Blockchain Professionals – Sydney – 26th July 2017

McCullough Robertson in Sydney played host to tonights Blockchain Professionals Meetup.

Now boasting over 1500 members in the meetup group, tonights event was another sellout with over 80 attendees seeing a presentation from Rob Allen about ICO’s and then a panel discussion including Rob, Bokky Poobah, Justin Dombrowski, David Birch and Tim Lea.

The event was followed by drinks and pizza at The Metropolitan Hotel.

Great work again by the Blockchain Professional organising team Jason Williams and Adriana Belotti.

Australians win the New York Consensus Hackathon

At the New York Consensus event, a bunch of Australians banded together and entered the hackathon.  Playing on the Australian them of the black box flight recorder, the team created an Ethereum based “block box” event recorder, to record traffic incidents using Ethereum, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Power BI and IoT hub.  The winning team included:

  • Tim Bass form Block8
  • Nick Addision from Agri Digital
  • Lucas Cullen from Civic Ledger
  • Sam Brooks from Veredictum

Special thanks to Mark Staples from Data61 for his input.  Sam’s original white paper and hackathon code can be found here.

2017 APAC Blockchain Conference Sydney, Australia

The APAC Blockchain Conference, developed in partnership with the Australian Digital Currency Commerce Association (ADCCA) and the Blockchain Association of Australia, took place from 7-9 March 2017 in Sydney, and focused on identifying the opportunities and overcoming the challenges to make the revolutionary blockchain technology a reality.

The event looked beyond the hype by bringing together captains of industry who are currently driving the change, world leading projects, innovative start-ups and regulators all into one place to share their knowledge and experiences.

Lucas was invited to participate in the APAC Blockchain Conference program to share with the delegates Civic Ledger’s journey, the problems we are solving with the technology and where Civic Ledger will be in 2017 and beyond.

Sheree was also invited to give a legal perspective on blockchain developments  but couldn’t not attend.

Lucas shared the stage with Emma Weston, CEO and Co-Founder of Agridigital, a provider of blockchain solutions that brings transparency, efficiency, and trust to agri-commodity supply chain, and Julian Smith, CEO and Founder of Blockfreight, the blockchain for global freight.

Photos from the UQ Bitcoin event

On Tuesday 21st Feb, I was asked to panel a screening of the documentary “Bitcoin; The end of money as we know it” at the University of Queensland. A quote from one of the guests.

“I thoroughly enjoyed your talk about bitcoin last night at the University of Queensland.

I started researching the currency from a legal perspective about two years ago and wrote a blog on my findings. I would like to retract my blog and write a new analysis of the currency after hearing your talk”

Here are some photos from that event.

Scam Alert: The Complete Guide to Bitcoin Scams

While bitcoin has seen a sudden price rise, unfortunately so has the number of scammers taking advantage of the positive in market conditions. While scammers are not new, in an highly unregulated market they thrive in taking on opportunities of those of us who are less informed, on the state of the players in industry.

We here at Blockchain Australia, feel the need to inform the general public of relevant news and those who are less than honorable people and organisations operating in this space. Which is unfortunate as they have contributed to the bad rap and press in the media of those who are doing great work in this industry. We have started a new segment to highlight reported scams known in this industry. Please check back to make sure you are informed on what is happening in the bitcoin community.

There are many different types of ways scammers can operate in this industry. Freelance writer Suraya Zainudin has put together a useful guide ‘The Complete Guide to Bitcoin Scams‘ that can give you an insight to avoiding possible fraudulent situations. But as always it is important to always be vigilant and do your own research. If something is too good to be true, it is very likely you should pay attention to your instincts, as that is likely to be the case.

Scam Alert: MMM Nigeria and the Low Down on Ponzi Schemes

MMM Nigeria is a multi-marketing Ponzi scheme recently announced that it is enabling Bitcoin as a form of payment. MMM was founded in Russia in the 1990s by Sergei Mavrodi , with the original scheme collapse resulting in participants losing billions of dollars.

However, it has been rebooted recently with a model where participants are committed to sending money to other participants and after a month, they got their ‘investments’ back with 30 percent interest from other participants of the pyramid. Along with their reboot MMM announced the introduction of Bitcoin-based currency, MAVRO-BTC, as one of those payments accepted for the scheme.

What Are Ponzi Schemes?

Ponzi schemes work with the continual recruitment of new members or ‘investors’ who pay a joining fee. That fee is what ponzi schemes use to pay existing investors. The second the recruitment stops, so does the return on ‘investment’. This is why ponzi or pyramid schemes are not viable models nor are they a real investment model, that they claim to be.

Generally these schemes are fraudulent in the way they sign up potential members or ‘investors’ with not being upfront on how their ‘investments’ are simply just a recruiting fee; not informing members that they can and will go bust in the event they run dry and are unable to continue recruiting new members; and pitching their scheme as a legitimate ‘investment’ when it is nothing more than a recruiting fee based model.

The difference between ponzi and pyramid schemes with real investments are their return on ‘investment’ is not based on the legitimate maturity of an asset or gain in a market trade, but based on recruitment fees of new members. Usually these dealings are not made clear to those whom sign up and they end up losing their life savings in a fraudulent investment model. Had they have known clearly up front, they would not have signed up to begin with.

What does Ponzi Schemes Have to do with Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a legitimate digital currency, that itself has nothing to do with ponzi schemes. It has multiple markets where it is legitimately traded among users, which is seen in the daily fluctuations of sales in the market price of bitcoin each second of the day.

However, due to the price rise in Bitcoin, a lot of organisations mask themselves as fake digital currencies that profit from this rise in the market. When in actual fact they are ponzi schemes that are run off newer ‘investors’ buying into the ‘digital currency’. Those newer ‘investors’ who are putting money into the fake digital currency, are simply the ones paying the older or existing ‘investors’ of the fake digital currency.

In reality there is no digital currency that exists, just an organisation shuffling money around to make it appear as if there is a increased market price, for that fake digital currency. The easiest way to spot these fake digital currencies is through no legitimate market offering that digital currency, with the organisation only offering internal websites and information as to the price of the fake digital currency.

For more information on MMM you can read the full article here and for more information on the different types of scams you can find that here.


Blockchain Australia @ Linux Conf 2017

The Linux Conf 2017 has just wrapped up in the City of Hobart, Tasmania.

The Conference saw 3 days full of inspiring, educational, technical and conceptual discussions on a wide range of topics around Linux and the Open Source communities.

As the head of Blockchain Australia, an Australian based advocacy group charged with introducing and educating about the benefits of blockchain and bitcoin to a wide cross section of the community, it was a pleasure to make the trip to Hobart to do a short presentation outlining decentralisation and the role that blockchains can play in the process.

Being limited to 20mins, the presentation was a very high level view of several use cases where bitcoin/blockchain could add efficiencies to existing systems or create new systems that were previously impossible.

My presentation touched on bitcoin, Flux, smart contracts, among other things along with an interesting story about the island of Yap and the rai stones that are used as money. I my view, this was a precursor to the blockchain in the way they money was moved from individual to individual via a community meeting.

If you are interested in learning more or contributing to our efforts, please join our association either as an individual member or a corporate sponsor.

Adam Poulton



Blockchain Standards Roadmap Workshop

Australia will be hosting the worlds first International Blockchains Standards Meeting in Sydney, April 2017, on the formation of Standards around Blockchains and Digital Currencies.

Blockchain Australia Board Member Alan Tsen and Nick Addison from FinHaus Labs have been working on the submissions to date  and will be heading up the work in Australia and at the upcoming RoadMap Workshop on Feb 17th in Sydney.

The road mapping exercise is designed to identify key stakeholder issues and to develop a priority list of standards for development to support blockchain technology.

All relevant Australian stakeholders are invited to participate:
• Take the Blockchain Standards Roadmap Survey (closing date 10 February 2017)
• Attend the Blockchain Standards Roadmap Workshop (17 February 2017)

These activities will shape the Blockchain Standards Roadmap Recommendations Report to be released on 28 February 2017. The Blockchain Standards Roadmap will provide recommendations for Australia’s strategic leadership on International Blockchain Standards, by identifying issues and use cases, defining standards development work streams and developing a draft work program for consideration by the International Blockchain Standards committee ISO/TC 307.

The Standards Australia Survey of Blockchain/DLT closes in 2 days 

Please take the survey if you want to have your say on the  standards roadmap.