There wasn’t a single Lambo outside…
The registration line didn’t snake outside the building… And I couldn’t find a single crypto hippie dressed in indie garb.
I was in Miami for The North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC). And those observations were my first impression.
At seven years old, TNABC is the longest-running bitcoin conference in the world. And this was my fourth year in a row attending.
As I walked in, the first person I met said to me, “Not quite like two years ago.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Gone were the fancy cars and big crowds. And there wasn’t even one initial coin offering (ICO) pitch.
I’d estimate the hype was down 95% from two years ago. But that’s actually a good thing…
As TNABC founder Moe Levin put it, “That makes me super optimistic. Because this is when the real work gets done.”
Without the hype of the past, many worry crypto is dying… or worse, already dead.
But the industry continues to grow and innovate.
And today, I’ll share three of the most exciting innovations I saw at TNABC 2020… and why crypto is here to stay.
Making Crypto Accessible to Everyone
One of my favorite innovations at the conference is the Ballet hardware wallet… which makes storing crypto simple.
The creator of the wallet is Bobby Lee, who has a long history in the crypto space. (His brother is Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin.)
Bobby Lee started mining bitcoin in 2011… And he founded BTCC, China’s first crypto exchange, in 2011 as well. At one point, it was the largest bitcoin exchange in the world.
The Ballet wallet looks like a credit card, but it’s made of durable stainless steel.
So what makes Ballet special? For one, it requires no setup…
You don’t have to register for an account, give personal information, or understand two-factor authentication – all the things necessary to buy crypto today – to use it.
Further, the wallet is non-electronic. So you never have to worry about compatibility issues or upgrading software.
Plus, Ballet supports over 50 coins. And managing your coins is easy. You just download the Ballet app and scan the QR code on your Ballet wallet. That’s it.
Ballet is also a bearer asset. That means the holder of the wallet has the right of ownership. So you can transfer it anonymously – just like cash. And that makes it one of the easiest ways to transfer crypto to someone offline.
In short, it’s designed for the mass market. And that will help global adoption.
A Sandbox for Crypto Innovation
Another interesting development came from Allan Wayne Smith, head of the Bermudan government’s FinTech business unit. (We’ll get to the development below.)
With a population of roughly 70,000, Bermuda is strategically located between the U.S. and Europe. And it’s one of the world’s largest insurance hubs. That’s given the country an excellent reputation, experience, and credibility in international business.
The country has also made tremendous progress in the last few months by providing a clear regulatory framework for digital assets.
Now, it wants to leverage those qualities by reinventing itself as a major hub for crypto projects.
Now back to Smith’s development… the Bermudan government is turning the whole country into an innovation sandbox.
If you want to incorporate a crypto company, raise money through an ICO, or custody digital assets… it’s all possible in Bermuda.
For instance, in October, the Bermudan government started accepting USD Coin (USDC) payments for taxes, fees, and other government services. Now, it’s going to open it up to all U.S. dollar-backed digital currencies and encourage the entire population to participate.
Finding New Ways to Do Business
Another cool innovation is tokenized income-share agreements (TISAs).
An income-share agreement (ISA) is when one person gives money to a recipient who – in exchange – agrees to pay back a percentage of their income for a fixed number of years.
For instance, some college students are using ISAs instead of traditional student loans. Investors can pay for a student’s education and, in return, get a percentage of the student’s future earnings.
While income-share agreements are nothing new, tokenized income-share agreements are. Basically, they’re smart contracts put on the blockchain.
Josh Lawler, a partner at the Zuber Lawler law firm, is spearheading the initiative. He’s the head of the firm’s Emerging Technologies group and a self-described futurist.
As Josh explained at the conference, self-executing smart contracts will automate the TISA process. And that will create a liquid market, making them easier to sell or trade.
This isn’t some pie-in-the-sky idea, either…
In January, NBA star Spencer Dinwiddie tokenized his three-year, $34 million contract extension with the Brooklyn Nets.
By tokenizing his contract, Dinwiddie will get a smaller lump-sum payment up front. And token holders will receive a monthly base interest of 4.95% – with the full principal paid out at the end of the period upon maturity.
Now, Dinwiddie’s agreement was only for accredited investors. But it wouldn’t surprise me to see a day when the general public can invest in their favorite sports stars via tokens.
And it’s all going to be done using the blockchain and smart contracts. That’s very cool.
Hype Is Down, But Innovation Remains Strong
Yes, the hype from the crypto rally in 2017 has died. But don’t make the mistake of thinking cryptocurrency is dead.
In fact, the truth is just the opposite. Since January 1, bitcoin is up 21.2%. But I want you to look beyond the price action…
And what TNABC 2020 taught me is: The space remains filled with some of the smartest people trying to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems today.
No one is leaving the industry. Instead, they’re doubling down on the work and continuing to build.
And it’s the work from today that will bring immense profits for crypto investors in the future.
Analyst, Palm Beach Daily
P.S. For the past six months, Daily editor Teeka Tiwari has embarked on a world tour to find the tiny cryptos that will explode in value from this wave of blockchain innovation.
And on Wednesday, March 18, he’ll reveal five tiny coins that will not only get a boost from blockchain adoption, but a phenomenon that will take the entire crypto space higher.
Teeka will “fly” you to the hidden-in-plain-sight epicenter of this phenomenon, so you can see with your own eyes: It’s real. It’s 100% guaranteed to hit in 2020. And it could be bigger than any other phenomenon before.
And when his flight arrives, he’ll release his Final Five – five tiny cryptos that could potentially turn $500 into $5 million.