ReImagine 2020 has been one hell of an event bringing together the Crypto and Blockchain OG’s from across the world while incorporating many student organizations into the fray as well. ReImagine 2020 is the hip, in your face, and in some ways a rebellious conference that really helped paint a picture of the history behind Blockchain and Crypto. Some may consider the panelist revolutionaries or outliers, but regardless of what you hear about some of these people, it was really cool to hear their side of the story. There are always two sides to the story and during this conference, I got to hear many other perspectives that are sometimes not covered by the mainstream media outlets. On top of the interesting set of well-known panelists within the industry, RI2020 brought many student organizations to the table to discuss the ongoings on university campuses across the world. Many of these university participants started blockchain or crypto clubs at their universities. It was very inspiring to see that the blockchain industry is reaching out to all generations, but RI2020 seemed to have made a concerted effort to bring many young and brilliant minds together for this conference.
One of the first panelists I got to watch at the RI2020 conference was Roger Ver. He has been known as “Bitcoin Jesus” because of his history with Bitcoin. When I hear people on Twitter mention Roger Ver, there is always some backhanded comment being made about what he is doing or what he has done. I didn’t really know much about Roger Ver before going into RI2020, but now I have a better understanding of his history and what role he has played in helping build the crypto and blockchain communities. Regardless of his checkered past before his jump into the Crypto world, he has had his hand in some really cool projects such as the original investor in Ripple and Kraken. Roger was an early adopter of Bitcoin and was a big promoter of the product in its earliest years. While being interviewed we got to learn where Roger started, how he got started, and hear about some of the stories that he went through along the way. We got to go behind the scenes and learn about the history of Bitcoin and some of the infighting that was happening within the community from the onset.
I think there is a big difference between reading an article about someone’s history and hearing stories of what this person did or didn’t do, and actually hearing the other person’s side of the story. We got to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth and hear the reasons and circumstances Roger was in that helped explain his thought process behind some of his actions. It seemed like Roger’s heart was in the right place, but he played the game the best way he saw fit. Roger was an evangelical figure for Bitcoin and did play a big role in its growth during the first several years, but I think the biggest takeaway I got from listening to his panel was how he helped seed many other blockchain startups and helped connect the right people in space. Blockchain needs more of this, and regardless of what you may think about Roger, he did do some really great things for the community and helped lay down the foundation to the crypto and blockchain communities. I recommend watching his interview so you can see it for yourself.
Roger Ver – RI2020 – Interview
One underlying theme that I picked up on was this sense of rebellious and revolutionary ideology. The creative ability of many of the panelists was genuinely amazing to see how they created something out of nothing and to hear their stories of how they got to where they are today. I feel like many of the players in the space have this attitude of revolution and it seems like they incorporated this into their work. If you want to make an impact on the world you cannot be afraid to go where no man has gone before. Many of the panelists embodied this courageousness throughout their journey and were not afraid of big governments or ridicule from society. These visionaries were inspiring, intriguing, and each of them had their own view of the world. Not everyone was explicitly from a crypto or blockchain startup and included others like Dale Chrystie from FedEx, Steve Albonico from Boeing, and Alex Mashinsky of Celsius. What brought all these minds together was blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. I think that is the power of what we have in front of us is the power to unite people from across every inch of the world and all from different spaces and industries.
One of my favorite presenters was Brock Pierce and he had a very long and informative call that walked through every detail of his past and his history within the industry. Brock is a charismatic, bright, and intelligent entrepreneur who sharpened his teeth inside the gaming space and eventually made his way into the crypto and blockchain space by helping kick start several big names such as Tether, GoCoin, and Blockchain Capital. We got to see inside of Brock’s head and he walked us through each and every event that happened to him during his start in Crypto and Blockchain. Brock is a revolutionary in regards to the way he thinks and sees things. One of the biggest takeaways that I got from Brock was that he wanted to build and create things that the world needed by starting projects that have never been done before. That’s where he made the jump into crypto to follow these dreams. Brock was fulfilled by creating and you can see this by his body of work.
Other overarching topics that Brock shared were his views about the world and how blockchain will fit into that. He believes that many of us have limited perspectives because we only care about what revolves around our own world. Brock believes that we need to open our views in order to better understand how crypto and blockchain can change the world but more specifically the world outside of our own. The examples he gave were African and Latin American countries needing a currency that holds value or people needing access to the banking system. For this reason, he believes that other countries outside the US will have mass adoption first because of their direct need for technology. We take for granted our ability to have technological advances involved in our daily lives like credit cards and banks, but there are people around the globe that need these technologies like crypto and blockchain more than ever because of the lack of access. If we can expand our views and break free of the past models we can then begin to build the future.
Another great point that Brock brings up is the need for storytellers within the industry. Bitcoin started with an anonymous creator that didn’t want to be in the spotlight. 2009 was a different time where fear of backlash from governments and central banks was a big thing surrounding cryptocurrency. Brock explained he made the conscious decision to step into this role of an outspoken leader knowing that his life could be at stake. He said he was willing to die for the cause that cryptocurrency and blockchain represented. These are the storytellers that we need who aren’t afraid to lose everything for the future benefit of the world. If you can bring together a great storyteller and a passionate, invigorating leader, that is Brock Pierce. Brock is such an awesome storyteller throughout his interview, and really gives you a historical timeline of the industry because of how much he was involved with things. He explained his wild narrative with a unique color and a distinct historical perspective, and it was definitely worth the watch.
RI2020 – Brock Pierce Interview:
I highly suggest taking some time to watch some of the panels from RI2020 because they are all on Youtube and you can find more of them just by typing “Reimagine 2020”. It was not your typical virtual conference and provided unique perspectives and takes on what has happened in the history of crypto and blockchain and where things are heading. As I mentioned it was definitely targeted towards the younger generations, but there were messages and takeaways for all. Give ReImagine a shot and I promise you won’t regret it.