The concept of money has evolved along human civilization.

From basic bartering to today’s digitization of assets, money has remained a constant presence during human evolution.

The basic functionality of money is to provide the means to carry out transactions between two or more parties. It is a medium of exchange accepted as legal tender within a given country

That definition still stands today, but the actual medium is quite different to what it was all that time ago.

Blockchain technology has introduced the next stage in money’s ongoing evolution. The era of digital assets began with Bitcoin, and has continued to evolve through a number of other cryptocurrencies that stand at the forefront of asset digitization.

Next Block Conference ‘Evolution of Money’ gathered 350 of the greatest minds in the field of economics, crypto, and blockchain.

The event, sponsored by Krypton Events, was held on September 14, 2018, at the rather elegant NDK center in Sofia, Bulgaria. Opened in 1981 to mark the 1300th anniversary of the birth of the country, the NDK is now the largest conference and exhibition centre in south-eastern Europe. The building hosts concerts, exhibitions, live shows, and many other events.

Next Block Conference ‘Evolution of Money’

The conference’s overarching theme was the digitization of assets through blockchain technology.

Sterlin Lujan, Communications Ambassador for Bitcoin.com, opened up the proceedings through a keynote speech which focused on the evolution of money from the perspective of human psychology. According to Sterlin, money elicits extreme emotions: Greed, anxiety, etc. And money is the root cause of ongoing class conflict between proletarians and entrepreneurs.

In Sterlin’s view, money is a collective agreement on value, and this value is subjective. Society agrees on providing value to money, and also agree that it is a means of exchanging goods.

Furthermore, money that is tightly controlled by Governments induces a master/slave dynamic between those who hold the money and those who wish to have access to it. And in this dynamic, empathy vanishes when one element holds an advantage over another.

The speech continued on the topic of cryptocurrency, and how digital assets are spurring a paradigm shift that challenges all of these established concepts and dynamics. Crypto is border-less and permission-less, and maintains its cross border quality.

Crypto creates a new psychological trend for conflict resolution, and augments human relationships through empathy and living patterns. One can refer to the crypto era as a financial renaissance where power plays are changing.

Panel discussion: “Digital Assets vs Physical Assets”, Q & A

Moderator:
Mitchell Eaglstein, Co-Founder & CEO of FDCTech, Inc.

Speakers:

  • Marc P. Bernegger, Serial Fintech and Crypto Entrepreneur
  • Andrey Kolodyuk, Founder of AVentures Capital & DIVAN.TV
  • Inna Braverman, Co-founder of Eco Wave Power

The panel discussed the concept of digital assets v physical, and how the tokenization of assets has enabled a revolution in the way assets are handled and traded.

Discussions centered around the token economy and the tokenization of assets and goods.

Panel Discussion: Tokenizing the entertainment business, Q & A

Moderator:
Ofir Avigad, CEO of Ignite

Speakers:

  • Natalya Menshikova, CMO, Marketing And New Media, FashionTV
  • Marco Calicchila, CEO and Founder of MaZee
  • J.C. Oliver, Innovation Advisor at MOVIECOIN
  • Oron Barber, CEO of CoinPoint Agency

The second panel of the day featured Moviecoin, a rather interesting concept of tokenizing the the enterntainment industry. J.C Oliver represented Moviecoin, and made an interesting point of using tokens to reward movie goers for their behavior. For example, if someone goes to the cinema multiple times in a month, they should be rewarded because they invest time and effort in doing so. Oliver referred to this as ‘Proof of users.’

Challenges of crypto economy

The next topic of discussion was the challenges faced by those working in the crypto environment.

Legal issues featured at the top of this list, and it was specifically mentioned as one of the biggest challenges.

Legal problems take many forms within the crypto environment, as securities, taxation, and many other aspects of a financial nature come into play. Development of the crypto ecosystem is quite hampered in the United States because of this, for example.

In the words of the speakers, what needs to happen for crypto to become mainstream and global is:

  • Regulatory certainty and maturity, which will lead to smart money
  • Blockchain-related education to get more staff involved into the ecosystem.
  • Infrastructure must be put in place

A presentation on the IOTW project, and a panel discussion about regulatory oversight closed the event.

Conclusion

The Evolution of Money was an interesting, well-rounded event, expertly put together by the organizers, Krypton Events.

The overarching opinion throughout the conference was that, while cryptocurrencies have made significant advances so far, there’s still quite a long way before they become mainstream and usable by the man on the street. A number of challenges must be overcome before crypto is as familiar as your own currency.

Overall, a well put together event, held in a beautiful Eastern European capital.


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