I spent the last weekend as crew member for the Awesome Events Team which was hosting Break Into Bitcoin on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane.

Besides having a great time meeting new people and gaining crewing experience (this was my first official time as a member of an event crew) I came away with three thoughts swimming in my head.

Firstly, Rossco gave a great background on the reasons why Bitcoin has become so popular, one of the reasons is that blockchain technology is a method of trust accounting in the wake of the GFC of 2008.

As Rossco described the background to Bitcoin, the one thing that caught my attention in this part of the presentation was the concept that a “bail-in” is an approved piece of legislation in Australia and that the Greek bail-in was considered a trial run for a potential global roll-out should the need arise.

As much as I admire speakers I’ve been around long enough to not believe everything I read or hear, so I did a little digging and came across these articles which support the notion:

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The next insight came on Sunday, while I was scanning the room to see if everyone was taken care of I heard a distinction that made me take note – the difference between volatile and immature markets.

If you’ve been in the cryptocurrency space for any amount of time you will have heard that it’s a volatile market. Rossco went a little further into this and made the distinction that it’s actually an immature market and it’s a market that is open to anyone so it is completely unpredictable and because it is so small in comparison to stock & forex markets anyone with a wad of cash can create a volatile event – no skill required.

You may already know that in the stock market or forex markets there is a lot of regulation and the people and organizations who are active in that market are required to have either a level of expertise or a level of money that qualifies them to play.

In the crypto space there is no barrier to entry, everyone is welcome and it is a little bit like the Wild West where there is limited regulation and an abundance of both opportunity and risk.

I personally think that the market will mature quite rapidly compared to the stock and forex markets simply because the expertise from these markets can be transferred across, and so will a significant amount of money when the cryptos are adopted into the mainstream.

My final thought was an observation really, the audience in each room was by far dominated by an older age group – the over 50’s – 80’s were out in force, which I found to be interesting.

I hadn’t given much thought to the specifics of the audience, but I guess in the back of my mind I was thinking it would be a young hip crowd – and there were definitely some that fit that description, but overall the majority of the seats were filled with an older generation who was ready to learn and embrace something new.

My sister Lisa was crewing with me and she made an interesting comment that perhaps the over 50’s were there because they missed the boat with Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Youtube and they recognize the opportunity before them – or perhaps they were there in response to the GFC, the rising retirement age and a lack of faith in our current financial system. Whatever the reason, they came and they learned and were able to walk away with enough knowledge to confidently get started in this new space – good on them!!!

Overall it was an exhaustingly wonderful weekend full of learning, serving with some wifi glitches thrown in. It felt great to part of a movement that is educating people in this space and I would put my hand up again to be a crew member in a heartbeat!!