I was impressed with the turnout–around 300 people. 50% of the room had already heard about the crypto-currency, and there were even a few that had bought/mined Bitcoins. Also in attendance, were a small number of individuals from the Jordanian Central Bank (2-5?)–They, however, explicitly mentioned attending as civilians.
Other than an incident that occurred towards the end (more on this below), I believe the event was well received. Attendees seemed pleased with the content, some even extremely enthusiastic and eager for follow-ups. The four speakers, Ola Doudin, Mohammed Saled, Zaid Amireh, and yours truly covered an introduction to Bitcoin, an overview of the technology, a discussion of wallets and security, and a review of existing applications, respectively.
On stage, after the Q&A, I offered to sell Bitcoins for cash to anyone that was interested. Unfortunately, and to my disappointment, no one took the offer. I was hoping the excitement around the topic would push some to “put their money where their mouth is” and get some Bitcoins.
As for the incident, some of the topics covered unfortunately led to a heated debate with individuals from the Jordanian Central Bank. A few of our speakers included political and ideological comments in their talk–A move I don’t agree with. I strongly believe these events should be an avenue to discuss the technology behind crypto-currencies, its benefits, and its practical applications (and, of course, shortcomings). Instead, a good part of the Q&A turned into the equivalent of a political debate and a clash of opinions rather than facts.
Here are the video and slides from my talk on Bitcoin applications, covering six existing practical uses. (Skip to 16:05 for my part, it lasts just under 8 minutes.)
(This talk was inspired by multiple sources, including Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Marc Andreessen, Gavin Andresen, and more. I don’t claim any original content)