No more than 5,000 attendees had been expected to attend Malta Blockchain Summit, which took place last week. But after a few hours of the first day (1st November), Dennis Avorin, one of the organisers of the event, told Coin Rivet that 8,500 had shown up.
“Initially, we feared the possibility of not filling the hotel. We didn’t even expect 5,000 and then, well, we have over 8,500 attendees and have filled the conference area almost beyond its legal limits,” he said.
Next year, 12,000
Fellow organiser, Eman Pulis, told us that next year the event is expected to attract up to 12,000 people.
“The impact has been huge. All local businesses are happy with us. They’ve seen their sales skyrocket,” he said. “All flights were filled, all hotel rooms occupied, and all restaurants were at maximum occupancy.”
Founding father of blockchain
We spoke to Scott Stornetta, one of the two founding fathers along with Stuart Haber of the blockchain. Coin Rivet sat down with Stornetta and bluntly asked him if he was Satoshi Nakamoto and he responded in fluent Japanese that he wasn’t.
John McAfee spoke to us exclusively as well. An eccentric and interesting person rarely seen without a glass of whisky, at 73 years of age he has many insights on blockchain and crypto. He insists Bitcoin will reach $1 million in 2020 and that the US dollar will collapse in five year’s time.
Sophia Bot, the artificial intelligence robot created by Hanson Robotics and Ben Goertzel, was arguably one of the most fascinating attractions at the summit, although some argued that her answers to questions, put by the few pre-selected people who were allowed to interview her, sounded too scripted.
“Did you see Sophia and did you hear here responses,” Joshua Tate, CEO, Founder and Owner of Bloxlive.tv, asked Coin Rivet and laughed when we responded, “yes, at times she sounded more artificial than intelligent.”
We also spoke with Wan Li Qing, an interesting personality from China who claims to own two Bitcoins less than a million, which at the current price is about $6.4 billion. Coin Rivet observed a bizarre relationship between him and an assistant who kept pulling his arm until Wang reacted angrily. He owns Bibo Exchange which he claims has hundreds of thousands of daily users who trade $360 million per day. Coin Rivet is still researching and investigating him to try and prove or disprove his claims.
On our last day there, I overheard three guys speaking in Spanish and saying “oye buey”, which literally translates to “listen ox”, although it really means “hey dude” or “hey mate”.
They turned out to be Mexicans like myself, and included Juan Carlos Martinez of Bitrus, a Mexican crypto exchange platform that provides users with an interface for trading crypto-fiat and crypto-crypto in a centralised location. We’ll be talking to them further in the near future.