The most memorable development at the Inside Bitcoins Berlin conference on March 5th and 6th was the debut of Space-based banking tech startup SpaceBit.
What got every attendee’s attention was SpaceBit founder Pavlo Tanasyuk stepping on the stage wearing an imitation space suit and Devo like glasses. He drew immediate applause and laughter. The move was every effective as he then had the audience in his hands and attentive.
SpaceBit plans to launch a space-based cloud financial platform with Blockchain tech. The company is developing a device that can connect with existing satellite networks and enable payment services from most parts of the planet. Tanasyuk noted that cost of satellite connectivity was become less expensive. He also said that they hoped to launch their own satellite within the next year.
Blockchain Tech Anti-Counterfeiting Solution
As a part of a separate venture, called BlockVerify, Tanasyuk also unveiled development of a blockchain based product anti-counterfeiting solution. BlockVerify plans to utilise its own blockchain and a scalable transparent protocol to make every manufactured product globally as an asset. Each asset will be added to the blockchain with a unique identification number – hash. These hashes will used to determine whether any particular product is legitimate. According to Tanasyuk, his team at BlockVerify has already finished the initial part of a pilot program for a UK-based pharmaceutical company.
Probably the most useful presentation was that of Coinprism Founder Flavien Charlon, as he actually provided a demo of his company’s Colored Coin wallet, which is one of the main wallets of the Open Asset Protocol.
Colored Coins add secondary value to Bitcoin by permitting storage of any asset on the Blockchain.
“The idea behind Colored Coins is to use the Blockchain not only as a ledger for Bitcoin but as ledger for any type of asset, so this could gold or stock or loans,” said Charlon.
Charlon demonstrated how to store, create, send and receive Colored Coins with the Coinprism wallet.
Earlier in the keynote, Monetas CTO Chris Odom had pitched his companies own Colored Coins based platform with voting pools that apparently reduce risk of fraud significantly.
Bitcoin’s Inelasticity & Automated Reserve Bank
The affects of bitcoin’s inelasticity were summarised by Ferdinando Ametrano, the Founder of Hayek Money Project.
“Bitcoin is in a problematic stance when it comes to unit of account,” noted Ametrano. “The money supply does not adapt to any event.”
Ametrano, who is also an academic from Milan Bicocca University’s Department of Statistics and Quantitative Methods, founder of the QuantLib open source project, and engineer at Banca IMI, proposes achieving elasticity and price stability by dynamically rebasing the outstanding bitcoins. He also calls for creating of a reserve bank Digital Autonomous Organization based on an algorithm.
Records on the Blockchain
Factom’s Peter Kirby provided a overview of his company’s active efforts to develop and deliver various Blockchain 2.0 applications, including land title records system, a European data haven, and a real time tracking and data system for shipping containers.
“Factom is a blank piece of paper that you can write on but never erase. So you can do practically anything with it,” said Kirby.
Factom plans a crowd sale in March on Koinify, which Kirby noted was “cleaning up” the crowd funding space.
Who needs Bitcoin exchanges?
Stanislav Wolf, Yacuna AG’s VP Product Development, looked at whether Bitcoin exchanges were necessary. Wolf highlighted how many exchanges were charging no fees and thus were not sustainable. He used as an example the various large exchanges, particularly the large China-baed like OKCoin and BTCChina, that charged zero fees but have to supplement their business with futures trading and P2P leading.
Theo Goodman, Chief Sound Officer of Sound Wallet, played sounds that represented a cryptocurrency private key. Sound Wallet adds sound files of BIP38-private keys to vinyl records, cassette tapes, and CDs. However, at this stage, users must send their keys to Goodman’s company to convert them to sound files. One industry observer noted that this is a considerable security flaw.
Economics of Bitcoin is Security
Brian Fabian Crain, Founder, Bitcoin Startups Berlin, Bitcoin Center Berlin, and Epicenter Bitcoin spoke about the “Economics of Bitcoin.” He said that the “Economics of Bitcoin was determined by its security.
Crain described three scenarios that he believed were a threat to Bitcoin security, namely “shorting Bitcoin”, “Kamikazee Pool”, and “Block Halving”. Shorting Bitcoin refers taking a big short position on Bitcoin and can be used to attack the currency.
Kamikaze Pool refers to when an attacker is not afraid to lose money in an attack and bribes miners to join an attacking pool. Attackers can assault the currency by mining empty blocks while disregarding blocks of other miners, and pay 10x per share to miners.
Block Halving refers to the Bitcoin block reward halving that occurs every four years, which adds deflationary pressure to the price of the currency.
Crain noted, “The more Bitcoin gets used in the financial system, the more devastating an attack would be.” Moreover, the more attack looks like it will be successful, the more likely other miners will be incentivised to join an attacking pool.
The cousin of European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, with an entourage that was essentially an opera singer, attended the conference to make various amusing announcements and then at the end guarantee the safety of the attendee’s. [hint – not really him]