Rodolfo Andragnes: Going Virtual, LaBitConf is Building a Whole New Experience

Rodolfo Andragnes is the co-founder of Bitcoin Argentina, the first Bitcoin non-profit organization in Latin America, and one of the most well-known and respected personalities in the crypto industry.

November 25, 2020

A key person behind many Bitcoin & Blockchain initiatives in LATAM, together with Franco Amati and Diego Gutierrez Zaldívar he organized LaBitConf, the first Bitcoin conference in the region and one of the first in the world.

After Buenos Aires in 2013, LatBitConf went on to Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Bogotá, Santiago de Chile and Montevideo with large crowds gathering to learn, share, network and engage with visionaries and businesses that are part of a growing crypto ecosystem.

This year, between December 7 – 12, LatBitConf is going virtual hosting prominent speakers from all over the world with a focus on topics such as Bitcoin scaling and mass adoption, privacy, crypto and CDBC’s, DeFi vs CeFi and much more.

Hello Rodolfo! It was good to see LABITCONF doing another annual event, even if it comes in virtual form. What makes this year’s event different and why should people attend it?

Since 2013, LABITCONF’s motto is to be “Not just a conference, but a whole experience” and this year we are giving a unique digital experience by adding 3D avatar sessions from well-known speakers such as Max Keiser, Stacy Herbert, Jimmy Song and others, plus high level livestreams and debates with industry leaders Andreas Antonopoulos and Adam Back. We’re also really excited to include some fun into the experience with a “Party on the Moon,” all hosted in a futuristic 3D space.

Do you think the digital format, and this equally applies to other conferences, not only to LABITCONF, is capable of matching physical events with their unique mood?

Absolutely not. Physical and virtual events are different and we need to accept that. I think there are pros and cons to both but you need to think of them as different, from scratch, and that’s what we did for LABITCONF this year. We are not trying to replicate the experience, we are building a new one.

If you look back, what was the very first LABITCONF conference like and how it has evolved over these years?

I really keep the excitement of the first LABITCONF fresh in every event. As we move from country to country and now to online, there’s always a chance to outbeat yourself in each edition and that’s what people who come back say about each year. I would say evolution is just trying to get better and better.

What is the overall crypto landscape in South America like these days and what specific role does Bitcoin Argentina play in making it stronger?

South America is a mature spot for crypto. Almost everywhere there are complementary reasons than the btc value for its adoption, and enough bad economic history to understand why this is a better solution. I think that Bitcoin Argentina and the rest of the NGOs around the region are the ones providing the biggest effort on awareness and education, and without which would make people just go to their traditional black market dollar option.

Are there any specific projects based in South America you personally like or see plenty of potential about?

I’m excited about several of them including RSK and Money On Chain (who created a stablecoin based in BTC), Decentraland (3D world), and Zeppelin (audits and development). I see a lot of blockchain use cases around traceability (Suku), freight (dexFreight) and ID (DiDi). I also see some government implementations in Colombia and some work being done in Brazil. I also like the Muun Wallet project a lot.

Speaking about LABITCONF, what are the plans for the future provided the world ever gets back to normal life and people are able to travel without severe restrictions? Where can we expect to see it in the next few years?

Earlier this year, we were expecting to host LABITCONF in Guatemala so perhaps we might be going there next year. I’ve done several events in many countries but was really excited about what the experience was about to be in Guatemala, so I hope we can do it there and address Central America.

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