Cryptocurrencies are back. But did they ever go away? If you ask cryptocurrency advocates, they’re going to tell you that it’s been a slow and steady rise filled with initial coin offerings, forks and updates. That’s why we’re excited to welcome Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and AngelList co-founder and CEO Naval Ravikant at TechCrunch Disrupt SF. They’re going to have a conversation on stage about all things related to cryptocurrencies.
Many people discovered cryptocurrencies through bitcoin around 2011 and 2012. After that, mainstream interest quickly waned. But entrepreneurs and engineers kept working on various projects related to cryptocurrencies. It’s unclear why many people outside of the cryptocurrency community got back into cryptocurrencies, but 2017 has definitely been a crazy year for the space.
In particular, Ethereum broke some kind of glass ceiling and became a major cryptocurrency on its own. At some point, the total market capitalization of all ethers currently in circulation was above $36 billion. Bitcoin is still the dominant cryptocurrency, but Ethereum is also a heavyweight now.
Vitalik Buterin is one of the best persons to talk about Ethereum as he’s been one of the main architects behind this blockchain.
At the same time, there’s been a bitcoin fork last week and bitcoin miners are about to adopt an update focused on scalability thanks to Segregated Witness. Ethereum already experienced a fork, and its main developers are also thinking about ways to increase scalability. It’s going to be interesting to hear Buterin’s take on those topics.
One of the reasons why Ethereum has become so popular is that many startups have raised the equivalent of tens of millions of dollars by offering new coins thanks to initial coin offerings (ICOs). Many investors have been funneling ethers to exchange them into new tokens that represent a stake in a company or a project. So the rise of Ethereum and ICOs have been intrinsically connected.
In addition to his role at AngelList, Naval Ravikant has been tweeting and writing about ICOs and cryptocurrencies for a while. He’s one of the biggest cryptocurrency advocates in the startup and VC community. He even launched CoinList with AngelList to make it easier to back and hold an ICO. He has a ton of interesting things to say on those topics.
Having those two persons on stage at the same time should be a great experience. If you want to hear this discussion, grab an early-bird ticket to Disrupt (September 18 – September 20). You’ll also hear from Anna Fang (Zhen Fund), Adi Tatarko (Houzz), Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors), Sebastian Thrun (Udacity), Lisa Jackson (Apple) or dozens of other terrific speakers.