CoinSummit San Francisco Announces Itinerary and Speakers

Pete Rizzo
Feb 5, 2014 at 14:35 UTC
Updated Aug 20, 2014 at 17:23 UTC

CoinSummit San Francisco, a two-day invitation-only event aiming to connect virtual currency entrepreneurs, angel and VC investors, hedge fund professionals and bitcoin enthusiasts, has revealed its preliminary agenda and speaker list.

Taking place on 25th and 26th March at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, CoinSummit San Francisco will follow Bitcoin London, the inaugural bitcoin event held by the organisation last July.

Notably, Jackson Palmer, co-founder of Dogecoin, will be making his first public speaking appearance. Other speakers at this year’s event include notable members of the bitcoin and digital currency community, such as; Nicolas Cary, CEO of Blockchain.info; Chris Larsen, CEO of Ripple Labs; and Alan Safahi, co-founder and CEO of ZipZap.

Angel investor Roger VerAngelList’s Naval Ravikant, Ribbit Capital’s Nick Shalek and Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed Venture Partners, will be representing the investment community, among other heavy hitters from Silicon Valley.

CoinSummit’s vision

The second major event for CoinSummit, CoinSummit San Francisco is the brainchild of husband and wife team, Pamir Gelenbe, serial entrepreneur and partner at Hummingbird Ventures, and Gulnar Hasnain, former head of environment and sustainability strategy for the mayor of London.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Gelenbe said he felt there was a need for a high quality event focused on CEOs, founders, and investors, and that he and his co-founder chose San Francisco as the host city because the Bay Area is the “nexus of innovation” in the US and the world.

“I guess what I like doing when I get into something is to hold a conference, because that’s the best way to meet up with other people. I guess other people would start a website or something, but my way of doing things would be to start a conference,” Gelenbe said.

Event differentiators

Gelenbe went on to discuss how he and Hasnain have focused on quality over quantity when compiling the guest list for the event, and that panels will be capped at two to three panelists to ensure a lively and focused debate.  

“True debate topics I want to focus on are the price of bitcoin in two to three years, and whether regulation is going to kill this whole thing. Obviously, the answer is somewhere in the middle, but that’s one of the innovations we want to bring in terms of content.”

Another differentiator, according to Gelenbe, will be the visually striking location, which he hopes will create an inspiring environment for networking and discussion.

Day one itinerary

Beginning on Tuesday 25th March, the first day will provide panels on investment opportunities in the bitcoin space, bitcoin’s regulatory and legal challenges and the future of bitcoin mining, among other topics. Opening remarks will be given by Gelenbe at 10:30 (PST).

First-day speakers will include Carey, Larsen and Shalek, as well as; Patrick Murck, the Bitcoin Foundation’s general counsel; Emmanuel Abiodun, CEO and founder of Cloudhashing.com; and a to-be-announced government representative.

Startup pitches will be heard from 14:00 to 15:00, and will feature a handpicked list of startups that Gelenbe believes deserve access to an audience of “the right people”. He said:

“Startup pitches will feature three Series A startups pitching for five minutes, then answering questions, so it’s going to be very rapid fire.”

Two one-hour intervals starting at 12:15 and 13:15 will provide for networking opportunities. Additionally, a cocktail party will be held from 17:45 to 20:00.

Day two itinerary

Wednesday’s events will begin earlier in the day at 9:00 (PST) with a debate on the longevity of bitcoin and continue through 17:30 with closing remarks by Gelenbe.

Notable speakers contributing to day-two discussions include Nejc Kodric, co-founder and CEO of Bitstamp; Anthony Di Iorio, co-founder of Ethereum and Kryptokit; and Brock Pierce, investor and board member at the Mastercoin Foundation.

Day two will also feature two one-hour networking intervals. For a full list of speakers and an up-to-date schedule, click here.

Disclaimer: CoinDesk is a sponsor of CoinSummit San Francisco. CoinDesk founder Shakil Khan will also moderate a panel session on bitcoin angel investing.

Golden Gate Bridge Image via Shutterstock