[, Music ], the internet is an intricate mesh that lets us share and connect without an emphasis on where we exist. An inherently democratizing entity, except it holds a registry of every site. We've ever seen, and tons of companies sit back and pluck the puppet strings.
Keeping us in ecosystems leading us to suffering attention spans hijacked held for ransom, converted into data that's passed along for handsome offers and when centralized entities collect our data, they create a single point of failure, face the facts.
Hackers crack a single lock to attack gaining access to data that should have stayed under wraps, and this will keep on happening until we commit to manifest vision, patch the fabric of this backward system.
Let's, seek a better dream. Our date is trapped. So we're, taking it back and blockchain will make this game a pain to the past cause. Only those we choose will be able to access with passes that automatically protect our assets, all right, all right, yeah, [, Music, ], [, Music, ], [, Music ].
If you walk out onto the street the city, you're, going to find yourself surrounded by like thousands of strangers people you do not know who they are, but you can still interact with them and the reason why that's.
The case is that we have huge institutional structures that underpin our interactions, like legal systems, state systems, big corporate systems, all sorts of stuff. This is the reason why we're able to sort of interact easily with some shopkeeper.
We have no idea who they are so when the cryptocurrency or blockchain technology community are talking about centralization. They're, referring to those institutional structures. The original blockchain technology community basically said that what we need to do is to replace that institutional infrastructure with digital protocols that nobody controls what is centralization.
Basically, one person or one institution owning everything right, driven by the belief that centralized entities are vulnerable to attacks, corruption and inefficiencies, developers and activists looked for alternatives, bitcoin's.
Creation was a milestone in this quest for decentralization the cryptocurrency divorced money from banks and governments using cryptographic code empowering individuals to believe other middlemen could be replaced as well.
Bitcoin create the first system to transfer value without intermediaries and an open network, and i think that's only the first element, because now we have networks that are building on top of the concept that that bitcoin created of decentralized transfer of value.
To also have decentralized agreement systems that will enable deep transformations in our societies, central to bitcoin's. Innovation is its underlying technology. The cryptocurrency introduced blockchain to the world.
There is a lot of hype about blockchains. No, but what is a blockchain, because a blockchain is really a simple thing. Blockchain is basically a ledger where each one of its pages is linked to the previous page, in a way that, if i want to change anything in the past, that creates a domino effect that will affect all the subsequent pages.
So it's. Very easy to see that some somebody modified that ledger so that's, the beauty of a blockchain, but that by itself is if i only have one copy of the blockchain it's, not very secure, because the hacker can change the Blockchain - and i have no way to tell what was the original blockchain so bitcoin went one step further and what it did is it distributed copies of this ledger among thousands of computers around the world.
So, every time a new page was created, each one of these computers was validating that that information was true and was fulfilling the agreement that these computers had through bitcoin people realize the immutable transparent, distributed qualities of blockchain technology meant it could be the tool to decentralize.
Other parts of society we start realizing that if a currency can be digitized, then other assets can be digitized as well, and many other things will be digitized and what's beyond bitcoin, so bitcoin is really just digital currency.
Can you digitize gold? Can you digitize crude oil, silver stocks and maybe artworks intellectual properties? We didn't, call it blockchain. Yet we didn't call blockchain, yet we called bitcoin 2.00. In 2013, a 19 year old, bitcoin enthusiast, vitalik buterin put blockchain technology in the spotlight when he explored its applications beyond currency.
He laid out his ideas in a project called ethereum. Ladies and gentlemen, to continue this afternoon session, please invite up the creator of ethereum vitalik buterin. Thank you, hello. Everyone uh good to uh, xin chao good to be in vietnam for the first year vitalik buterin uh is, i think, one of the most significant uh and impactful people of our generation.
There has been this kind of history of 40 years of research in cryptography, including things like. I think that he is someone who is somehow seamlessly able to combine um, very sophisticated thinking around economics around cryptography, around technology, around society, around government, around ethics, and he's, able to process it and kind of put it into a package which he Can express through really a protocol, basically in many kinds of mechanisms, there is a trust problem.
What are blockchains good at solving trust problems? Blockchains often together with other kinds of cryptographic, technologies can make mechanisms work better. In practice, vitalik proposed a toolkit to create all sorts of decentralized applications beyond currency, including the ability to enforce agreements through unstoppable code.
So after i'd started just started coding it i started to realize um what the really, what the practical and the social implications were of it, and that's. When i really got interested that's, when i started to think you know this project, isn't just about creating another implementation of bitcoin with maybe a little bit more flexibility.
This is the next step in the road to where um. This cryptographic, crypto anarchistic trust, free cipher, punkish journey is going. That was really interesting. That was the point where i was kind of hooked, and i wanted to see this thing through.
We can make many things in the world kind of work in ways that are no more fair, efficient and inclusive. So thank you. The goal was to create a new, simple blockchain that made the technology more accessible to a wider audience similar to the operating system.
On a mac or pc, anybody can build anything on top of ethereum. If you have the code, if you have the the the will, and if you have the the actual um you know drive to make an application out of it, then you can make something interesting out of ethereum.
The idea that it doesn't have any prescribed utility or prescribed application on top is its charm, and i think that really attracts a certain type of developer. Who's interested in kind of looking at the ways that technology and internet are are failing us and trying to build better solutions? One of the most powerful features of ethereum is smart contracts.
Traditionally, we use trusted third parties to guarantee a deal in the context of crowdfunding, for example, we would normally use kickstarter or indiegogo. If you reach your target, you get the money.
If you don't, it gets reimbursed smart contracts, replace the third party with cryptographic code that guarantees the terms of the deal are respected. They use the immutable, transparent, traceable and distributed aspects of blockchain technology to replace trust.
Well, a smart contract is not smart and it's, not even really a contract. It's, just a piece of code that executes itself and that's. Self-Executing portion of it makes it really interesting for creating autonomous organizations and creating like automated transactions that can't be stopped.
So, for instance, if you say, if you create a smart contract that says, if this person uh pushes a button, then you send two dollars here right. You can do that online and it can't be stopped if some government or some legal entity says no stop that please don't don't send money to that address that contract doesn't.
Listen! It's, execute it's going to execute, and no one can stop it. You know this idea of smart contract on a decentralized blockchain allows you to drain trust out of a system without removing people's, ability to be sure that their interactions will go as they expect and in that sense, what we've.
Come up with isn't cryptocurrency, it's, not crypto finance, it's, crypto law and no one & # 39. S really come up with anything like that. In the past right, the legal system was one of the pillars of modern society.
It's, one of the pillars of civilization. This was game, changing in the sense that it was going to alter the fundamentals of society. Ethereum needed money to come to life. They looked to a nascent crowdfunding model called initial coin offerings.
In short ico. They created a token called ether and toured the world to convince people to buy their tokens instead of having a contract that's, backed by a legal system, you would put money into a magic box and then that magic box will just automatically move The funds over to me, if i do what i need to do and refund them back to otherwise i saw his team.
I was like wow, you have such a lavish team back then, because back then in the bitcoin industry there's. No, like 10 people team, i would say you have a project manager. You have a graphic designer that's like like modern luxury right, i said of italic.
Whatever you're building, i don't understand, but do come to china and tell us about it, and he did he says eric. I wanted to learn chinese, i said come to china. You might find a chinese girlfriend and you're, probably going to be able to speak chinese version, so he did.
He did camp because of my art network. I was actually able to access a very high level and a very qualified level of c-suite executives in the financial industry. So these are managing directors and ceos of some of the major banks in hong kong and i was able to have these very frank and very kind of open uh discussions with them about the ideas of blockchain and help to try and normalize the concept and normalize.
The the conversation of blockchain and bitcoin so that it wasn't just this uh kind of threatening uh kind of idea to the banks. I was very kind of pleasantly surprised at how willing they were to engage in this uh idea.
Even some of the banks, which were openly anti-bitcoin, some of their executives, were happy to kind of come to my you know: quirky little private lunches with vitalik buterin uh. You know this is back in 2014 and listen to these strange ideas and walk away with.
You know their their door a little bit further open about what the future of finance could potentially be. They were able to raise the funds and ether became a cryptocurrency traded on an exchange just like bitcoin.
The possibilities seemed endless and money flowed in the race to bring applications to life began. [ Music, ], more american companies are now embroiled in china's. Latest food scandal as contaminated meat from the same suppliers has supposedly been sent to japan.
Our investigation focused on a bowl of noodle soup. Specifically what ingredients are tainting such a simple dish. Blockchain is traceable and immutable, both useful qualities for industries where trust is lacking for food.
The life cycle of products can be tracked and shared on a blockchain in a reliable way. So here's, our product, it's called go, go chicken. You can find out all the data which is related to this chicken and all stored on the blockchain.
So inside the package will be a whole chicken with a bracelet on the chicken's leg and we never take it out when it's worn until it is delivered to the store it's. Just like your apple watch, when people are walking, the apple watch will collect the data and they will store the data and what shows it in your in your iphone, we're.
Doing the same thing. The blockchain will make sure that nobody can change the data, because if i'm the producer, i can fake the data. But nobody will trust me. Actually. Most of the stuffs in the market are putting some data attached to the product, but most of them are faked.
This technology will prove to my customer. The data is true and second, the data cannot be changed. So here we go. This is our product and when the customer get the product, they can open it and to have the chicken and here's, a bracelet.
And if you open your phone and can scan the qr code, you can get all the data from the whole life of this chicken is born in hunan province. It has lived for 166 days, it is 1.5 kilogram and it has been walked over 2 million steps.
For for his whole life, this is a chicken on the blockchain, and this will be the future for the food blockchain became a buzzword for businesses trying to raise money for their projects. We are here in shanghai, radisson blue.
We are having a conference of sky ledger conference. So sky ledger is the third generation of blockchain that will become my infrastructure for a lot of business to build their application. I was on wall street uh, you know doing hedge funds right, so you realize that all these financial tools is not helping people, so i decided i want to come back to china to be an annual invest as an early investor for businesses.
Then i think people are very cautious of investing early stage because it takes too long and most of the failure rate is 95, so that makes a lot of young people actually cannot find financing um. Then we have blockchain come out and then suddenly uh.
There is a new thing called the ico uh, the first ico we did. I was done. We raised the 20 million us dollar for our companies in six minutes, so i was stunned and i just sit there for a long time. I i know the world has changed: icos kicked off in a massive way.
In 2017, businesses present their project in a white paper. They then issue tokens in limited quantities. People buy these tokens during the initial coin offering and the proceeds finance all sorts of projects.
This is the product for a magical plant in chinese medicine. So when you eat this it will get very healthy, so uh they have this called a sufu coin. So people will buy coins to be part of this planting season and then they were going to take use this coin to take these products, so it's, an interesting agricultural product that is issuing a coin so very good.
Currently, there are over 1.8 million households on local authority waiting lists for affordable homes in the united kingdom. Britcoin will provide and deliver the solution to a government stumbling for answers, a country desperate for a solution.
So a lot of uh time in the older world. We try to sell products right. We try to sell other people something, so we even go to advertising company to actually or media to try to help us communicate to get as many consumers as possible right, but in blockchain we have fins.
We say we have an idea and then you try to sell coins. If nobody buy your coin, you can forget about it, because him coins can be traded as cryptocurrencies on exchanges and their prices, often independent from the projects themselves.
A speculation market emerged in china. This is about money, and then i then sometimes you look at it. Why you like money so much right, they say. Actually it's. Their freedom, too chinese population are so diligent workers.
They work so hard. I think in the bottom, their mind, or even they, don't realize that they're, actually craving use the money for their freedom. Then i can do what i want, or i can give my kids a better future for choosing right choice is important.
If you don & # 39, t have money most likely you don't, have choice. It's. The people who bought your coin money flooded into icos from people interested in projects or simply looking for the next big cryptocurrency businesses raised millions, even billions of dollars, with no watchdog to monitor what they did with the money everyone wanted to get in on the game.
[, Music, ], you look at the white papers and i saw one company that weren't going to build this this this this this this this this this and we're, going to do it in 2018 and 2019, and i made A posting that's comparable to this project, which is called the internet and that took decades and thousands of engineers and hundreds of organizations to build that, and you're, going to do the same thing in 18 months, like a dozen People not going to happen well, it meant that some countries, some with us.
Oh i'm famous for one question and it's. Why does this need a blockchain? It's, a very simple question, because most of the ideas out there actually don't need blockchains. I call them. Feds f-a-d-s stands for falls and swindlers and most people 95 fall into that category and there's that actually know what they're.
Doing. Are nice people honest and want to create something productive. The internet, wouldn't, have taken off without porn and blockchains will not take off without icos, and deng said, you know when you open the window, a few flies gonna come here.
You hear about an ico your mind, immediately kind of says: nope. Probably don't want to write about that, because invariably it might be linked some kind of scam. I mean there's, just been so much um, nefarious, weird stuff, going on with these kinds of schemes.
With these token sales, i mean i've, seen companies that are absolutely struggling and have nowhere to go and their last ditch attempt to raise money is with an ico. The central bank of china bans ico.
As coin idea reports. Banking regulation is official for those of you that woke up to the panic china has banned icos. We saw this last week coming, there was speculation. The ico boom hit its peak at the end of 2017 and caught the attention of chinese authorities.
This is known as the 9-4 document, which is september 4th, and this was issued by even more departments, endorsed by more departments essentially talked about icos being an illegal form of fundraising, so that was a huge shocker to that community and, of course, at the very bottom.
It talked about exchanges, platforms that were doing ico, tradings and cryptos, and all coins and tokens, so those allowed to stop so that was a loop loop. All clause that caught all of us we didn't expect this.
We didn't expect full closure. This was a real shocker and, of course, the prices of crypto fell a lot. This is our last day photo btc china. This is the day we uh on september 30th, so we're operating for 2 305 days, a world record at that time for the longest running bitcoin exchange worldwide, and we we essentially closed down the the the trading platform.
I think it was 12 noon, so all the management team is here in the photo and people taking pictures of it. [ Music, ]. The new law had an immediate impact on the international price of bitcoin and sent waves of uncertainty throughout the crypto community, but it didn't, deter the investors and companies writing the wave of blockchain's; popularity, [, Music ] in many Parts of the world entrepreneurs were beginning to use blockchain technology to provide financial services, particularly to capture groups that may be overlooked by governments and banks.
So to some this may seem too good to be true or even worse, a scam, but this is considered one of the most powerful applications of blockchain technology, helping a population of 1.7 billion, unbanked adults, access, basic financial services.
The blockchain also records whether the loan is repaid on time and having a good track record means you're, guaranteed alone in the future: [ Music ] - that's, [ Music, ], a [ Music ], and now we have, you know Reliable systems to record our behavior to record our interactions with society.
So now we can build reputational models that, if they are well designed, can protect also the privacy of individuals. So it's. Less important who you are in terms of what a state says you are and how you behave becomes, who you are so that is very powerful because uh, you know that enables the creation of trust without trusting.
If you will blockchain technology proved a useful tool for businesses, but the ambition of a radical new form of decentralized human organization remained unfulfilled until 2016, when the stream came a step closer to reality with a project called the dao.
The dao was a project that was built on top of the ethereum blockchain. The dow was the first real attempt at a decentralized autonomous organization. Basically, it was a smart contract that was decentralized as in there was no owner.
That could stop anything that the dow did. It was controlled by token holders who would send ether to a smart contract, and then they would receive tokens for their efforts, and those tokens could then be used to vote on which projects they should support.
[ Music ]. It was really the first big experiment that i feel everyone was excited about. The dow got way bigger than any of us thought. It ended up raising about 150 to 160 million dollars, depending on the exchange rate that you use for ether and that, and that was about 14 of all ether in existence.
This was ethereum's, most ambitious project. To date, the funds raised were unprecedented and the stakes were high. On june 17th i woke up, and there was something weird going on: [ Music ], the amount of ether that etherscan said was in the dow contract.
Wasn't matching with how much there was supposed to be. We realized that, oh, my god, that was getting hacked [ Music ]. The ether was literally just being mechanically sent to another dow without dow tokens being burned.
We had to do whatever we could to slow down the bleed. We were able to recreate the hack, and we understood that they found a bug in the contract once the initial hack was public, it was an open invitation for others to join in.
The only option was a counter hack. Hacking is illegal in so many jurisdictions, even white hat hacking, which is uh good guy hacking right. We actually decided to wait until someone else started hacking, the dow and then we would just hack it better and that's, exactly what we did in the end, there were seven or eight dow hackers, and once we hacked the dow, we also hacked All of the other little dow hackers, so that we could take over their dows as well and take all of those funds so that we had control of all those funds.
The way the split function that was that had a bug in it worked was that the funds would be going to a wallet that where they would be locked there for minimum 35 days, and with that information known, we had 35 days to come up with a Solution, and so like the original crypto community, basically believe that this has no politics.
This is not about humans. This is not about anything. It's about physics and mathematics, all right, but of course, if you go and tell some people like, oh by the way like you're, going to be governed by physics and mathematics, not human interaction, they sort of like can conceptually Understand it for a bit but like when stuff goes wrong, they say actually, no like we're gonna go back to human discussion.
We & # 39. Ve got three choices. Basically, we do nothing and when i say we i don't mean you know we some elite people who are just like controlling everything. I mean the ethereum and the dao community um.
We we enact a soft fork, which would basically um be a very, very kind of easy, simple, um, low-risk way of altering the network protocol slightly just sort of nudging it into a direction in order to freeze that 14 of funds, or we hard fork, and that's, a much more much more significant undertaking.
It would actually alter the protocol in a significant way um, but if we did that we could definitely um basically return all of the ether, then in this dow and in the stolen down all that we could return it back to the original holders and basically go That was that was a close one at this point um at this point, the jury's out, and i think, over the next day or two, we're gonna find out what the sentiment is of these stakeholders and whether they Really want to do anything against it or not, but this is a.
This is an important case right uh. I think it's, probably the most important case in crypto economics yeah since then, since the birth of bitcoin. Yes, as the creator of ethereum vitalik promoted the idea of fixing the hack, so people could recover the stolen funds.
He suggested a hard fork. The way the hard fork was designed was that a new transaction that would normally be considered illegal was put into the blockchain. So if you go back on the ethereum blockchain, the hack happened.
It didn't rewrite history. What it did was it allowed for a transaction that shouldn't be possible, the character of blockchain. Is it's called immutable, meaning everything on the blockchain ledger cannot be changed and it will go on indefinitely right, but but the hard work is really say.
Okay, i'm gonna make one chain into two and one go. This direction one go on the that direction. So, basically imagine you have two ledgers instead of one. I i call out to the italian state. Don't do that because, for the sake of the immutability of blockchain, you should never do this, but he says he told me that he has to protect his investor.
I didn't agree with that. Nothing like this had ever happened before people didn't know what to think what was right or what was wrong. What was possible there had in bitcoin and really up into that point in ethereum there was this understanding of immutability as a feature of a blockchain, but really immutability is not a feature of a blockchain.
Immutability is something that's enforced by culture. No code is immutable. You can change the code, it's on github. There were options on the table and coming up against the greater good. What is the greater good? Is it better to uphold this idea of immutability, or is it better to steal the money back from the hacker that stole it from all these other people and give it back to them? It was in our power to at least give people the option to support a chain where the hack was reversed.
We released a uh, a kind of patch to the ethereum blockchain and it moved the either over from the dow. The attacker would have been able to uh get hold of the money five days later into basically a refund contract so that everyone could get their money back, and this is viewed as uh controversial because it uh it.
It does interfere with the execution of the code. Exactly exactly as written, you know the one he suggested the hard fork, but he in no way imposed it, and this is the magic of blockchain technology. You cannot use blockchain tech to impose your values on other people.
Vitalik did not mandate. Everyone has to download the new software and run this thing. You would need to upgrade your software and they had to actually push a button, while most of the ethereum community decided to hard fork.
Others stayed on the old blockchain and two realities coexisted, one where the hack was reversed and its currency remained ether and the other where the hack continued and its coin was renamed ether classic yeah ethereum at that stage was definitely not ready for the dow or any Kind of complex, smart contract to be holding funds.
It really still isn't ready for decentralized autonomous contracts to be holding funds. It's very dangerous. Smart contracts are an experimental technology, and that was part of why we couldn't. Believe people would risk so much money in the dow because it was so new, like you is such a risk to just send money to a piece of software.
In a programming language, that's only eight months old, and this is still uh blockchain being explored by society as a whole. People starting to kind of get to grips with it on you, know, sort of on the lowest level and and slowly climbing up the ladder of sort of comprehension as to how it's, going to affect things how they can alter existing solutions and How business and enterprise, and indeed the economy of the world, will change around it? The dow hack was a turning point for the crypto world.
People began questioning the role of community and defining the purpose of code. The dao also showed that there was appetite and money for blockchain related projects to thrive. A growing community is exploring its practical and sometimes unusual use cases you ready to auction some art, [ Applause, ].
The digital piece is a one-of-a-kind exclusive, crypto kitties that will leave and can be used within the cryptokitties game produced by myself, so it's, a personal representation of some of my feelings, around art and blockchain.
As an art dealer, i made my bones: uh in buying and selling rare and special and unique artworks, and what's interesting as a parallel between the art, world uh and the bitcoin and crypto world uh? Is that there's? A lot of conceptual ideas, uh in the art world uh, and i saw a parallel with with the crypto world.
Ladies and gentlemen, lot number two. I can start straight away online at eleven thousand dollars. Cryptokitties is basically it's like a a cat, which is just an animated, uh kind of uh cartoon, which is itself a unique token that you can trade 28 000.
Here on my left at 28 000. The charm is kind of crypto kitties. Is that, as opposed to say, ethereum or bitcoin uh, where every coin is just like every other coin, with something like cryptokitties or another example? Is a theramon, the pokemon of ethereum? You have a token which is completely rare and completely unique.
There is only one of this particular coin now, if you think about our physical world, the world that we live in every object is basically unique. These non-fungible tokens, these unique assets, are much more accurate maps of the world that we live in, where people can just trade them back and forth, and you can combine them with other cats and they can breed new cats, and some of these cats can sell for Over uh 200 000 us dollars, so it's.
Pretty interesting and impactful area. We're at 140 000 going once going twice and it is sold from 140 000 to our online quirky as it may. Sound digital collectibles, like crypto kitties, helped expand the possibilities that blockchain offered the world as long as people saw value for it.
There would be a market for it. It really does boil down to the ideas that are supported by the different cultures and the communities inside of it. At the end of the day, it's still very much about the people behind it.
Blockchain connects people, and i think that you know as a as a as a technology um. This is really what it does so much better than you know. Even the internet itself, uh with its centralized uh kind of points of concentration and power, aggregation, blockchain kind of does away with all that and creates this very open system.
Blockchain conferences are spreading around the world, and businesses are building their own bespoke versions of the technology. As well as new york - and we are an enterprise software company that builds what i would call blockchain inspired - uh solutions, uh for enterprise, blockchain, inspired solutions for enterprise, i like being inspired and speaking of inspiring, that creates um.
It creates a lot of debate right because everybody in the world will tell you what you're doing is not a real blockchain, our customers are enterprise uh, and they have real-life problems that have to be solved, and if that means diverging the design From what a proper blockchain might be, then that's.
What you have to do in order to solve for those constraints, companies and governments created their own closed blockchains, distributed only within their network of choice. A far cry from the disruptive decentralized ambitions of bitcoin, if i was to compartmentalize the various elements of the community, you have the original, libertarian blockchain community, whose like basic deal is that, like capitalism, isn't working properly, we must create true capitalism.
Like true hyper capitalism, then there's like the corporate capitalism crew, which is like all the corporations that are using it so like that's, the corporate blockchain community saying well, we could do stuff with this.
Then there's like an anti-capitalist blockchain community, which is very small who are very like anti-market and who believe that they can use blockchain technology for um, enabling solidarity and stuff there's increasingly like differences emerging and what the actual end Goal of this is it's quite diverse right now i'd, say [, Music ].
This is a tool. It's, not magic. It can be used to do harm. You can use these systems this identity or reputational systems. You can use them to create totalitarian systems to have a create a big brother.
So we have to be very careful how we use these tools, so they are enablers of a more free and an inclusive society, and they don't become tools of oppression. Blockchain is not about revolution. Blockchain is about evolution, it's.
It's, the next evolution of human organization. We have this new way to organize and experiment with human organization experiment, with governance of humans and of funds we have the internet, and yet our governance, hasn't changed in hundreds of years.
Now anyone can create their own governance method, they can just build it on a blockchain. They don't have to ask permission. They can innovate like that. These experiments - maybe they work out - maybe they suck, but we're, going to start playing with it a lot in the next 10 years and we're, going to see what actually can work out and i guarantee something some form of Governance using blockchain technology is going to be 10 times better than what we do today in in our normal governance situation: [, Music, ], [, Music, ], [, Music ], you