This is the first of its kind in Brighton – a conference designed to discuss, learn and celebrate all things bitcoin. We caught up with conference organiser Darren Kis, to find out more about the event and ask the questions we think you’re probably wondering about.
Bitcoin conference? Tell us what this is about.
The conference is aiming to educate people about Bitcoin and the technology behind it and what it can do. It can be a very confusing subject when you first look into it and there’s so much conflicting information on the internet that it’s best to be able to talk to knowledgeable people directly. Personally I have been waiting for someone to organise a Bitcoin event, but after waiting four years I decided to try and get one off the ground myself and contacted the guys behind Coinfest (an international Bitcoin event) and see if they wanted to organise an event down here.
This is a bit of a personal crusade for you, isn’t it?
Absolutely! From about the age of 13 I’ve been aware of the massive inequality in our society and I got arrested multiple times back in the early eighties protesting against the corrupt banks, but soon realised we were powerless to stop them. So when bitcoin came along and I started to fully understand how powerful it was in helping fight corruption I had to raise awareness amongst my friends, who have similar views to me.
What kind of stuff can we expect to happen during the conference?
We have workshops on using bitcoin, workshops on mining bitcoin, speakers from different fields discussing various aspects of the technology and how it relates to our society, an exclusive film viewing, and exhibition stalls with Bitcoin-related paraphernalia, and then once the daytime event is over a free after-party with bands and DJs from 8:30pm.
Money can be exchanged without being linked to a real identity. The mathematical field of cryptography is the basis for Bitcoin’s security
Can you explain what Bitcoin is for people who don’t really get it?
Bitcoin is a digital and global money system (currency). It allows people to send or receive money across the internet, even to someone they don’t know or don’t trust. Money can be exchanged without being linked to a real identity. The mathematical field of cryptography is the basis for Bitcoin’s security. In its simplest form Bitcoin is an exit from the current broken system but at its heart bitcoin is a protocol (like the internet) that people can build on top off without needing permission or approval. We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what this technology can do.
Do you need to understand about Bitcoin to come along?
Not necessarily. This event is specifically designed for people with little or no understanding of Bitcoin to get people familiar with the technology.
There’s quite a lot of speakers – who do we need to check out?
They talk about a wide range of topics that will be useful to different people depending on what their interests are, but personally I love the mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto (the anonymous creator of Bitcoin) so I’m looking forward to William Hern’s “The Mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto (and Why It Matters)” and also @bitcoinrat is quite a legend in the community so he’s well worth checking out.
What is the aim of the conference?
I’ve been quite surprised at how Brighton has lagged behind the rest of the country in getting to grips with this technology, so the aim is to kick-start people’s interest and hopefully they’ll start to understand it in more detail.
Will there be any more?
Absolutely, we plan to hold small monthly events via our meetup group BitBrighton and then host one big conference at the end of the summer each year.
BitBrighton Conference is on 28 October 2017 at The Latest Music Bar, Brighton
It’s not ticketed, so you can just rock up – schedule is on their website. Registration from 10am