Microsoft Hosts bitcoinless Bitcoin 2.0 Event for 'Social Good' (Op-Ed)

In another splash into the Bitcoin space for Microsoft, the tech giant's Civic Innovation team organized a Bitcoin event in New York earlier this week. Co-organized by MIT Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative – which currently funds Bitcoin Core development - the evening's headliners at the newly opened LMHQ event space in lower Manhattan explored Bitcoin's potential for “social good.” With one topic conspicuously absent: bitcoin.


The event was hosted by John Paul Farmer, Director of Technology & Civic Innovation at Microsoft. Outlining his role at the tech company, Farmer explained that his Civic Innovation team is tasked to solve big, real-world problems in society, utilizing technological innovation.

As Farmer put it:

“We're here to work on the really hard problems. The hard social problems. And to figure out what role technology can play in helping to address them.”

From that perspective, Farmer is interested in exploring the possibilities of Bitcoin and blockchain technology, he told the attendees at the LMHQ. The Microsoft Director and former senior advisor for innovation in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy explained that the purpose of the session was to see how blockchain technology can be used in new and creative ways.

Posting the questions of the evening, Farmer said:

“What can be done to use the blockchain for social good? What impact can people have when they use this new technology in new and creative ways?”

John Paul Farmer, Director of Technology & Civic Innovation at Microsoft


Although officially a guest speaker, it was clear that head of MIT Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative and former White House colleague of Farmer, Brian Forde, was really the co-host of th