The State of Bitcoin Today

Bitcoin is up and coming. Everyone can agree to that but there are few that understand the intricacies of how it will affect certain industries and regular people upon mass adoption. At Coindesk’s inaugural conference, the biggest names in Bitcoin discussed its present and future. From effects on law enforcement to innovating blockchain technology and more, don’t miss the key quotes on these topics and so much more.

State of Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology 

The day’s proceedings were kicked off by Garrick Hileman, a CoinDesk analyst and economic historian at the prestigious London School of Economics, who shared his findings about the current state of bitcoin and blockchain technology with over 500 attendees.

During his session, Hileman touched on the topic of regulation. 
“Regulators aren’t interested in killing the golden goose … they get that they need to foster a productive and dynamic ecosystem.”
Garrick Hileman, CoinDesk analyst.

The Future of Innovation on the Blockchain

The subsequent panel attempted to discern the future of bitcoin and blockchain technologies and their biggest challenges. It was led by Emin Gun Sirer of Cornell University and included Adam Ludwin, of among other developers and researchers.

“We have billions of dollars in real value created by a decentralised network of computers … I can’t keep up with how fast this is all moving.”

Adam Ludwin, co-founder & CEO at

Law Enforcement on the Blockchain

The next panel, Unprecedented Transparency? Law Enforcement on the Blockchain, discussed how analysing the blockchain could prove useful in law enforcement investigations.

“It’s powerful as a public tool, but it’s important to remember [the blockchain] is not a magic solution to our asset tracing and follow the money issues.”
Catherine Pelker, FBI

Bitcoin’s Path to Mass Adoption

The law enforcement panel was followed by a discussion of bitcoin’s path to mass adoption, featuring Connie Chung of Expedia; Jon Downing, of Visa Europe Collab; Vinny Lingham of Gyft and moderated by former journalist Michael J Casey, now of MIT Media Lab.

Visa’s Downing commented that the path to bitcoin’s mainstream adoption was inherently linked to finding a viable technological use for the digital currency.

“London [TFL] has sent the use of contactless cards through the roof – it’s about finding uses for technology like this on a day-to-day basis.”

Jon Downing, Visa Europe Collab

 A $1.6 Quadrillion Opportunity 

During the next panel, which looked at ways in which blockchain technology could potentially revolutionise clearing and settlement, former Wall Street executive Blythe Masters pointed out the main “pain points” currently facing the financial industry.

“When I first came across blockchain technology I was frankly quite surprised and taken by the potential for a technology to check a lot of boxes that represent very real and very current points of pain the existing financial and market infrastructure and ecosystems.”
Blythe Masters, Digital Asset Holdings

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Eventbrite and Salesforce Finally in Sync

Eventbrite is an event planning and monetizing titan in the industry. It gathers attendees, allows for online payment, creates customized event pages, offers customer support and most importantly gets the word out about your event. Salesforce is one of the largest CRM systems in the world and is used by big and small businesses alike. Now Eventbrite isn’t just an application available in the Salesforce exchange section, it is fully syncing.

Eventbrite today launched a new way for businesses to connect their Salesforce instance right into the ticketing platform. Called EventbriteSync, it allows data to be transferred almost seamlessly between the two platforms.

Previously in beta, this app is now available free worldwide through Salesforce’s AppExchange. Once enabled, users will log into Eventbrite using OAuth2 authentication and then link their accounts with Salesforce. Instantly a 1:1 relationship will be created. What’s left is the configuration and mapping of data.

5 - EventbriteSync_Config

EventbriteSync offers what Eventbrite’s head of partnerships and platform Dylan Serota describes as “bi-directional sync.” Event data created through the ticketing platform is synced to Salesforce and contact lists and promo codes can be transferred back to Eventbrite to be associated with marketing campaigns.

Although Serota touts the syncing capability, it’s not entirely seamless (we did say “almost”). We inquired whether the following scenario would be possible: You connect Salesforce with Eventbrite –  within the ticketing platform can you then select specific contact lists, individuals, etc., all without having to jump between the two platforms? Serota said that, unfortunately, that would not be possible at this time, so users should probably expect to do some additional work to get the configuration just right.

7 - EventbriteSync_Order_Mapping

EventbriteSync is aimed at helping businesses that put on events as a component to their mission. Eventbrite is seeing an increasing number of such businesses and these users are probably leveraging customer relationship management tools like Salesforce to manage their conferences, endurance races, festivals, and other annual shows.

“Companies are looking to transform the way they connect with customers, partners and employees to thrive in today’s connected world,” said Salesforce’s senior vice president for global AppExchange and partner programs, Ron Huddleston. “By leveraging the power of the Salesforce1 Platform, EventbriteSync provides customers with the proven social, mobile and connected cloud technologies to accelerate business success.”

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Eventbrite said that for over one and a half years, it’s received a “flood of requests” for integrations with Salesforce. Until now, there have been third-party connectors that have tried to fill this need but it was more of a “MacGuyver’ed” approach anc certainly wasn’t a native integration. And while there are many ways to configure Eventbrite, such third-party connectors fall short of an ideal solution.

Although Eventbrite counts more than 130 integrations with its platform, the addition of Salesforce is particularly noticeable, as it’s reaching a higher tier of enterprise companies. Existing CRM tie-ins include the cloud-based nonprofit software platform Kindful, Pardot, Eloqua, Microsoft Dynamics, Survemetrics, and others. While there are certainly CRMs on the list, tapping into what is arguably the largest solution in the marketplace today is a pretty big deal.

EventbriteSync is available to all Salesforce and Eventbrite customers now and includes support for French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

We believe that anyone can be an event organizer. That’s why we’ve created tools that make it easy to sell tickets to all kinds of events – whether it’s a photography class or a sold-out concert, an inspiring conference or an a… read more »

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Your Punishment? Educate Us.

This may sound absolutely ridiculous but this is part of the sentence that Pascal Reid has received from the case against him for money laundering and few other miscellaneous offenses related to the mismanagement of his Bitcoin business. This is a huge statement on the collective understanding of the general population of what Bitcoin is. Law enforcement needs to be educated on the ins and outs of bitcoin before they start attempting to establish legal precedent on the matter. 

A judge has sentenced Florida LocalBitcoins user Pascal Reid to serves 90 days in jail in a ruling that closes a high-profile legal case dating back to February 2014.

Originally charged with operating an unauthorized money transmission business and with money laundering, Reid plead guilty to a single count of operating as an unlicensed money transmitter. Reid will receive five years probation and must provide informational assistance to law enforcement and financial entities about bitcoin and digital currencies.

As part of the deal, Reid has been tasked with completing “no less than 20 trainings” on digital currency and cybercrime, to be organized by Detective Ricardo Arias of the City of Miami Beach Police Department.

Reid is also required to make himself available to the Miami Beach Police Department, the US Secret Service and the Miami Electronic Crimes Task Force as needed for the development of the sessions.

Attorney Ron Lowy, of Miami-based law firm Lowy and Cook PA, told CoinDesk that he and his client are “very pleased with the outcome”.

Lowy told CoinDesk:

“Pascal [Reid] was facing years in prison. But, I think the government has come to the conclusion that Pascal never intended to do anything dishonest.”

Reid was originally arrested alongside Michell Abner Espinoza during a sting operation in which an undercover agent sought to exchange $30,000 for bitcoin in an effort to purchase stolen credit cards.

Both men were initially charged under anti-money laundering statutes, which prohibit exchanges of more than $10,000, and money transmission law that limits residents from conducting personal transactions involving currency or payment instruments to $20,000 annually.

Reid will also be credited for past jail time served from 7th February, 2014, to 14th March, 2014, and be required to pay back $500 in legal fees incurred by the state.

Founded in 2012, LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange service based in Finland.

Training sessions

Due to its status as one of the first cases of its kind, the Bitcoin Foundation had filed a motion in August of last year arguing that Florida Statute 560.125 should be applied in Reid’s case as he was an individual, not a corporate entity.

When asked about possible precedent established by the now-concluded case, Lowy suggested that, since an agreement was reached out of court, it’s unlikely to have any impact future.

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Twitter and Bloomberg

Twitter is one of the biggest social media networks in the world today. People engage in conversation on Twitter at a rate of 200 billion tweets a year or 500 million tweets a day. Businesses interact with their customers and even grass roots activism finds its way to Twitter through hashtag activism. Now businesses will get an inside look at Twitter in a whole new way.

Twitter and Bloomberg are taking their existing partnership to the next stage today, as the companies reveal that more Twitter data will be integrated into Bloomberg’s financial platform.

The Bloomberg Terminal is a service offered to companies seeking access to Bloomberg’s real-time financial market data. Back in 2013, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) declared it would let companies make corporate announcements through social media, and given that such disclosures can impact financial markets, Bloomberg swiftly announced that it would begin pulling live Twitter feeds into its terminals.

The extension to the agreement will involve “significantly increasing” the available Twitter data through Bloomberg’s terminals and improving the alerts through the Bloomberg Social Velocity tool. BSV is used when a sudden increase in conversations happen around a specific company, which may indicate something big is about to happen. BSV basically scans tweets and StockTwits for “cashtags,” which are “$” prefixes that indicate the content relates to investment and trading news.

Bloomberg’s customers will now be able to view a live feed of financial tweets curated by Bloomberg, with sentiment analysis and the ability to “graph historical Twitter volume related to securities or topics,” as Twitter put it. More features are planned for the future, too.

Twitter Bloomberg

Above: Twitter Bloomberg

Image Credit: Twitter

“Our customers have told us that Twitter helps them uncover early trends, breaking news, and sentiment shifts, which may be indicative of changing market conditions,” said Ben Macdonald, global head of product at Bloomberg. “By incorporating real-time information from Twitter into their workflow, Bloomberg makes this data accessible and discoverable so that our clients can react quickly to important news and trends.”

The new offering for Bloomberg Terminal users is enabled by Gnip, the data startup Twitter acquired last year that made a name for itself by harnessing and selling Twitter data to companies. Today’s news comes a little over a month after Twitter revealed it was opening access to every historical public tweet through a full-archive Search API for Gnip customers.

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