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Israeli Boston Meetup Look-back Reflections

In March of 2022, the innovation and economic and attaché with the Consulate General of Israel to New England located in Boston was referred to the BBA by Bill Callahan with Blockchain Insurance Group as a potential partner. With a shared vision to build bridges between the tech community in Boston and the tech community in Israeli, we began to collaborate. Last week, we completed a first step by convening a small, private event to see if we could bring interested parties together.

The meeting featured a distinguished panel sharing stories, strategies, tactics, and tools in the battle against the use of digital currencies to finance illicit activities. The panel also discussed wider solutions around the automation of regulatory compliance while maintain privacy, notably the use of Zero-Knowledge Proofs by

Due to the success of this event, plans are now underway for a public event in Boston in late Spring timed to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Israel’s Independence. The hope is to feature a broader application of blockchain technologies across industries such as insurance, supply chain, biotech, pharma, climate, and oceans.

Looking back at the event, we thought the BBA Community might like to hear reflections from a couple attendees.

From Karen M. Knox, Senior Advisor, NFP

Digital Assets & Infrastructure — International — Risk & Benefits Solutions

  1. What did you most like about the event?

The small group and informal setting led to genuine conversation; I would like to see more of this in 2023. The esteemed panelists shared real insights, challenges, and solutions around the use of blockchain technology in a way that either a newbie or an experienced professional could appreciate.

  1. What was your most compelling take-away from the panel?

One of the panelists offered insight into the security and privacy conversation and how it has moved from the airport to currency over the last twenty plus years. It summarized well how our challenges with security and privacy have evolved. We see the demand for greater security over our assets coupled with the demand for greater privacy, which had been sacrificed for the sake of security. How can governments and institutions improve security to its citizens and customers while also empowering individuals with control and increased privacy over their own assets?

  1. What are your thoughts on the direction the industry needs to take?

The industry should focus on the practical solutions that can be readily adopted by institutions and individuals, while continuing to encourage innovation. The more the industry supports thoughtful adoption instead of quick and splashy implementation, the better the outcomes. Within the blockchain community, I would like us to walk away from industry events and discussions with ideas and actionable items.

From Vijay R. Kesavan

Prudential International Insurance

Global Technology – VP Digital Solutions

  1. What did you most like about the event?

Very diverse and enriching discussion on risks, regulatory response across the globe and the future of digital assets. The rapidly evolving technology and political landscape around digital assets will determine the future of financial service innovation & promote financial inclusion / financial equity.

  1. What was your most compelling take-away from the panel?

Broadly, the global regulatory response to prevent money laundering and funding for terrorism is very encouraging and will accelerate adoption of digital assets. From the insurance industry specific standpoint, I was impressed to learn about the Sealance efforts to embed controls like compliance and privacy on-chain to ensure consistent and efficient enforcement of policies while protecting privacy.

  1. What are your thoughts on the direction the industry needs to take?

Beyond governance, there are several friction points, e.g., cross-border funds transfer, benefits administration for a globally mobile workforce, etc., and inefficiencies e.g., delays in processing claims and processing/storage of data for reconciling multiple versions of transactions across entities. Leveraging blockchain and related technologies, these systemic issues can be transformed into seamless & efficient consumer experiences which can then be scaled to promote financial inclusion & equity.

(Notably, these thoughts were shared by two attendees who are also working on a future BBA event focused on insurance-related applications of blockchain. Thank you, Karen & Vijay.)

In conclusion, the BBA congratulates Ambassador Meron Reuben with the Consulate General of Israel to New England for a successful event. Kudos especially to Eli Levin, Innovation and Economic Attaché and Mimi Almeida, BBA Strategic Event Producer.

See below for more photos, reflections, and attendees comments. Reactions to and Reposts of these updates would be most welcome.


Welcome Five New Corporate Members!

Please welcome five new corporate members to the BBA community. If there are any business opportunities or introductions you might be able to facilitate, we know these companies would be thrilled by the community support. Thanks!

Elliptic – AML/KYC Compliance – Elliptic provides blockchain AML analytics for crypto-asset compliance, enabling compliance teams to manage risk across crypto assets and fulfil regulations.

Contact: Joshua Weiss, Enterprise SE

Sarson Funds – DeFi – A digital asset investment ecosystem for financial advisors and investors, offering transparent products and cryptocurrency education.

Contact: Jahon Jamali, CMO

The Brennan Group – Legislative services – A lobbying and government affairs consulting firm based in Boston, MA. Employees of TBG provide proactive government relations representation to a broad and diverse base of clients, including many financial institutions.

Contact: Colleen Fitzgerald, Director of Client Accounts and Public Policy

True Tickets – Ticketing Startup – A secure, contactless digital ticketing service with 3rd party verifiable chain of custody using blockchain.

Contact: Matt Zarracina, CEO

9th Gear – DeFi Startup – 9th Gear powers instant settlement – starting with foreign exchange (FX). FX markets are plagued by antiquated systems and technology. 9th Gear solves this problem with distributed ledger technology and a patent-pending engine that provides transparency, reduced risk and lower cost to participants.

Contact: Maryann Morrow, CEO

Massachusetts Legislator's Toolkit

Boston Blockchain Association Releases Massachusetts Legislator’s Toolkit

The Boston Blockchain Association (BBA) has partnered with the Chamber of Digital Commerce, the world’s leading trade association for the digital asset and blockchain industry, to release a Massachusetts Edition of the Legislator’s Toolkit for Blockchain Technology, to guide Massachusetts lawmakers in creating a favorable regulatory environment for the Commonwealth.

[Click here to download the Massachusetts Legislator’s Toolkit.]

In our mission to build Massachusetts into a global hub for blockchain technology, we make five legislative recommendations in this Toolkit:

  1. To establish a State Blockchain Working Group. Building upon the vision set forth in SB 200 and HB 126, we recommend establishing a state blockchain working group of 10 to 20 members with a diversity of backgrounds including academia, government, law, cryptocurrency, business/entrepreneurship, and underrepresented communities, to build out the blockchain focused ecosystems across the Commonwealth so that Massachusetts can become a leader in this emerging technology.
  2. To create a legal/regulatory “sandbox” for blockchain projects. We encourage investment, entrepreneurship, and innovation in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries within a clearly defined “safe harbor” framework. This framework will allow blockchain projects to be developed for a limited time (say, three years) without falling under securities regulation. At the end of this safe harbor period, projects will be evaluated and appropriate regulations applied.
  3. To clearly define virtual currencies. Following the lead of other states, we recommend modifying the state’s Uniform Commercial Code defining virtual currency (see Texas HB 4474) as digital representations of value that function as a medium of exchange, unit of account, and/or store of value, often secured using blockchain technology.
  4. To standardize tax obligations. Currently digital currencies are taxed as capital gains at every transaction, making them impractical to use for everyday purchases. We recommend removing these tax obligations, allowing digital currencies to function more like traditional currencies when they are used in that manner, yet still functioning like securities when intended for investment purposes. (You shouldn’t pay capital gains tax when you buy a cup of coffee with bitcoin.)
  5. To develop a blockchain “pilot project.” We recommend investment in a blockchain project that will benefit the Commonwealth. Potential blockchain projects include municipal bonds to raise funds while improving civic engagement, an identity management system to provide citizens access to government services, an innovation center hub to support blockchain development, a crypto savings solution for the unbanked and underbanked, and improving the security and anonymity of blockchain based voting.

The BBA wishes to extend its thanks to Evan Karnoupakis, who led the development of the Massachusetts Toolkit. Evan learned about the Legislator’s Toolkit when researching Blockchain Success Stories, the book he co-authored with BBA Board Member John Hargrave. He envisioned the BBA supporting the document in a manner similar to the Texas Blockchain Council (TBC), who had created a Texas version of the Toolkit.

Evan reached out to TBC Board Chair Natalie Smolenski, who connected Evan with TBC President and Founder Lee Bratcher. Lee shared his insights on co-developing the Texas Edition with the Chamber.  Collectively, these organizations are all working to grow the blockchain ecosystem, making the pie bigger not only for their respective states, but also for the country and industry as a whole.

Massachusetts currently has blockchain legislation in process: Senate Bill 200 and House Bill 126 to establish commissions to study the technology and foster its proliferation, and House Bill 3763 to implement a blockchain-based voting pilot.

With our new Toolkit, we hope that legislators will see these proposals (and many more like them) into law.

Blockchain technology

Boston Blockchain Events Week of March 9, 2020

Boston Blockchain Week started this past weekend and will be ongoing all week and it’s going to be an exciting week! Algorand will host a Boston Blockchain Week Kick-Off Party on Monday that you won’t want to miss. Seats are limited, so Register Now! You’ll also want to check out the Boston Blockchain Association event on Thursday March 12. And, of course, there will be plenty of events and activities to take advantage of during this year’s Boston Blockchain Week.

If you aren’t already, please help support technology and blockchain development in Boston by becoming a member of the Boston Blockchain Association. All you have to do is apply to become a member (takes just a minute of your time) to be sure you’ll stay informed on all Boston area blockchain events.

Boston at night.

Here are the planned events in Boston’s blockchain community for the coming week:

Algorand Kickoff Party

Monday, March 9, 2020 4:00 PM 8:00 PM

Join the Algorand team at their offices for an evening of cocktails and conversation to kick off Boston Blockchain Week. The best and the brightest in Boston will come together for an evening of thought leadership, conversation and networking. Bloomberg’s Janet Wu will moderate an all-star panel featuring Jim Cunha (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston), Terrence Dempsey (Fidelity) and Steve Kokinos (Algorand). Limited Seats – Register Today! Location: 399 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02116.


Blockchain Week: The new SEC proposal explained/startup pitch event

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Join us for Chain Reaction’s big event during Boston Blockchain Week! Come to learn, eat amazing kebabs, hear several local startup pitches, and if you are one of the first 50 guests, score a Chain Reaction hat! Chain Reaction member John Hargrave will give a talk about the new SEC blockchain proposal. This is big news: it provides a framework by which blockchain startups can offer tokens to investors, with a three year “grace period” to build their projects without being bound by securities law. Don’t miss this one – Register Here! Location: Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), 245 Main Street, 3rd Floor Mosiac Room · Cambridge , MA. How to find the event: Take elevator to security at 2nd floor, provide photo ID, then go up one floor to Mosaic room.


Introduction to Substrate Meetup

Monday, March 9, 2020 12:00 PM to 2:30 PM

In the first half of the meetup, we’ll discuss the basics of Substrate. Substrate allows anyone to create their own blockchain, setting parameters as they see fit. It also comes with a set of modules, FRAME, which allow you to customize the blockchain with minimal to no coding. After a short break, we’ll take a deeper dive into Substrate, generating and running our own blockchain with parameters of our choosing. This half of the meetup will go more in-depth in regards to the codebase and will be rather technical. Sign up, it’s gonna be great. Location: CIC Cambridge, 245 Main St., Cambridge, MA. Mosaic Room, 3rd Floor.


Boston Zcash Social Meetup

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Join in the local zeal for food, drinks, and discussions on Zcash, decentralisation, and privacy! For those new to Zcash, you’ll be sending your first shielded transactions and private memos. Just bring a laptop (and soon, only your phone). We’ll can chat about the upcoming Zcash shielded wallet from ECC, Zcon2 in Peru, the final dev fund ZIP, the new ZECpages and Zboard, local merchant adoption, mesh networks, or whatever you’d like to bring up. Be sociable and Sign Up. Location: The Mad Monkfish (formerly Thelonious), 524 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA. How to find the event: We’ll be the ones avoiding spilling drinks on our laptops. (There’ll be some Zcash stickers on the table too.)


Explore Chainlink’s New Research w/ Alex Coventry & Alpha Vantage

Friday, March 13, 2020 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Join Alex Coventry and Alpha Vantage during Boston Blockchain Week to explore a new randomness service for Chainlink. He’ll be showing how it works, and how to use it. Patrick Collins, node operator for Chainlink will then give a presentation on connecting your smart contracts to external data using Chainlink. Join Here. Location: The Work Bar, 24 School St., 2nd floor, Boston, MA.


Blockchain Regulation: How to Innovate in Massachusetts

Thursday, March 12, 2020 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM

An undefined and disparate regulatory landscape proves one of the greatest obstacles blockchain companies must overcome to succeed. In order to effectively innovate, these ground rules need to be clear for all participants involved. In the last couple years there has been ever evolving clarity, but startups still encounter contradictory and unclear guidance. This panel brings together entrepreneurs who have faced regulation head on and the policy makers and advisors helping set these ground rules. Sign up here! Locaton: 24 School St., Boston, MA. How to find Meetup: The Workbar entrance is on School Street, across from Scholars. Enter the lobby where our ambassador will greet you. The event is conveniently located near State, Government Center, and Park Street T stops.




Careers in Blockchain

Looking for a career in blockchain? Looking to hire great blockchain talent? We’re starting a new Blockchain Jobs section of our newsletter and website.

If you are a blockchain professional interested in finding your next job opportunity, check out the Boston Blockchain Association Network.

New blockchain jobs are continually being added, including positions for Cryptography Interns at Algorand and Remote Golang Developer at CyberCoders.

Job seekers can submit CVs, and employers can list their blockchain job openings. For employers, we welcome links to your blockchain job postings; for employees, we welcome links to your online resume or CV. Please reach out to with the subject line “JOBS.”


You should also consider joining the Boston Blockchain Association today. Just fill out an application and you will stay up to date on all Boston-area blockchain happenings.

David Vorick of Sia

Blockchain Project Profile: Sia

Can a Boston-based company give the big tech companies a run for their money (and future cryptocurrencies) in the file storage space? David Vorick, Co-founder of Boston-based Sia is confident public blockchains will disrupt the space. David recently appeared at the Nasdaq MarketSite for this episode of The Business of Blockchain with Jane King.

Man biting a golden coin.

Bitcoin Valuation Spreadsheet: Economists Agree on $13,333.33

Man biting a golden coin.

In my book BLOCKCHAIN FOR EVERYONE, I talk about an “aha moment” that came to me as I was listening to a lecture by Chris Burniske. If you don’t know that name, you will.

Burniske is one of the leading thinkers in the field of “Crypto Asset Valuation,” which simply means figuring out how these new digital investments should be priced. (He literally wrote the bookon it.)

When I heard Burniske’s talk, the heavens opened up and a choir of angelic beings came down riding on golden minotaurs. (Your mileage may vary.) What he was saying made so much sense.For new assets like bitcoin, we need to find new valuation techniques. Or as I wrote in my notebook:

New Money Needs New Honey.

Now Burniske is back with a paper that outlines his latest thoughts on valuing bitcoin, altcoins, and other digital assets [download it here]. This is an incredibly important task, as otherwise we have no framework for knowing whether bitcoin (and everything else) is underpriced or overpriced.

Burniske has a brain the size of a planet, so here’s my shot at putting his paper into language that we humble Earthlings can understand.

The Two Buckets of Blockchain

Burniske breaks down the world of blockchain investments into two broad buckets: capital and commodities.

 Capital CoinsCommodity Coins
ValuationNPV (Net Present Value) of annual value flowsMV = PQ (where PQ = annual transaction volumes)
Ongoing stream of value?YesNo
Consensus mechanismProof of StakeProof of Work
Value comes primarily fromTransaction fees + value createdCost of production + value created
ExamplesBinance Coin, NEO, DecredBitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin

The key factor is the consensus mechanism. In Burniske’s planet-sized brain, Proof of Stake coins (like Decred) are generally capital, where Proof of Work coins (like bitcoin) are generally commodities. Let’s unpack this a bit.

Proof of Workblockchains use giant mining farms (i.e., huge computing clusters) that perform the calculations to make the blockchain system work: Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two most well-known examples. We might consider these commodities, akin to physical commodities like oil and gold. These blockchains use a tremendous amount of energy in order to produce, or “mine,” a single unit—just like commodities (it’s expensive to dig gold out of the ground).

Proof of Stakeblockchains let owners of the altcoin “vote” on the blockchain system, according to how many coins they hold. Instead of consuming vast amounts of electricity, the system works by owners “staking,” or locking up, a certain number of coins: the idea is that those with the most skin in the game are the ones most interested in making the system work correctly. We might consider these coins more like capital, akin to putting your money to work by investing it in a company or a CD.

Here’s the common sense way of thinking about it:

  • If an altcoin needs to be “locked up” in order to get maximum value, it’s a capitalcoin (just like you need to put traditional capital to work by investing it).
  • If you can just hold the altcoin and get value without doing anything, it’s a commoditycoin (just like you could hold value in a commodity like gold).

This is good news. It means that for “commodity coins” like bitcoin, we can estimate a “target price” using traditional economic models.

How Economists Calculate Bitcoin Price

The classic economic model is called the “Equation of Exchange,” which you may remember from your college econ class:

M x V = P x Q


Traditional economics Token economics
M Total money supply Total money supply
V Velocity of money (the number of times it “changes hands” in a year) Velocity of the altcoin (the number of times it “changes hands” in a year)
P Price of goods and services  
P x Q = Annual transaction volume
Q Quantity of goods and services

For bitcoin, we know the annual transaction volume (about $3.3 trillion in 2018), and we can estimate the velocity (about 14, thanks to another excellent Chris Burniske post).

Our starting equation, courtesy of the great economists David Hume, John Stuart Mill, and Irving Fisher:

M x V = P x Q

To solve for M, we can rewrite this as:

M = PQ/V

Which gives us:

M = $3,300,000,000,000 / 14 = $235,714,285,714

In other words, $235 billion is the ideal amount of money needed to “service” all the bitcoin transactions in 2018. If we divide M by the number of bitcoins in circulation (about 17,680,850), we get:

$235,714,285,714 / 17,680,850 =  $13,331.62

From there, let’s round it up to $13,333.33 to make it easier to remember. (That’s my contribution.)

There are plenty of assumptions here. You can argue that “real” bitcoin transactions were not $3.3 trillion in 2018; that plenty of this volume is people moving bitcoin in and out of exchanges; that the velocity of 14 is overstated or understated, etc.

That’s why I’ve also included a free bitcoin valuation spreadsheet, which you can use to plug in your own assumptions. Download it here in Excel format.

Now we have a number. Bitcoin should currently be valued at $13,333.33. Why? Because economics.


(For more big, bold, blockchainy ideas, apply to become a member of the BBA).

Why You Should Join the Boston Blockchain Association

Our Mission

Our goal at the Boston Blockchain Association (BBA) is to help bring the Boston blockchain ecosystem together. We believe the more connected Boston’s blockchain ecosystem becomes, the more opportunities will arise for cross pollination, synergy, and growth.

This, in our minds, is the path toward realizing our ultimate vision of establishing greater Boston as an international hub for blockchain innovation.

Whether you are part of a company, institution, university or protocol, whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur looking to start something new, or a wantrepreneur looking to learn something new – we hope to provide you the support, connections, and resources you need to grow your business and reach your goals.

Still not convinced? Here are a few more reasons you/your organization should join the BBA:

  • Resources – We are working hard to compile a long list of Boston Blockchain resources (meetups, events, people, companies, projects, learning material and much more…), all of which will be fully available to BBA members.
  • Knowledge / Education – With some of the world’s top blockchain experts in our backyard, you’ll have an opportunity to learn from the very best. Stay tuned for some awesome events we have planned.
  • Partnerships – The distributed nature of blockchain as well as its endless variations and applications make developing and building strong relationships and partnerships ever more important. No one can do it alone. When you become a member, you will gain access to an exclusive membership database, as well as find plenty of networking opportunities to connect directly with professionals and companies who might be able to help you.
  • Marketing – Between our events, newsletter, blog, and additional channels, we will provide you with many opportunities to share your story and get your solution in front of the right people in our network – whether as a member or a sponsor.
  • Hiring – Tap into Greater Boston’s talent pool (rumor has it, some smart people live here…) – whether to find a co-founder or make your next hire. Looking for a job in blockchain? Join our network to talk directly to the source and potentially learn about openings before they are made public.

All that said, the value we bring to the table depends directly on the size of our network, so there are two ways you can get involved:

1. Apply for a membership.

We’ve recently released our Membership Benefits page. As a non-profit lead by volunteers, there are some costs we have to cover.

Membership annual rates are currently as follow:

  • Student – $25
  • Individual – $100
  • Company – $1,000

Rates may go up in early 2019, so hurry while the lower rates last.

2. Explore sponsorship opportunities.

Sponsor an event, our newsletter, or our blog for a chance to get your brand (and value prop) out there. For more info, fill out our Contact Form or send an email to:

In Summary

It’s an ambitious goal, but we believe Boston has all the right pieces to become a global hub for blockchain innovation. So if you are local, interested in blockchain and read this far, you should join. Last but not least, if you’re interested in building blockchain-based solutions to problems, you should join.

2017 was the year of HODL. 2018 was… okay, let’s never speak of 2018 in blockchain again;)

Here’s to 2019 being the year of BUIDL – because that’s the blockchain really needs – more people building useful applications that solve real problems. Not hype, not speculation, not another $2B ICO…Real utility. Real value. Buidlt in Boston.

If you’re passionate about that, you’re already a part of the BBA.

You just need to become a member

Please log in, or create an account if you don't have one yet.