Cats and dogs can be friends!

A couple of weeks back, I had the pleasure of making a number of new friends and acquaintances while I was in Austin, Texas for the OSCON 2016 Open Source Conference.

I will do another blog post about OSCON more generally, but here I focus on the open source blockchain Meetup.

NB: If anybody has further photos or notes to add, please let me know, and I will update this blog post.


Capital Factory were good enough to donate meeting space for about 30-40 attendees for the Open Source Blockchain Meetup which I organized to bring together blockchainers of all stripes, both Austin-local and out-of-towners who were at OSCON.    We also had several people who drove to Austin specifically for the event, which was very humbling.

I certainly enjoyed the evening immensely, and I hope that everybody else did too!

The idea was simply to bring together people from across all of the many open source blockchain and decentralized ledger technology projects, to get some common understanding of what we are all working on, and to make some personal connections and friendships.

I think that these technologies have the potential to have as large an impact as the Internet, or Linux, and that we will all have a lot more in the way of common goals than we will have differences.    It is a big pool and there is more than enough room for us all to swim in it 🙂

We started with Brian Deery of Factom, who talked briefly about Bitcoin, though most people present were already familiar with the granddaddy of blockchain technologies 🙂



I then gave a quick introduction to Ethereum.   Slides below.   No photo of my ugly mug available, I am afraid!

I was delighted that Christopher Ferris, who is the Chair of the Hyperledger Steering Committee was able to join us to talk about “What is Hyperledger?”     That was a very last-minute.  He was in town for OSCON, but it looked like he wouldn’t be able to make the meeting, but his travel plans changed last minute, so he was able to join us.


We also had Renat Khasanshyn whose company Altoros, has been doing much of the early presentation material for Hyperledger, along with building sample applications.

… and Bishop Brock, of IBM Research, who is focussed on blockchain on Mainframes.   Yes, blockchain on mainframes.   I bet they get some decent transaction throughput!   There were some other local IBM-ers too.


Brian Deery spoke again on the topic of Factom, and what they are building there.

Pete Harris, of Lighthouse Partners spoke about a new Austin Blockchain for Business Meetup which he is just starting up.    Pete is a great networker and organizer.   I look forward to seeing all of the blockchain businesses which will come out of Austin in the coming years.

And then we mingled until 9pm, when our time at Capital Factory was up, but many more of us continued to talk for a few more hours around the fine drinking establishments of Austin.


Scott Travis (below) contacted me after the Meetup and said … “That was my first meetup to attend, brought me out of my coding cave to meet some fellow Ethereum enthusiasts.”


I think there were other first-timers there too.    I think that Meetups are fantastic.   Talking to other people with similar interests is so helpful.    We’re all human, and face-to-face interactions are unbeatable.

Hector Torres was looking for collaborators for healthcare use-cases on the blockchain, and invited people to contact him at


I also got to meet Niran Babalola of ConsenSys and Dustin Byington, of Satoshi Talent and SmartContract Exchange Inc, formerly at Tendermint.    And many others whose names I have sadly forgotten.   That’s what the beers after the meeting did to me 🙂

Getting out from behind our keyboards is very important, and I’m glad that I got the opportunity to meet you all down in Austin.    Best wishes!


Thanks to Paul Snow, of the Austin Bitcoin Meetup, Niran Babalolo of the Austin Ethereum Meetup, Mark Morris of the Austin Blockchain Meetup for helping to gather attendees!

3 thoughts on “Cats and dogs can be friends!

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