2021 has been a transformative year for Bitcoin and blockchain technology as a whole. It was a year marked by many new milestones. We have seen the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender in the history of the world.
We had the launch of the first Bitcoin Futures ETF to trade in the United States. We also finally experienced the activation of Taproot, the long-awaited soft-fork of Bitcoin, focused on improving network privacy and security.
Throughout the semester, members of the MIT Bitcoin community had many opportunities to learn from each other about the merits and challenges of blockchain, discuss the latest trends in the field, and envision the future. digital currency.
In our meetings this year, we covered everything from cryptographic primitives and data structures (VDFs, Vector Commitments, Verkle Trees), to scalability (Lightning and other sidechains, Rollups, etc.), to platforms and crowdfunding mechanisms (Gitcoin, Quadratic Vote). As always, we held introductory sessions on crypto primers and specific cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) at the start of the semester, helping to onboard new digital natives interested in learning more about the unique potential of news. decentralized technologies.
The MIT Bitcoin Club is a student-run organization open to all enthusiasts. Our mission is to increase awareness of cryptocurrency, enhance its use cases, and provide an open forum where blockchain-related ideas, projects, programs, and businesses can be studied, discussed, and developed. With this goal in mind, the club has held the MIT Bitcoin Expo every year since 2014, a two-day conference focused on all things blockchain.
This year, we are excited to announce that the 9th Annual MIT Bitcoin Expo will be held in person at MIT on May 7-8.
The theme for Expo 2022 will be Breaking Through.
First, Bitcoin adoption is breaking through many historical barriers and bringing the crypto world into the mainstream. Major financial institutions, such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, have established crypto offices for their private clients. Two Bitcoin Futures ETFs have already been launched in October. El Salvador has made Bitcoin legal tender.
Zimbabwe is considering following suit. Twitter has integrated Bitcoin Lightning payments into its platform. Coinbase, the largest US cryptocurrency exchange, has gone public. The new mayor of New York has pledged to receive his first three paychecks in bitcoins. The City of Miami has announced a “Bitcoin yield” for citizens who stake its cryptocurrency.
Second, blockchains are making significant progress and established projects are breaking through significant technology barriers. More importantly, Taproot, the first protocol upgrade to go live on Bitcoin since Segregated Witness (SegWit) in 2017, was activated on Sunday, November 14 at block 709,632.
This upgrade, which will improve privacy, scalability, and security on the network, allows simple and complex multisig and Lightning Network transactions to be handled the same way on the network.
Third, the blockchain space has finally engaged in a heated and very consequential debate with lawmakers and policymakers around the world, paving the way for possible regulatory breakthroughs in how cryptocurrencies are understood in the world. course of the next few months. It will be very interesting to see how the pendulum swings and what important decisions are made in the end, including by SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, a very familiar face on the MIT campus.
Ultimately, we believe Breaking Through encapsulates Bitcoin’s continued penetration into the technological and economic zeitgeist of our time, as well as the motivations it has inspired across the entire blockchain ecosystem. today.
Whether you’re new to the space or have been a part of it since the beginning, we want to take this opportunity to welcome everyone across the globe to join us.
In the meantime, if you want to stay tuned for what’s happening ahead of Expo, follow us on Twitter or visit our website.
See you soon, I hope,
– MIT Bitcoin Expo Committee
Tickets are available here.
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