Bitcoin London meeting

I went last night to a Bitcoin meeting in London, and made a few notes of the proceedings. There were about 100 people, ten of whom were women. Free beers were supplied

I missed the first speaker. The second (Mike Hearn, a bitcoin developer) said the following:

A current problem is that various wallets are not compatible, and they are working to resolve this

They wish to replace bitcoin addresses with files. These files would contain refund facilities, give receipts, enable memo’s. This is to make bitcoin more compatible with the retail environment

Hearn referred to integration with social networks

Hearn said the December 2013 ten-fold increase in the bitcoin price had made fees 80 times more expensive. He said that they were considering a floating minimum fee (I think)

He said that they wanted Tor (not sure what that is) by default - this is to prevent theft arising from selling bitcoins in false wifi hotspots which do not in fact connect to the bitcoin network

He referred to “proof of passport” - an existing way of proving your identity online, via a virtual representation of your passport. This was mentioned in connection to ways of bitcoin holders could prove that bitcoins they sell or spend are actually theirs

He also referred to “proof of sacrifice”, but I did not catch what this was

There was then a question and answer session. Hearn became rather aloof at this point. Someone asked what Hearn though about about alt-coins. He said that all the alt-coins he had seen had “design issues”

Someone asked about the threat of government’s closing exchanges. The other speaker replied that banks don’t oppose bitcoin for the reasons people often assume; banks are excited by bitcoin and like innovations which shake things up. However, banks are the captive of the risk departments. Bitcoin is associated with crime, and banks and will not touch bitcoin until there is a firm regulatory environment in which they can operate. A speaker (from the floor) added that he was involved in Alderney’s interest in bitcoin (Alderney is a British island with its own government). The Alderney government are looking to create a bitcoin ecosystem, and the UK government is observing their progress

Another question was about privacy/anonymity

After the talks ended, I had a chance to meet the man behind Bittylicious, and asked whether he intended adding Peercoin - he was positive about it, and hoped it would happen

I also met the man in this interview

About 25 of us went to the pub (the organisers kindly paid for the drinks) where I met some more people

Replace addresses with files? Is this a good or bad thing?

Files in place of, or at least linked to, bitcoin addresses would seem a sensible development, if bitcoin is to be shopping-friendly

Generally speaking, something that struck me about the meeting was that the bitcoiners are supremely confident in bitcoin’s development and ultimate success. The concept of failure does not exist for them

I found this optimism uplifting - but it presents a challenge for peercoin, since bitcoin is developing its own critical mass in terms of community and network

This leads to think we need two things: first, a meet-up of peercoiners. There seem to be a few of from the UK, so how about a London meeting of our own?

Second, Sunny King’s intended role for peercoin is that it should be orientated around savings (as opposed to spending/transactions, which seems to be bitcoin’s emphasis), in which case I wonder whether we should be thinking of how peercoin can announce its presence to organisations such as building societies, co-operatives, etc