’ll tackle the big questions and host fearless debate on the opportunities and risks involved with decentralised currencies.

We’ll soon announce our next batch of great speakers and panellists which will include;

  • Vladimir Grankin – Chairman – Ocean Bank
  • Ferdinando Ametrano – Senior Quantitative Analyst – Banca IMI
  • Robert Sams – Founder – Kryptonomic

Register now to lock in the discounted €399 early bird rate. Registration fees will increase to €599 for a standard registration after Friday.

Hotels are filling fast, and early booking is highly recommended to get the conference rates in our great partner hotels.