The former Wall Street executive, frequent guest on the “Bad Crypto” podcast and YouTube personality with more than 70,000 subscribers, said he is still finalizing details of the event but that it would be called “Unconfiscatable” and held in Las Vegas around the end of January.
Vays predicts bitcoin will be the only long-term cryptocurrency of any viability.
Vays mentioned those plans while speaking Friday at another conference, the inaugural Voice of Blockchain in Chicago.
Although Voice of Blockchain looks broadly at cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, Unconfiscatable will focus on the world’s first digital currency, which still is No. 1 in market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap.
Vays said the idea for the conference came from his own experience of discovering bitcoin while working on Wall Street and watching the 2012–2013 Cypriot financial crisis.
“It was the Cyprus incident that convinced me,” Vays recalled. “Their banking system just collapsed. That’s when I started looking around and thinking, ‘I need to find a place I can put my money that’s unconfiscatable.’”
Vays predicted bitcoin would be the only long-term cryptocurrency of any viability, lambasting “proof-of-stake” altcoins, which he dismissed as not being run on true blockchains.
“This is where a bunch of people got together and the only use case they’ve found so far is to launch ICOs to separate unqualified investors from their money for lottery tickets that they don’t understand,” he said. “Bitcoin doesn’t count (as an altcoin), it competes with U.S. dollars, euros, gold on a global scale as an actual currency.”
The Upside of ICOs
Not everyone agrees. In other sessions at Voice of Blockchain, speakers argued that ICOs have exposed fundamental weaknesses in traditional funding models that would have prevented new businesses from being developed.
“ICOs have given exposure to very specific projects that were not meant for a typical equity fundraise,” said Saurabh Sharma, a partner at Chicago-based venture firm Jump Capital. “It has given confidence to that community.”
Pawneet Abramowski, principal at a New York-based regulation and compliance consultancy PARC Solutions, agreed.
“What’s worked is that (ICOs) have allowed for innovation,” she said. “It’s allowed for people who have different ideas, unique ideas, to have a forum to showcase their ideas and present that and get the investment. It’s fostered a culture of progress.”
Vays said he’s only come across “one or two” ICOs that he considers legitimate, and said the future will see greater regulation for bitcoin, which will ultimately provide greater security and protection for investors than what altcoins offer.
“All of these ICOs, I think they’re the dot-coms of the 90s with fancy websites, no customers, no clients,” he said. “The only thing relevant in this space is only bitcoin.”