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TNABC: Promises, Prognostication, and Pop Culture

TNABC 2019

The North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC) in Miami has become a annual tradition in our industry – and one that I have happily embraced for the past 5 out of 6 years. Here are a few of my personal highlights and takeaways from this year’s TNABC.

What a Difference a Year Makes

Not too surprisingly, this year’s TNABC had lower attendance compared to last year. Current market conditions are likely to blame, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the get-rich-quick crypto tourists were all but absent. New sponsors and attendees, alongside with the familiar faces, had a more serious and less-frothy tone to their conversations.

In fact, this year even had a full two day executive education course, provided by Kingsland University. The course, developed and delivered by Alex Lightman, was well received by the nearly 40 executives attendees further providing an encouraging sign that this sector continues to be taken even more seriously and the community is bringing those who are not (yet) among the crypto-faithful into the tent.

Announcements Worth Noting 

Patrick Byrne

A hero and legend in our industry, Byrne’s Overstock was the first publicly traded company to accept bitcoin and carry some bitcoin on the corporate books – subject to SEC public disclosures. He also announced the long-awaited tZero launch.

Kevin Connolly (of Entourage fame) is directing and starring in a 10 Episode TV series called Cryptos. The announcement depicted the series as “Silicon Valley meets Entourage” with the edginess of the John Oliver Bitcoin episode. I spent some time after the announcement with Kevin and his team, who told me the show will focus on telling the story in a way that really engages entrepreneurs and, devs, generally educating the audience on the good, bad and ugly of crypto – all while keeping it edgy and fun.

Takeaways and Predictions

1) This will be a year of consolidation, where projects that have been heads-down for the last 12 to 18 months will start testing the market – passing or failing. I predict many such failures (learning experiences, really) in 2019, defined as orphaned projects that lose valuable devs until they stall.

2) Security Token Offerings (“STOs”) will continue to be a big buzz in the industry. It’s a crypto-instrument that everyone seems eager to participate in and understand.

3) I believe 2019 we will see a dramatic increase in collectible NFTs across ticketing, gaming, gambling and eSports.

4) Continuing from my first point, we’ll see impressive projects and teams distinguish themselves from the noise of 2017 and 2018 through hard work and the production of applications beyond MVP and PoC stages.

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