Presentation: Practical Cryptography & Blockchain Panel



11:50am - 12:40pm

Day of week:



Key Takeaways

Here’s your chance to quiz our panel of blockchain experts.

Riccardo Spagni, the trackhost for Practical Cryptography & Blockchains: Beyond the Hype leads a panel discussion involving each of the track’s speakers. The panel discusses the most important trends involving the blockchain today and fields questions from the audience.

Expect expert level discussions on smart contracts, oracles, sidechains, and what can/cannot (or should not) be done with blockchains. Explore how bitcoin and the blockchain could potentially disrupt entire industries.

Speaker: Peter Todd

Bitcoin Core Developer & @Coinkite Advisor

Peter is an independent applied cryptography consultant - what the cool kids call "blockchain tech" - known for his research and educational work on better understanding and making use of "blockchain" technology, with a particular focus on scalability. He's also a long time contribution to Bitcoin Core, as well as maintainer of the python-bitcoinlib and OpenTimestamps projects. He brings to this field a very diverse background, including a fine arts degree, and a stint doing analog electronics design for a geophysics startup.

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Speaker: Paul Sztorc

@BitcoinHivemind Creator

Paul Sztorc has been interested in Bitcoin since 2012, and interested in prediction markets his entire adult life. After was forced to close in 2012, Paul set out to immortalize the institution using blockchain technology. Paul studied Economics, Psychology, Operations (MS-M), and Finance (MBA) at Case Western Reserve University, and worked for two years in research at Yale University's Economics Department. He was hired privately in January 2015 to work on Bitcoin full time, and has worked for the startup Bloq, Inc. since March 2016.

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Speaker: David Vorick

Sia Creator & @NebulousLabs Founder

David Vorick has been active in the Bitcoin space since 2011. In 2014, he co-founded a decentralization-first startup called Nebulous Labs. His team has developed the fully decentralized cloud storage platform Sia - a big step forward in cloud technology. David Graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Computer Science.

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Speaker: Jeremy Rand

Lead Engineer @Namecoin

Jeremy is the Lead Application Engineer of Namecoin, a naming system (currently used for domain names and identities) that backs authenticity of records using a blockchain (Namecoin was the first project forked from Bitcoin). Jeremy has many roles at Namecoin, but spends much of his time working on applications that enhance online privacy, such as TLS and Tor integration. Jeremy discovered Bitcoin in November 2010, made his first purchase with Bitcoin in April 2011, and joined Namecoin development in June 2013. Outside of Namecoin, Jeremy has a background in console game hacking and educational robotics. Jeremy is currently a computer science graduate student at University of Oklahoma in the U.S.

Find Jeremy Rand at

Speaker: Elaine Ou

Security Engineer @GlobalFinancialAccess & Co-Creator of Sand Hill Exchange

Elaine is an engineer at Global Financial Access, a company that works on cryptographic integrity for smart contracts. She is a core developer for Ethereum Classic and contributor at Bloomberg View. Previously she was co-founder of Sand Hill Exchange, a Bitcoin bucket shop.

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Speaker: Riccardo Spagni

Crytocurrency Expert & Lead Maintainer Monero/Monero Core

Riccardo is a member of the Monero Core Team, who are stewards of the Monero Project, and is also the lead maintainer of the Monero and Monero Core projects. With an academic background in informatics and logistics, Riccardo spent many years in software development, before starting a business in the import/export industry with his wife. Due to the success of that business, he had enough freedom to start tinkering with Bitcoin early in 2011. In 2012 he became involved in various cryptocurrency-related projects, and more recently he has launched PayBee, a digital currency payment processor. Riccardo and his wife live along the Garden Route on the coast of South Africa, where he spends weekends pack rafting, hanging out with their six dogs, building and flying multicopters, and playing with LEGO.

Find Riccardo Spagni at

Speaker: Rob Witoff

Chief Architect @Coinbase

Rob is a director at Coinbase and building systems that connect you with (what may be) the future of finance. His team is responsible for the systems that collect, stream, power and analyze the data supporting transactions globally. Previously, he led Data Science from the IT CTO’s office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In this capacity he helped to expand the agency’s access, opportunities and capabilities with their data. This work included the systems powering massive martian telemetry + imagery analysis, developing data capabilities for the Astronaut Office and modernizing space mission infrastructure He has also worked to extend earth’s interstellar bandwidth as a lead engineer on the International Space Station’s laser communication system, OPALS. Rob led SpaceX Launch Systems and Space Station Systems Engineering. His work contributed to the first successful american optical communication link with the International Space Station. When his head is out of the clouds, Rob is a longtime entrepreneur endurance runner and Y Combinator founder of Apigy inc.

Find Rob Witoff at

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