The Future of Digital Currency and Virtual Reality
The New Context Conference, an annual conference hosted by Digital Garage and Joi Ito, co-founder of Digital Garage and current director of the MIT Media Lab, will take place this year’s on July 6-7 at Toranomon Hills, Tokyo. From 2005, the conference has discussed seminal topics surrounding internet business and technology. This year’s conference will focus on two major themes: Digital Currency and Virtual Reality, and how these two upcoming technologies will change our way of conducting business -- and our way of living -- over the next 5 to 10 years. We have invited speakers from all over the world to come together and discuss, question and explore the exciting possibilities these two technologies present.
Organizer: Digital Garage, Inc.
Sponsors: Mori Building, Kakaku.com, Monex Group, Inc.
Date: July 6 (Digital Currency), July 7 (Virtual Reality) 2015
Location: Toranomon Hills Forum, Tokyo
Target Audience: Those interested in the potential of internet business and technology
Fee (both includes fees for the reception party): Two day ticket 32,000 yen/ One day ticket 18,000yen Early discount (register by Noon on June 8): Both days: 25,000yen, 1 day: 15,000yen
The most well known of all digital currencies, Bitcoin, has been drawing more attention than ever before. The range of applications this technology can achieve has expanded to not only its currency applications, but also its impact on contracts, investments and ensuring the safety of the transaction of data through IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Our conference will welcome leaders from the Bitcoin and Digital Currency communities, Director of MIT Media Lab Joichi Ito -- who recently launched the “MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative” -- as well as new members of this initiative, all digital currency leaders themselves. They will be discussing the future, technology, security, and business of Digital Currencies.
We have invited speakers from all over the world, who represent the different sectors of the Bitcoin community, including: Jerry Brito, executive director of The Coin Center, a leading non-profit research and advocacy group that is focused on public policies facing cryptocurrency technology; Brian Forde, who most recently was the Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data Innovation at the White House under the Obama administration and the current Director of Digital Currency at the MIT Media Lab. Additionally, Cory Fields and Peter Todd, both central figures in the core development of Bitcoin, will discuss the key technological and security elements of digital currencies. Other speakers include Jeremy Bonney, CEO of Coindesk, a leading digital currency news service who will discuss the state of Bitcoin. Topics for discussion will range from laws, regulations in the US, and other topics surrounding the Digital Currency business.
Expert in Risk and Compliance Management for Financial Institutions.
Session2 Laws and Regulations Affecting Digital Currencies
Martine Niejadlik brings over 20 years of experience leading risk and compliance management solutions for financial institutions and payment leaders across the Web. Most recently, Martine was the Chief Compliance Officer at Coinbase, a leading U.S. based bitcoin company. Prior to Coinbase, Martine managed risk, compliance for Boku, Inc., a San Francisco based startup company providing mobile billing solutions in 68 countries. Previously, Martine led risk management teams at PayPal, eBay and Amazon and she was also one of the lead developers of the FICO score. Martine is a founding member of the Merchant Risk Council, a leading global non-profit organization that promotes operational excellence for e-commerce.
Executive Director, Coin Center
Leader in Public Policy for the Expansion of Digital Currencies
Afternoon Session Keynote Speech Latest Developments in Regulations of Digital Currency
Jerry Brito is executive director of Coin Center, the leading non-profit research and advocacy group focused on the public policy issues facing cryptocurrency technologies such as Bitcoin. He also serves as adjunct professor of law at George Mason University. Jerry has testified several times before Congress and state legislatures about cryptocurrencies, and regularly holds briefings for and consultations with policy makers. He is the coauthor of Bitcoin: A Primer for Policymakers, as well as other scholarly work on the regulation of cryptocurrencies. His op-eds have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and elsewhere.
Bitcoin Core Developer
Expert on Bitcoin Security
Session4 Security and Bitcoin
Peter Todd is a Bitcoin Core developer and consultant known for his wide-ranging advisory and research work with multiple projects in the fields of blockchain privacy, scalability, as well as so-called "Bitcoin 2.0" applications for blockchain tech such as auditing and smart contracts. Notable projects he has contributed to and advised include DarkWallet, Mastercoin, Counterparty, Viacoin, Factom, and many others. Within the Bitcoin space Peter is known as an outspoken and frank views that are often quite critical even of projects he advises.
Running the World’s Leading Media for Digital Currencies
Session1 The State of Bitcoin
Jeremy is the CEO of CoinDesk, the leading digital currency news service. A technology enthusiast for the past few years, he has been involved in a number of web and mobile startups. He has a degree is psychology from University College London, worked for several years as a marketing consultant and enjoys boxing in his space time. He has lived in Sweden and the USA, but currently resides in London.
Executive Director, The Stellar Development Foundation Director’s Fellow, MIT Media Lab
Promotion of Digital Currency on an Open Platform
Session1 Digital Currencies and Open Platforms
Joyce is the Executive Director of Stellar.org, a nonprofit organization focused on open financial access. Stellar is a common payments platform that increases interoperability between diverse financial systems and currencies. Prior to Stellar, Joyce was a VC at Freestyle Capital as well as an entrepreneur. She was an attorney at WilmerHale and Sherman & Sterling, and was a pro bono at Sanctuary for Families representing immigrant women who were victims of domestic violence and the Innocence Project working on DNA exonerations. Joyce graduated from Cornell University at the age of 19, followed by a graduate school at both Harvard and Columbia Law School. She serves as a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab.
Developer of a GSM-Enabled, Biometrically-Protected Bitcoin Wallet
Session3 Bitcoin Wallets
Melanie is the founder and CEO of Case, a multi-sig hardware bitcoin wallet that is GSM-enabled and biometrically protected for securing digital assets. Prior to this, she received a PhD in Consumer Behavior and co-founded the instant messaging company, Digsby.
Co-Founder, Shift Payments
Developing a Debit Card for Bitcoin
Session3 Unlocking Digital Currency Payments
In 2005, Meg joined Promontory Financial Group and helped open their Tokyo office. At Promontory, Meg specialized in risk and compliance reporting and anti-money laundering programs. In 2009, Meg and Greg Kidd co-founded 3taps, a company that aggregates all the postings on the web (eg: craigslist, eBay, indeed, cars.com, apartments.com, etc). Many companies subscribe to 3taps to build products on top of the data. Padmapper and Live Lovely, for example, help people find apartments. In 2010, Meg and Greg started investing in early stage companies. The investment entity, Hard Yaka, focuses on startups in the exchange space. It currently has approximately 50 companies in its portfolio. In late 2013, Meg and Greg created a prototype for what eventually became the Shift card. They, with their co-founder, Eugene Otto, applied to YC with the prototype and completed the program in August 2014. Shift is currently in beta and plans to launch in Q1 2015.
Entrepreneur in Residence, Rakoku Holdings
World-Renowned Expert in Mobile Security
Vincenzo is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Rakoku Holdings where he focuses on Information Security and FinTech. In addition to his work at Rakoku Holdings, Vincenzo is a Partner at the Italian business incubator iStarter SpA. Vincenzo’s specialised research in Mac OS X security, smartphone exploitation, and exploit payloads has been presented at information security conferences around the world including Black Hat, Qualcomm Security Summit and Microsoft BlueHat.
Vincenzo serves as a committee member on the Black Hat Review Board and is a co-author of the “iOS Hacker’s Handbook” (Wiley, 2012). He is perhaps best known for his participation in Pwn2Own, where he co-wrote exploits for Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari that placed second in 2012. Vincenzo also collaborates with the World Economic Forum on their Cyber Resilience project.
Mario Gomez Lozada
CEO, Quoine Exchange
An Ex-Banking CTO Operating a Bitcoin Exchange
Mario has held senior executive roles (CIO, CTO) at major banking institutions. He has over 15 years of banking and IT experience. From the early 2000’s Mario was Asia Region CTO of Fixed Income, Currencies, and Commodities technology at Merrill Lynch (Bank of America Merrill Lynch) and later at Credit Suisse More recently at Credit Suisse, Mario was also the Japan CIO with oversight for all IT aspects of the Japan business, across Equities Trading, Fixed Income, Forex, and Private Banking. Mario also was head of the Fixed Income Global Development Center in Singapore, overseeing delivery of technologies to the global, multi-billion dollar business. Throughout his career in banking and IT, Mario gained considerable experience across a wide spectrum of areas including Risk Management, Pricing & Trading Systems, Exchanges, Controls & Regulations, in addition to specific business products areas. Mario holds a Bachelors and a Masters of Science Degree in Computer Science from The University of Kansas. He started his career as a developer in the nascent Internet industry and subsequently joined the Fixed Income technology group at Merrill Lynch Japan.
Angel Investor and Supporter of Multiple Bitcoin Startups
After serving as CEO of Memorydealers.com for over a decade, Roger discovered Bitcoin in early 2011. MemoryDealers became the first mainstream business to accept bitcoins as a payment, and Roger became the first person in the world to start investing in Bitcoin related startups, earning the nickname Bitcoin Jesus in the process. He also created Bitcoinstore.com, the world’s first Bitcoin accepting website with hundreds of thousands of items available for bitcoin. It helped pave the road for mainstream bitcoin adoption from traditional merchants.
He is also well known for his million dollar Bitcoin Bet, in which he publicly claimed that Bitcoin would outperform the Gold, Silver, the US stock market, and the US dollar by more than one hundred times over the next two years. In reality, it took two years and two months, so true to his word, he donated more than one million dollars worth of bitcoin to the Foundation for Economic Education. His current investments include Blockchain.info, Bitpay.com, Kraken.com, Luxstack.com, Shapeshift.io, Purse.io and many more.
Director of Digital Currency, MIT Media Lab
From White House Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data Innovation to Director of Digital Currency at the MIT Media Lab
Morning Session Keynote Speech What is Digital Currency?
Brian Forde has spent more than a decade at the nexus of technology, entrepreneurship, and public policy. He is currently the Director of Digital Currency at the MIT Media Lab where he leads efforts to mainstream digital currencies like Bitcoin through research, and incubation of high-impact applications of the emerging technology. Most recently he was the Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data Innovation at the White House where he spearheaded efforts to leverage emerging technologies to address the President’s most critical national priorities. Prior to his work at the White House, Brian founded one of the largest phone companies in Nicaragua after serving as a business and technology volunteer in the Peace Corps. In recognition of his work, Brian was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Founder/CEO, bitFlyer, Inc. Representative Director, Japan Authority of Digital Assets (JADA)
An Ex-Trader Bringing Bitcoin to Japan
Yuzo graduated from The University of Tokyo in 2001 with a Masters of Engineering. Prior to bitFlyer, Yuzo worked as an Equities Derivatives and Convertible Bonds Trader at Goldman Sachs, focusing on market making for institutional investors as well as principal trading, and financing for corporations. In January 2014, Yuzo founded bitFlyer. With investments from corporations such as Recruit and GMO, bitFlyer has become Japan's largest Bitcoin company. Using some of the world's most advanced technical skills to create services including remittance, settlement, points exchange, and Bitcoin crowdfunding, bitFlyer offers more than just a Bitcoin marketplace, and aims to become the leading comprehensive Bitcoin platform in Asia.
Bitcoin Evangelist, Blogger Director, Japan Digital Money Association
One of Japan’s Foremost Thought Leaders in Bitcoin
Tetsuyuki Oishi has experience working in foreign consulting firms, consulting, and recruiting through social media sites. Currently, Tetsuyuki is widely recognized through blogging, writing over 20 pieces, connecting with net news media, and has over 17,000 followers on Twitter among other forms of social media. Since 2003, he has worked full time to spread Bitcoin and blockchain technology, primarily via blogging, tweeting, and holding various events regarding the possibilities and concerns related to Bitcoin, Blockchain and its respective applications, in hopes to educate the populace on how understand this new technology. In particular, he introduced Etherum to the Japanese market. His works include: “How does Bitcoin Work,” and “What is Bitcoin? The most useful Bitcoin Book.” As the director to the Japan Digital Money Association, he holds monthly events geared towards Bitcoin startups, with the aim of nurturing entrepreneurs, engineers and eventually creating an investor ecosystem. Tetsuyuki is an advisor to over six Bitcoin startups, offering support as a investor, funder and the localisation.
Founder, So Law Office
One of Japan’s Leading Legal Minds Tackling Digital Currencies
So Saito is a founder of So Law Office. He is an attorney-at-law admitted in Japan and NY, and specialized in finance law, IT law and corporation law for 16 years. He started his career in Nishimura & Asahi, the largest law firm in Japan, on 1999 and specialized securitization, credit derivatives, Basel capital finance, funds, Islamic finance, and construction project finance. Since the subprime crisis, he has widened his practice to litigation and international arbitration, including disputes on financial products and disputes on construction projects. He also represents IT companies and startup companies. From 2013, he had a chance to work on a digital currency (such as Bitcoin) related case. After MtGox’s bankruptcy, he helped the government to discuss regulation on Bitcoin, helped establishment JADA, and helped a support company of MtGox. He represents Japanese and foreign digital currency companies as well as FinTech companies. He also treats compliance matters on funds, servicers, and other finance or IT related companies. He started his own firm from April 2015. He serves a director of servicer, a compliance officer of a fund company, a legal advisor to Japan Authority of Digital Asset and a lecturer, the MBA in International Accounting & Finance at the Chuo Graduate School of Accounting. He is a graduate of the University of Tokyo (LLB, 1997) and the New York University, School of Law (LLM, 2005)
Bitcoin Core Developer
Open Source Evangelist for MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative
Cory is a Bitcoin Core developer who works to maintain and improve development and deployment workflows. His work typically revolves around build procedures and long-term code-base maintainability. For the Bitcoin Core project, he focuses on the build-system, continuous integration, automated regression testing, and the deterministic release process. Cory is an outspoken proponent of Free and open-source software with code contributions to dozens of projects. He is currently employed by the MIT Media Lab as developer as part of their Digital Currency Initiative. Prior to that he was a developer for the Bitcoin Foundation. Before his work on Bitcoin, Cory served on the board of the XBMC Foundation while working as a lead developer and project manager for the XBMC Media Center software (now called Kodi), where he helped to port the software to several new operating systems and hardware architectures.
The exciting possibilities of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have grown exponentially with the advancement of computing, display and sensor technologies. The conference will discuss such trends by analyzing them through the lens of hardware, content and services. One of the most well known leaders of the VR community will announce their latest research conducted in the United States, introducing inexpensive VR hardware that could be used on smartphones and everyday gadgets and discussing the new business opportunities surrounding VR.
Scott Fisher, Associate Dean of Research at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, founding Chair of its Interactive Media division, known also for his VR work at NASA will discuss the future of VR. Daito Manabe, a member of Rhizomatiks, praised for his recent performance at SXSW, will discuss the behind-the-scenes production which combines the real and the virtual. Others speakers include David Smith, co-founder CEO of Wearlity Corporation, leaders of development today’s highest-quality lens technology, and Hiroshi Mukawa, director of “Smart Eyeglass” production at Sony, and will include demonstrations of different VR and AR hardware.
Attracted Wide Attention for His Work at SXSW 2015
Afternoon Session Keynote Speech Behind the Scenes of Digital Performances / Panel Discussion
Daito Manabe reinterprets a familiar phenomenon or topic through a different viewpoint and combines them into his work. He focuses on the intrinsic fun that he can find while observing carefully the phenomenon, body, programming and computer itself, instead of chasing after rich expressions with high resolution or realistic sensation.
Associate Dean of Research, at USC School of Cinematic Arts
Expert in Virtual Reality and Interactive Design
Scott Fisher is Associate Dean of Research at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and founding Chair of its Interactive Media Division. He oversees SCA’s research activities and organized research units that include the Immersive Lab, the Game Innovation Lab, the Mobile and Environmental Media Lab, USC’s Games Institute, and others. Fisher is an interaction designer whose work focuses primarily on mobile media, interactive environments and technologies of presence. He is well known for his pioneering work in the field of Virtual Reality at NASA. A graduate of MIT's Architecture Machine Group (now Media Lab), he has taught at MIT, UCLA, UCSD, and Keio University in Japan.
Director, Living Mobile Group, MIT Media Lab
Interactive Computer Interface Researcher
Chris Schmandt received the BS and MS degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979 and 1980. He has spent the next 35 years building multimodal and multimedia interactive computer interfaces, employing speech, graphics, vision, and touch; much of this work was pioneering. He helped found the Media Laboratory in 1985. He currently directs the Media Lab’s Living Mobile research group, which explores technology which is worn or carried into daily life.
PhD Researcher, MIT Media Lab
Researching the Parallel Worlds of the Virtual and the Real.
Misha Sra is a PhD researcher at the MIT Media Lab. She is also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellow and part of the Advancing Wellbeing Initiative at the Media Lab. For the last two years she has been a member of an organizing team that runs an Annual Design and Innovation Workshop in India that brings designers and engineers together for solving locally relevant problems. Her research explores how to use the physical world for creating elaborate and complex parallel worlds, alternative existences mapped so well to the current one that they become indistinguishable from reality. Additionally, her work investigates ways of sharing embodied experiences that go beyond capturing moments frozen in time and space. In her free time, she creates miniature worlds in photos, experiments with alternative baking, immerses herself in video games, and watches way too much anime.
Co-founder and CEO, Wearality
Founder of a Leading Company in the AR/VR Field
David A. Smith is co-founder CEO of Wearality Corporation, an AR/VR industry leader responsible for developing today’s highest-quality lens technology and robust software solutions. As a computer scientist with more than 20 years of technological entrepreneurship, Smith envisioned that threads in AR/BR devices would skyrocket and new developments in this industry held the power to revolutionize the way we experience our world. He also currently works for aerospace and defense leader Lockheed Martin on the Virtual World Framework (VWF), which connects robust 3D immersive entities with other virtual worlds, content and users through web browsers.
Creative Director, WEVR
Utilizing Years of Experience in the TV and Movie Industries for VR Design and Production
Luis Blackaller has a multidisciplinary background that covers aspects of entertainment, science, design, art and visual storytelling. He earned a BS with honors as a mathematician in the UNAM and has been trained as an animator in the Vancouver Film School. With more than 10 years of experience in the Mexican film and television industry, Luis has worked as a designer, art director, motion graphics artist and storyboard artist among academy award winners in films like Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel. In 2008, Luis earned a MS from the MIT Media Lab under the mentorship of John Maeda, where he explored online creative social systems and their relationship with artistic expression and communication.
After graduating from MIT, Luis worked as a Producer and Creative Director for the Next Billion Network at the MIT Media Lab, where he designed and supervised the execution of alternative strategies of communication and promotion of research, directing a team of documentary videographers and web developers for more than a year.
He can recently be found in Venice, California, where he holds the Creative Director position in a Virtual Reality Design and Production studio called WEVR.
Sony Corporation, DSBG SG Business Dept.
Leads development of a transparent lens eyewear “SmartEyeglass" at Sony
After graduating from the Kyoto University Faculty of Engineering in 1987, Hiroshi Mukawa began his career at Sony with the goal to “create the future via technology.” Mr. Mukawa currently leads the SmartEyeglass Project at Sony. He has 12 years of experience as a mechanical engineer in the research and development of optical disks to product design, and took part in commercialising the MiniDisc system, responsible for the development of the mechanical deck design. In 1992, he studied abroad at Stanford University, receiving a masters in optics in one year. In 1999, Mr. Mukawa received Sony’s highest internal award in the corporate strategy department. He was appointed project leader of AR Eyeware devices in 2004, and was awarded the Distinguished Paper Award in 2008, the same year he received his GMBA at Globis Graduate School, and was awarded the Sony MVP award, and the Globis Alumni Award the following year in 2008. In 2010, Mr. Mukawa became responsible for the commercialization, business strategy, and promotion of the technology he developed. In 2012, he implemented the world’s first subtitle screening (for movies) in North America. In addition, he has over 300 registered patented products. Currently Mr. Mukawa leads the manufacturing and development of Eyeware technology.
Chief Creative Officer, AKQA
World Class Creator in the Digital Field
Rei is Chief Creative Officer & VP of AKQA, responsible for delivering creative solutions for the agency’s clients such as Audi, Nike, Verizon and many others. Since he arrived in 2005 at the agency, his presence has been instrumental in bringing AKQA the highest recognitions. In 2012, Rei was inducted into “The Hall of Achievement” by the American Advertising Federation, honouring the top young talent of the industry; additionally has be named in Creativity Magazine’s annual “Creativity 50” as well as “the Top 25 Most Creative People in Advertising” in Forbes Magazine.
Rei is a frequent speaker at numerous conferences such as Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, SXSW and Spikes Asia to name a few. His writings and opinions have been widely published in publications like Fast Company, Wired and Contagious Magazine, making him a thought leader and a prominent voice in the industry.
Principal Vision Engineer, Intuitive Surgical Principal at Fakespace Labs
Developing intuitive hardware and software in the VR community
Ian McDowall is a Principal Vision Engineer at Intuitive Surgical and a Principal at Fakespace Labs. Ian got his start in Silicon Valley in the Virtual Environment Workstation Project (VIEW Lab) at NASA Ames working with early head mounted displays, 3D trackers, and data gloves. Fakespace Labs evolved from the VIEW lab and Ian had the pleasure of working with Mark Bolas and others to create various virtual reality systems including the Boom (a high resolution head coupled display), Molly (stereo camera platform), immersive workbench (a head tracked workspace), Rave (a re-configurable stereo display for supercomputers), and others. Ian developed the very immersive Wide5 head mounted display in collaboration with Mark at USC. Other university collaborations on light fields created a light field display shown at Siggraph, and unique lighting for microscopes. At Intuitive Surgical, Ian develops endoscopic stereo camera systems. He recently developed an 8mm chip-on-tip system for Xi, Intuitive’s latest surgical robot. Ian led the technical development of the Firefly fluorescence imaging system at Intuitive. He is interested in the intersection of virtual reality and surgery - how can these new technologies empower surgeons and improve patient outcomes?
Professor, University of Tokyo
A Pioneer of Virtual Reality Research
Professor at the University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology. He was born in Kanagawa, in 1954. He graduated from the University of Tokyo, School of Engineering in 1977, and received a PhD. degree in 1982. Since then, he has been in various positions such as Associate Professor and Professor at the University of Tokyo. He also served as a president of Virtual Reality Society of Japan. His research interests cover Systems Engineering, Human Interface and Virtual Reality. He is known as a pioneer of Japanese Virtual Reality research. He served as a project leader of many national R&D projects such as “Digital Museum”, “Digital Public Art” and “Virtual Museum”. He was awarded with various prizes such as the Tokyo Techno-Forum Gold Medal Prize, Okawa Publishing Prize etc. He wrote many books such as “Virtual Reality” (Sangyo-Tosho) and “Between Man and Machine” (Iwanami-Shoten).