On November 13, 2017, Andrey Korobkov hosted the first BitMeet#1: The Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin,
Blockchain & ICO at the University of London. Daniel Doll-Steinberg, Virt-U cofounder, was invited
to speak to a packed lecture theatre of interested students about the basics of Bitcoin and Blockchain
and his thoughts on cryptocurrency, token sales and the future of Blockchain.
Daniel spoke about how he always loved technology; from programming games at 13, to a graduate in
electronics and electrical engineering, then moving into investment banking in global derivatives
trading technologies and going on to building large complex, scalable & mission critical systems.
Daniel explained how he created a leading global licensing technology and a standard for digital
entertainment, which would be approved by most of the world’s key content owners. He also
co-founded or advised over 10 other technology start-ups.
“The more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know,” says Daniel – who’s core belief is that if you’ve never
made a mistake, you’ve never tried anything.
During his speech, Daniel explained how after the financial crash in 2008, there was a void of trust, an
issue that blockchain now solves: using a distributed ledger technology– a technology that describes how
a serialised structure exists, whereby each transaction record is written in series – which cannot be
changed once written.
This is a simple idea in theory, but the maths behind it are complicated. Like blockchain, which is the
underlying technology for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, there are other distributed ledger technologies
such as Ethereum, Hyperledger by IBM and soon-to-be-released Coco by Microsoft; which bring
benefits like transparent and open smart contracts, permissioned and decentralised ledgers to the
Daniel considers blockchain technology the third revolution, where distributed ledgers have the
potential to disrupt the whole economy and society. He quoted Forbes from October 2016 that
“By 2022, a blockchain based business will be worth $10 billion. Blockchain applications may be
used to free up cash, create new forms of value, reduce the transaction cost, accelerate business
processes. Blockchain is attracting product, and capital investment at a record pace through
2017 DLT POCs will be deployed across industries and government”. And noting how fast the
acceleration has been with ICOs this year (2017) alone, raising $3.25 billion in token sales already.
Daniel said he is a massive fan of token sales, which have the potential to bring many people to
the market. ICOs can be seen as an entirely disruptive solution to raise money, almost like a
super-charged crowdfunding initiative. Also allowing every investor access to the next great
companies alongside the Venture Capitalists and big funds.
Daniel believes we are already in the third phase of token sale, with the first step being the
platforms – such as Mastercoin & Ethereum – which raised an average of $600k – $800k. Phase
two saw too many opportunists and now in Phase 3, where real companies are following proper
practices, with real teams and businesses moving towards crowdfunding levels.
When asked what to look for when investing in ICO’s, Daniel suggested looking at:
Daniel firmly believes that the future adoption of blockchain is inevitable, and thinks it will take over
much faster than everybody predicts. Sighting improvements in computing power, demands for
efficiencies from business, improving AI and rush of entrepreneurs and engineers to deliver, Daniel
sees blockchain becoming the power behind the world’s transactions.