If you are a developer working on a blockchain project, or a coder thinking of getting involved with blockchain and cryptocurrencies, or are simply curious about the technology behind blockchain projects, I highly encourage you to register for and attend next week’s free blockchain development conference, Hack Summit: Blockchain.
I am not a speaker at Hack Summit: Blockchain, and I am not being paid to promote the event. So, why am I telling you about it?
I believe that this particular event affords a great opportunity for many of my readers for several reasons:
1. The roster of speakers is unusually good. The virtual nature of this particular conference has allowed many blockchain industry stars to agree to participate and present. With so much misinformation being spread on the Internet about various blockchain projects, the ability to learn directly from the folks involved can be invaluable. As Riccardo Spagni, Project Lead at Monero and one of next week’s speakers pointed out to me, with blockchain experts’ busy schedules and geographic dispersion all over the world, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for a physical conference to assemble a speaking roster of the same caliber as the one that already exists for next week’s event.
2. The conference is free, and there are no travel costs. Many blockchain developers are young and just “starting out,” or come from less-than-wealthy backgrounds, and cannot afford the many thousands of dollars that it costs to travel to, and register for, major physical conferences. Unless they are among the lucky few who work for a business that is willing to sponsor their travel and attendance, many in the community will find next week’s event to be a rare, valuable opportunity to hear directly from the likes of Spagni, Jed McCaleb (co-founder of Ripple), Eli Ben-Sasson (founding scientist of ZCash), the creators of several blockchain protocols, and many other high-profile industry experts.
3. The conference focuses on developers. While most blockchain conferences have some sessions related to development, few focus their curricula towards developers. If you are a developer, you will likely find the information conveyed at Hack Summit:Blockchain disproportionately useful when compared with the material presented at most other blockchain-related conferences. Of course, during next week’s event you can also network with other developers through the Crowdcast interface being used to run the conference.
4. You do not have to miss miss work or school in order to attend. Depending on your time zone, you may not have to miss any work or school in order to attend some sessions, or possibly even the entire conference.
5. You can pick and choose what to attend, and not waste time in between desired sessions. For many people, including myself, work demands often prevent our attending events, that we otherwise would have loved to attend. Sometimes, we have to pass up attending conference sessions in which we would have liked to participate, but which we cannot, due to the time required to travel to and from an event’s venue, coupled with the time lost in between sessions scheduled too close to one another to provide ample time for productive work in between. With a virtual conference, if someone wants to participate in one or more particular sessions, the only time that he or she need expend is the time dedicated to the desired sessions.
6. There is no real downside risk. If you do not like a particular session you can leave in the middle without having to stand up and noticeably walk out of a crowded room; all you need to do is click “mute” or close your browser.
7. All of the proceeds go to charity. While tickets are free, attendees are asked to consider making a donation to a group of seven technology-related charities, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and several groups that seek to improve the diversity of the technology workforce with greater inclusion of women and minorities (the list of charities appears on the conference website). I have made such a donation, and I encourage you to do the same. Furthermore, none of the speakers are being paid for their participation – all of their time is donated. As Ed Roman, founder of both San Francisco-based venture capital firm, Hack VC, and of the Hack Summit conference series, told me, he and his team organized Hack Summit: Blockchain “to help educate the world on blockchain in a scalable way, and also to give-back and financially help coding non-profits through donations.” This event should be a win-win-win for organizers, attendees, and charities.
As one might expect, with increasing awareness of blockchain and its likely major influence on many future projects, Hack Summit:Blockchain already has many registrants. In fact, with over 16,500 people from 150 countries registered to date, it is likely that the event will be the largest ever gathering of blockchain enthusiasts both in terms of attendees, and of countries represented. If you are interested in blockchain development – check it out. As Roman put it, “Anyone who is curious about becoming a blockchain engineer would likely benefit from attending some or all of the sessions.”
To register please visit https://hacksummit.org/.