To me, going to conferences is all about creating community. Over the past few years I have tried to go to as many cryptocurrency conferences because I understood that while we are all creating a digital financial revolution together, many of us have never met in person. I think the personal connection is a key element in any industry and getting to connect with new friends and old at the recent Crypto Invest Summit has been the highlight of my year so far! Follow along as I break down my experience at the event and the amazing opportunities I had to be on stage sharing my thoughts and opinions.
Furthering My 2019 Goals
One of my goals for this year was to do more speaking engagements on stage at crypto conferences and meetups. I was beyond thrilled that my friend & CIS creator Alon Goren allowed me to not only moderate a panel on Blockchain Gaming & eSports, but to also do the 'Stache My Crypto podcast live on stage too! This opportunity has really set the stage for me (pun intended!) this year and I couldn't have been happier than to be doing it in my hometown with all the support of my friends. I hope I can get more chances to share my thoughts on stage the rest of the year, so if there is a conference you think I should be speaking at let me know!
I arrived on the first day of the conference right in the middle of Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin, and Anthony Pompliano doing their talk on stage to kick things off. Honestly my favorite question was when Pomp asked Charlie about aliens! We hear a lot about crypto all the time, but it's cool to hear some of the fun personal details too. While I was kind of looking forward to a "key note" speech from Charlie Lee the interview style was great too.
Checking out the booths this year there were certainly a few less booths than the previous event, but I found a lot more quality projects were exhibiting. I stopped by and talked to my friends at Monarch, got to put on some cool giant golden boxing gloves, and reveled in the amazing crypto art from multiple people like my friend Brekkie Von Bitcoin.
After looking at a few booths and connecting with friends I got a chance to meet the one-and-only Pomp! If you saw my recent cartoon illustration I had done I was actually wearing his t-shirt that says "Long Bitcoin, Short The Bankers" and he said he thought it was hilarious and definitely approved. Now that I made a quick personal connection I just need to work on getting him on my podcast!
Shortly after meeting Pomp the buddies The Coin Boys did their podcast live on stage with CryptoSanity. I took this quick video of them and watched for a while before heading over to the main stage to catch friends CryptoWendyO, Robert Beadles from Monarch wallet, and David Bleznak from Totle.
I really love supporting all these amazingly talented people who are not afraid to put themselves out there in front of a crowd and say what they truly think!
Eating All The Things
After the morning panels and hanging out, a huge group of us all decided to go to lunch together. We just mobbed across the street from the LA Convention Center to a sushi place and took up 4 giant tables with about 20 of us. Nothing like sharing a good sushi lunch with new friends and old.
Once we all got back it was right back into the thick of things meeting projects, talking with people, and of course taking some epic selfies! I linked up with my other fellow Satoshi Droppers that were at the conference in front of Brekkie's Store of Value booth for some more fun photos.
'Stache My Crypto LIVE!
As I mentioned earlier I got a chance to do my podcast live on the exhibit floor stage and I brought up my friends Ryan Calder, Ky Primo, CryptoWendyO, and Brekkie Von Bitcoin to discuss the importance of creating community and making personal connections in a digital first industry. We also talked about the Crypto Bit Bus project which is a fun bus trip we are all organizing that the crypto community can join us on going up to the Bitcoin 2019 conference in San Francisco June 24th-26th.
I had such a great time talking with them and I think we made some good points about tribalism and shared some insight on how each us feels on the connections we have made here in crypto. Look for this episode to drop very soon. I am pretty sure that Brekkie is shouting "Bitconneeeeeccccccct" in this photo! I am 100% #LongLA when it comes to having friends like these and an amazing crypto community too!
Just after my panel I got to catch my bro bro, Kenn Bosak do HIS podcast on the same stage. Always a great time hanging with Kenn!
To cap off an amazing first day Wendy hosted one of her meetups at nearby Boomtown brewery and there was a HUGE crowd that turned out for it. The only thing that could have been better is if the brewery didn't close at 10pm and kick us all out!
CIS Day 2
The second day was all about networking and I got to catch up with a few people that I had missed on the first day. I was looking forward to my panel on the main stage, but it was not until later in the afternoon so I had some fun and made some new connections. I hung out with the Beadles fam, both Robert & Aaron are amazing people and it's always great to see their hustle at these events.
Later I supported my friend Austin Davis from Blockchain Beach on his panel, I ran into the homie Omar Bham from Crypt0's News and his lovely girlfriend Elle. Had a great convo about game development with Jon "Neverdie" from Neverdie Studios and hit the red carpet to take a pic with the CIS creators Alon & Josef!
Next up was my panel!
I feel like most people would be nervous in this situation, but I have been on plenty of stages and played music and talked to crowds of 5,000+ so that didn't bother me one bit. The only thing I was a bit worries about was that none of my panelist were gamers! I was moderating the Gaming, eSports, & Entertainment on the Blockchain panel, but my guests were all gamblers and not gamers or entertainment people. I tried to steer the conversation as much as I could to be fun and interesting and I think people still enjoyed it even though we did not talk much about gaming. You can watch the live stream of it above and let me know what you think.
That's A Wrap!
All in all it was a VERY exciting CIS this year and I was honored to be a small part of it by taking my place on stage. Looking forward to the CIS in the fall, but until then...
'Stache That Crypto Friends!