Yesterday, DEC_TECH (Decentralized Technology) hosted its first meetup at MaRS on bitcoin and the future of payments.

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency that uses peer-to-peer technology to operate, with no central authority such as a traditional bank. Formerly known as the Decentral Toronto Bitcoin Meetup, DEC_TECH is Canada’s largest Bitcoin meetup and one of the oldest global meetups in the space, with the aim of bringing together the financial technology (fintech) community in Toronto.

MaRS recently launched a FinTech cluster to connect leaders in the technology and financial services sector with startups focused on payments, financial services, peer-to-peer transactions, alternative lending and crypto-currencies.

At the meetup, keynote speaker and Bitcoin evangelist Andreas M. Antonopoulos compared the history of Bitcoin to the “five stages of grief.” When it first emerged, he says, Bitcoin was dismissed as irrelevant—or what Andreas calls the ‘denial’ stage.

“Denial happens with all innovative technologies. The desire to dismiss change. Bitcoin was irrelevant. Then it wouldn’t die, then it was scary and dangerous,” he explained to the audience. “The new ‘line’ is that blockchain technology is promising. Now we’re in the ‘bargaining’ stage.”

As more people learn about and embrace the currency, Andreas says, opinion will eventually shift to acceptance. “Bitcoin will find niches where it will do things you can’t do with other currencies.”

If you missed the event, catch up with the Live Notes from all the presentations or browse through the highlights in this Storify.


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Jelena Djurkic

Jelena Djurkic was the Senior Associate, Content Marketing at MaRS. Follow her on Twitter @jdjurkic. See more…