Bitcoin 2021 welcomes a multifaceted cast of speakers who may share only one thing in common: The work that they do every day is shaping the future of Bitcoin. Bitcoin may mean different things to different people, but Bitcoin 2021’s speakers are all paving the way for the original cryptocurrency and blockchain.
Mr. Palihapitiya serves as Chairman of the Boards of Directors of Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE) and Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings, a partnership whose mission is to create an alternative path to a traditional IPO for disruptive and agile technology companies. Previously, he was a Director of Slack Technologies (NYSE: WORK). Prior to founding Social Capital in 2011, Mr. Palihapitiya served as Vice President of User Growth at Facebook, where he was responsible for overseeing Monetization Products and Facebook Platform, both of which contributed to the growth of Facebook’s user base to more than 750 million individuals worldwide. Mr. Palihapitiya was a principal at the Mayfield Fund, one of the United States’ oldest venture firms, before which he headed the instant messaging division at AOL. Mr. Palihapitiya graduated from the University of Waterloo, Canada with a degree in electrical engineering. He is an Owner and Director of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
Starting his professional skateboarding career at age 14, Hawk quickly rose to the top of the sport and helped to dramatically expand its popularity around the world by launching a national exhibition, skateboard and apparel company and eponymous video game series.
In 1999, he famously landed a "900" for the first time in competition in San Francisco, just minutes away from where Bitcoin 2020 will be held. In 2002, Hawk launched the Tony Hawk Foundation to help build safe skateparks around the country and the charity now accepts bitcoin donations.
In May 2019, he quipped on Twitter that he had “Been riding [Bitcoin] for 6 years. Haven’t bailed yet,” identifying himself as a HODLer with a penchant for igniting the Bitcoin community.
As one of the first to frequent the in-person "cypherpunk" meetings organized by Timothy May, Eric Hughes and others in the 1990s, Szabo poured himself into the topic of digital privacy, though his interests were much more wide ranging.
Beginning in the early 1990s, he developed the concept for "smart contracts" that became ubiquitous in the blockchain technology space. His proposal for a decentralized digital currency, bit gold, has been seen as laying critical groundwork for Bitcoin, including through its use of cryptographic puzzles.
His writing on countless complex subjects has been referenced by academics and historians alike, and much of it is hosted on his blog (unenumerated.blogspot.com). His 2002 essay "Shelling Out: The Origins of Money," in which he describes how using money has been embedded in the very DNA of humanity, has shaped the way many understand Bitcoin today.
Plus many more amazing speakers to be announced!
Bitcoin 2021's speaker lineup represents a dynamic mix of groundbreaking trailblazers, innovative technologists and unconventional entrepreneurs who will provide attendees with unique insight and detailed explanation during their presentations, all while adding to the event's festive atmosphere.
Please follow @TheBitcoinConf to stay up to date with our speaker announcements.