On 15 January, an invitation-only group of financial service and payments professionals gathered in the private meeting room at the Redeye Grill to discuss Bitcoin. The event was sponsored by Wedbush Securities and organized by their Technology and Payments Analyst Gil Luria. Gil has been a strong proponent of Bitcoin in 2013 and is most known for recently releasing, with Aaron Turner, a pair of influential reports, “Bitcoin: Intrinish Value as Conduit for Disruptive Payment Network Technology” and “Digitizing Trust: Leveraging the Bitcoin Protocol Beyond the ‘Coin’” that both take an honest, broad look at Bitcoin from the financial services perspective.
A small panel of Bitcoin-focused individuals from multiple angles were brought together to sit on a panel in order to give their impressions of Bitcoin and to field questions from the eager group of around 30 guests. These panelists were:
- Juan Llanos, co-founder, EVP and Compliance Officer of Unidos Financial Services, Inc., an innovative financial services and technology provider as well as the author of the blog Contrarian Compliance, which frequently looks at Bitcoin-related news through a regulatory lens.
- Bailey Reutzel, a writer for Payments Source magazine and their resident Bitcoin expert.
- Andre de Castro, founder of eCoinCashier, a service that allows individuals to sell Bitcoins for cash.
- And finally, David Moon, one of the founders of Spelunkin Magazine.
With Gil as the moderator, each panelist was given an opening question to basically introduce their perspective on Bitcoin. From there, the floor was opened to questions ranging from large-scale perspectives on the money system, a powerful debate on the merits of Bitcoin as a store of value, a detailed explanation of the role and importance of the Bitcoin blockchain, and many many other topics tossed to the panel by the eager panel lasting until the event concluded some time after the expected cut-off.