Our London Correspondent Nick Ayton’s London Roundup:  Blockchain major must-see events, today’s most sexy ICOs and Irishman discovering consensus. TankCoin launched by MoD and Satoshi spotted again.

Last week alone London hosted both Blockchain Week and Blockchain Expo that filled conference halls across the fintech capital of Europe.

London as the beating heart of fintech and Blockchain continues to surprise us as the fintech gods bless our stage and that was just Chris Skinner whose rockstar status is a big draw...

Blockchain Week, time to loosen up!

At Blockchain Week there was Bobby Lee of BTCC, Eddy Travia, a key investor, Kumar Gaurav who managed to be in two places at once with my buddy Dan Hughes, founder at Radix, who is about to unleash a new Blockchain version 2.0. on the world.

Among a packed house of Blockchain Expo London 2017 headliners, there was Stephan Tual of Ethereum and Blockchain entrepreneurs from ChainThat, Jaax, ChainVine, BlockVerify and Cashaa amongst many others. The addition on IoT to Blockchain Expo was a stroke of genius by Ian Johnson, the founder and owner of the show.

It was a strange contrast, as many of the presenters at Blockchain Week seemed to be mostly smart executives at odds with the look and feel of the Blockchain community.  

Come on people time to loosen up, we don’t want the Blockchain industry to get a bad reputation as ‘men in suits.’

TankCoin for tank drivers revealed by MoD

Cointelegraph caught up with Brigadier Honkey de Honk who is in charge of the special crypto warfare project in Ministry of Defence’s crypto-secret-squirrel department.

A distant relative of Lord Lovett the legendary WWII Colonel of D-Day Sword beach fame, he has recently taken over the project to raise more money for defending the nation.

Cointelegraph: So Brigadier, tell us about TankCoin.

Honkey de Honk: Well I can’t tell you anything at all, it’s all rather Top Secret, old man, you know how it is….

Cointelegraph: Oh that’s awkward. So you can’t tell me anything then.

Honkey de Honk: “What I can tell you is with the government cutbacks we have had to get creative in how we fund paying for our tank stuff. Our idea is to reward our tank drivers for firing accuracy. They get ‘TankCoins’ when they hit the target and get them taken away when they miss.”

“They also earn bonus coins of they keep the tank really clean and get back in time for tea.”

Oh, thanks, Brigadier de Honk for sharing. Sounds like a case of Mad Dogs and Englishmen to me…

Irishman accidentally invents new Consensus model

Down at O’Reilly’s the famous Irish bar in Leadenhall Market in the center of London’s Insurance District, our London Correspondent Nick Ayton bumped into Patrick O’Dooley who was trying to order another pint in a packed bar, which was at least six deep.  

It was very loud and hot.

Cointelegraph: How long have you been waiting to buy another beer..?

Patrick: Bloody ages. People were jumping in front of me and getting served before me and the barman was ignoring me.

Cointelegraph:  So what did you do next then Paddy?

Patrick: Well I was pondering how to get everyone to agree it is my turn to be served next. And it came to me.

Cointelegraph: What did you do?

Patrick: I decided to cut off my left ear like Van Gough and held it up in the air for everyone to see. I then shouted it was my turn to be served and nobody objected.

Paddy’s shirt was now completely covered in blood.

Patrick: I guess that is one way to get consensus in a busy bar that it is your turn to be served next…

Cointelegraph: Paddy can I buy you a beer?

Patrick: What’s that you said?…

Maybe Paddy has invented a new consensus model we could call  “Proof of Hearing” or lack of it…

Satoshi spotted again eating Chelsea Bun

It will come as no surprise that Satoshi would not be able to resist attending Blockchain Week and Blockchain Expo and try not to reveal himself.

On day one at Blockchain Expo at Olympia in West Kensington, I found Vittalark Buttering crouching behind a food-bar near the Slice Café in the main auditorium.   It was clear he was stalking someone…

Cointelegraph: So what are you doing here Vittalark?

Vittalark Buttering: I knew he would turn up.

“Look over there it is Satoshi, he is by the ‘Chelsea buns’ ordering a coffee. Look he is getting out a handful of Bitcoins ready to pay...”

Cointelegraph: How do you know it’s him Vittalark?

Vittalark Buttering: I have seen him several times in London and he loves food.  Shall we go and say hello?

Then he started waving:

“Hey Satoshi its Vittalark, wait, don’t leave, I need to talk to you!”

And then he was gone, with Vittalark in hot pursuit.

Good stuff Vittalark glad to see you are vigilant, keep up the good work…

Stream of new ICOs

With Chronobank.io ICO under way having already raised more than $3 mln, there are 18 days left to run we await a stream of new ICOs coming in the next few weeks. Although success is not guaranteed, often with the early hype cycle and then nothing much, entrepreneurs are starting to learn how to attract investors and keep the story building.

ICO’s are moving away from the days where entrepreneurs can fund an idea or concept with nothing to show but a few slides and a fancy website. Investors are looking for evidence and want to see what has been built to understand and touch the concept.

Analysis of recent ICOs indicates the most successful ones are those that have built a working Blockchain solution or it’s components and has prototypes running involving real customers and many client conversations, with a strong advisory team around the founders.

As many Blockchain entrepreneurs have an academic background with others parachuting out of corporate life, neither can show experience of running a business, let alone getting a start-up off the ground the toughest of all businesses activities. Early investors were burned but not anymore.

With an increasing choice of potential investments in Blockchain, the behaviors of investors are maturing fast and the poorly thought through rushed ICO are penalized for being just that.

There is Cosmos starting on Monday launching a new distributed ledger technology issuing 20,000 atoms. Melon Project, an open source protocol for asset management starting 15th Feb, and Internet of Coins, a new currency eco-system planned for March 21st.

ICOs are seen as an effective source of crowd sale funding, also known as crypto-funding.

The queue is getting longer as we await Bitsquare, a Bitcoin Exchange, Rootstock, a Smart Contract platform, EtherEx Crypto-Exchange, Gnosis Ethereum Predictive Markets, FileCoin IFPS fileFStorage and many others. We will see many new Blockchain entrants coming to market in 2017.

Of course, the star of recent ICOs is the Golem project, a worldwide Super Computer which Market Cap has just passed $30 mln and seems to be accelerating with an ample supply of coins or golem network tokens available.