Leading Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and fintech innovators are gathering in Dublin, Ireland to kick off MoneyConf, a two-day tech networking event. Over 5,000 attendees from 84 countries are attending.
On day one of the event, Ethereum and ConsenSys founder Joe Lubin addressed attendees with a straightforward line about the current state of internet affairs. “The internet is awesome,” he said, “but it is broken.” He outlined how blockchain technology can ensure online security, creating an infrastructure that is safe, unlike the internet. Lubin believes a blockchain network with a natively-built currency or identity construct at its core can power a revolutionary model.
The Irish Times reports that Lubin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, believes a collaborative infrastructure that’s built on a public blockchain can lead to “a radically free market architecture with low barriers to entry.” He added, “We have built a world of internet services that have turned out to be wonderful in so many ways, but they have outgrown the architecture of the internet and the web.”
Chief financial officer at Square, Sarah Friar, elaborated on the slow process of dealing with bankers who are tied to legacy platforms. “It is always harder for the incumbents to truly disrupt. They tend to come from tech stacks that are older, so much harder for them to be nimble and quick-footed,” she said. “When we work with the banks it is slow-going. Even getting a non-disclosure agreement signed can be a three-month extravaganza, which hardly bodes well for the pace at which the sector is going to innovate.”
Although Square processes roughly $50 billion in annual transactions, Friar pointed out that 20 million small businesses in the US today don’t accept electronic payments. In the UK, the percentage is closer to 50% of small companies that don’t accept them. She concludes that the banking industry has not yet been awakened by the digital transformation, but that the change is underway – with entrepreneurs leading the charge.
Upcoming speakers at MoneyConf include representatives from Circle, Coinbase, TransferWise, Visa, Credit Karma, Revolut, eToro and many others.
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