“Raise your hand if you don’t know what ‘bitcoin mining’ actually is.”
At an impromptu Q&A at Ethereal Summit on May 11, Consensys software engineer Ashoka Finley encouraged the audience to ask embarrassing questions they might have about cryptocurrency and blockchain.
“What’s ‘hashing’? Don’t know what a bitcoin is?” Finley went on, encouraging attendees.
The questions spoke to the sentiment on day one of the two-day conference hosted by the company, a Brooklyn-based ethereum startup incubator, characterizing the inclusive atmosphere CEO Joseph Lubin appeared to be aiming for with the whimsical conference set in New York City.
Indeed, there was no shortage of eager blockchain enthusiasts onhand to discuss how they hope blockchain can change society and the world.
While cryptocurrency and blockchain technology has so far been relegated to mostly to a community of techies, Lubin drove home the message of inclusion at a press conference around lunchtime. He told the group of a couple dozen members of the media that after attending a number of banking and trading conferences focusing on blockchain, he wanted to put on an event that “really spoke to normal people” – to artists, musicians and others whose primary focus wasn’t blockchain.
He spoke about ways that the uninitiated could learn more about ethereum and blockchain technology, including a “stunning” amount of YouTube videos and ConsenSys’ own Academy offerings, plus Ethereal itself.
Appropriately for a conference hosted at a reclaimed glass factory in Queens, Lubin predicted that Silicon Valley’s dominance over the tech sector would wane, because “as we move forward having large pools of capital is going to become less valuable than having great ideas.”
Network decentralization, in other words, may lead to geographic decentralization, and with it, much needed change.
To that point, he stressed blockchain’s potential to restore ordinary people’s ownership of their personal data through projects such as uPort, an ethereum-based self-sovereign identity play. Rather than forking over massive amounts of data to centralized firms like Facebook, users could monetize their own information, selling it on marketplaces – but only if they want to.
That kind of message may once have appealed only to a cypherpunk fringe, but that seems no longer the case.
Speaking to that increased interest from outsiders, Lubin said:
“Cambridge Analytica is helping our case.”
Original URL : https://www.coindesk.com/ethereum-summit-human-face-high-tech-future/