Blockchain, cryptocurrency in Nevada topic of June 7 panel
If you go
What: Cryptocurrency: The Promise and Peril of Bitcoin & Blockchain
When: 7-9 a.m. Thursday, June 7
Where: Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, Reno
Tickets and more: nnbw.com/business-breakfast-june-event
RENO, Nev. — Blockchain-backed cryptocurrency transactions are experiencing a meteoric rise in popularity these days, and officials agree that Nevada has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lead the nation in fostering the industry.
Last June, Gov. Brian Sandoval signed SB398, making Nevada the first state to approve a bill blocking local governments from taxing blockchain transactions, thus ensuring entrepreneurs can safely and reliably use the technology to electronically record transactions.
While SB398 was a great start, Tyson K. Falk, a policy analyst with McDonald Carano’s Government Affairs Group in Reno, said the real opportunity lies with the 2019 Nevada Legislature.
“What we’re looking for with next steps is legitimately propelling this technology further,” he said. “We think a huge part of validating blockchain is in public use cases — such as with county recorders, the registrar of voters … even the DMV — and looking at data sharing and working with local governments that are the data keepers.
“We’re looking at implementing a couple of creative ideas on approaching blockchain with public databases that might make Nevada unique.”
Falk plans to share a preview of political movements in the works for the 2019 Nevada Legislature during the June 7 panel discussion “Cryptocurrency: The Promise and Peril of Bitcoin & Blockchain,” part of the Northern Nevada Business View’s monthly Breakfast & Business Series.
The June 7 panel includes Falk, who co-organized Nevada’s first conference on blockchain technology — aligning a world-class set of speakers and experts with Nevada policymakers and community leaders to discuss how Nevada can lead the country with its support for blockchain startups, and adoption of blockchain for government services. Additional panelists are:
• Allison Clift-Jennings, CEO and Founder of Reno-based Filament, whose vision for bringing economic capability to connected physical machines used in business and industrial environments is the cornerstone of Filament’s technology solutions.
• Tyson Cross, founder of Reno’s Cross Law, who has been assisting clients with cryptocurrency taxation and regulatory issues since 2013. As a Forbes contributor and trusted commentator for publications such as NPR, Bloomberg BNA and TechCrunch, Cross is one of the leading authorities on cryptocurrency taxation.
• Jake Warner, CEO and founder of Petrichor, Inc. and Cycle.io., who previously worked as a senior developer at SingleHop, one of the industry’s first infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers; he recently joined Sophia Intelligence as an adviser and part-time CTO to help develop new innovative products and services within the crypto and blockchain space.
Joining the panel as moderator will be Ethan Clift, founder and former CEO of Girlmade and current principal of Clift & Co. Among other accolades, Clift is a member of Nevada Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison’s Northern Nevada Entrepreneurship Task Force.
Aside from legislative impacts, the panel is expected to tackle the following questions:
• Why are companies interested in blockchain technology, and how can it be implemented?
• What are Nevada’s advantages, and how will it become the blockchain haven for decades to come?
• Pilot projects of public-private partnerships are paving the path forward – what do they look like?
Understanding cryptocurrency and blockchain — and just as important, the difference between the two — can be challenging, said Falk, who often uses the internet as an example to explain the concepts in simple terms.
“Before the internet, you had to rely on a third party to get a message from one part of the country to the other. Somebody had to be in middle of that transaction,” Falk explained during a recent interview with the NNBV. “What the internet did was allow us to share information in a free and almost immediate fashion. It essentially democratized the way we share information.
“With blockchain, it is facilitating the ability to transact, and thus, it democratizes the transaction of value.”
To that end, Falk used the example of PayPal or Venmo transaction apps — ultimately, a bank is still in the middle and must authorize a transaction.
“Blockchain allows you to transact anything of value without a third party intermediary,” Falk said. “Now, imagine that being much broader than just simply money transactions, but doing it with the transfer of title, or other sorts of public transactions. Blockchain enables an entire new subset of the industry … allowing for the transacting of value to occur in unprecedented ways.”
Visit nnbusinessview.com/ business-breakfast-june-event to learn more about the panel.
Nevada was honored in the 3- to 5-million population category, alongside Kentucky and Utah, while Alabama was awarded the Gold Shovel in the same Category. Other Gold Shovel Awards went to Texas, Georgia, Virginia, Arizona and Mississippi.