London 2012 Bitcoin Conference Q & A





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Published on Sep 17, 2012

Q & A from saturday featuring Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Jaromil, Juri Mattila and Cody Wilson

Birgitta Jónsdóttir a longtime social activist and member of the Icelandic parliament. In 2009, Kaupthing bank had their loan books leaked by Wikileaks revealing egregrious abuses and corruption - the bank had been lending huge sums of money to itself. RUV News had an injunction served, disallowing them to report on the bank which had helped plunge Iceland into a crisis. Instead they broadcasted the Wikileaks URL for 10 minutes on national TV which contained their statement explaining the injunction and censorship. Birgitta was responsible for creating the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (see also immi.is) which provides a safe-haven for whistleblowers like Wikileaks and news organisations. The bill was passed with a majority in Iceland, placing them at the top of the Press Freedom Index in the world.

IMMI encompasses a whole range of free speech protections (including reform of atrocious libel laws) and in particular process protections. Birgitta was also responsible for co-producing the Wikileaks collateral murder video in which a US Apache helicopters shoot up a group including several Reuters journalists, and then a van with children afterwards. She has also acted as a spokesperson for Wikileaks. The US DoJ fought a court case against her to subpoena all her personal details (which she lost). As an activist, she has been outspoken against the banking industry and corruption within the industry. She is a member of the Icelandic parliament (district of Reykjavik) on behalf of 'The Movement' which is beyond 'right' or 'left' politics

Eli Sklar is the founder of Safebit, a new type of open-source Bitcoin wallet designed to introduce elegance to the world of Bitcoin by allowing users to easily access their Bitcoins anywhere in the world from almost any device - PC or Mobile, with simplicity in mind. For the last year Eli has been working on his Safebit project alongside his extensive work as a Bitcoin evangelist, and educator in all things Bitcoin. Eli is also the owner of GridCT, a Tel-Aviv based firm that works on and consults for various development projects in web-app creation, HTML5, and and UI design. Eli is also a member of the Digital Commerce Advancement Organization (DCAO), an organization that pushes for advocacy and recognition of decentralized currencies like Bitcoin

Cody Wilson from defense distributed
"We want to show this principle: That a handgun is printable," says Wilson, a 24-year-old second-year law student at the University of Texas. "You don't need to be able to put 200 rounds through it...It only has to fire once. But even if the design is a little unworkable, it doesn't matter, as long as it has that guarantee of lethality."

Wilson and his handful of collaborators at Defense Distributed plan to use the money they raise to buy or rent a $10,000 Stratasys 3D printer and also to hold a 3D-printable gun design contest with a $1,000 or $2,000 prize for the winning entry--Wilson says they've already received gun design ideas from fans in Arkansas and North Carolina. Once the group has successfully built a reliable 3D-printed gun with the Stratasys printer, it plans to adapt the design for the cheaper and more widely distributed RepRap model.

Juri Mattila is a postgraduate business law student from Finland. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and Business Administration from Tampere University's School of Management and is currently finalizing his Master's Thesis on the legislative effects and problems of peer-to-peer networks.

During his research he has developed a keen interest towards Bitcoin, amongst other future prospects of peer-to-peer networks. He will be exploring some of the legal aspects of Bitcoin.


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