Catholics Are Going To Crypto With This New Conference And The Timing Is Right



(Kitco News) With crypto winter still dominating headlines, many market players are busy recalibrating while uncovering more grounded ideas. And that is precisely what the new Catholic Conference on Cryptography has in mind for its launch – bringing together crypto experts and Catholic thought leaders to drive adoption, develop new ideas, and introduce new technologies to the Catholic community.

The idea of ​​getting people into crypto is a common theme in the global digital asset space, and the Catholic Church is a billion-member institution. That’s one of the goals of the conference, said conference organizer Matthew Pinto, who is also the founder of Ascension Press.

“The key to success in crypto is adoption. And Catholic demographics are massive demographics, and they’re organized,” Pinto told Kitco News. “The idea is to bring important technological advancements like blockchain, cryptography, Web 3.0 and the metaverse into this world. And we just need a group of people to step up and say it needs to be done. “

The crypto universe offers many advantages that the Church does not currently enjoy. And Pinto doesn’t want the Catholic community to pass by the way it did with the internet decades ago.

“This is the first initiative that attempts to introduce these new technologies into an old church,” he said. “The Church, for the most part, missed out on the internet. We were really eight to ten years behind the secular world. This is our attempt to make sure the Church doesn’t miss out on this next wave of technology.”

The conference will take place November 17-18 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And it has three goals — informing the Church about these powerful technologies, mitigating the potential misuse of new technologies, and creating a forum for crypto networking, the organizer described.

Yet despite the word Catholic in its name, the conference will feature many speakers who are experts in cryptography and not necessarily part of the community. Keynote speakers include Robert Breedlove, host of “What is Money?” podcast and founder and CEO of Parallax Digital, and Mark Yusko, CEO of Morgan Creek Capital Management.

Breedlove will close the conference with his talk on Moral Money and Healthy Civilization. For Breedlove, who is known as a philosopher in the crypto space, Bitcoin is fundamentally a humanitarian movement that exposes the biggest scam in human history, which is central banking.

“The central bank is hindering the economic potential of humanity. And bitcoin is very important in the respect that it frees us from,” Breedlove told Kitco News earlier this year. “We’ve been trying to pull ourselves out of economic scarcity for as long as we’ve been around.”

The current fiat currency system is used to inflate the money supply, and Bitcoin offers a solution. “Bitcoin is different because it’s dematerialized and has honed the economic properties we look for in money. We don’t need to centralize custody of Bitcoin to scale it for the world. This makes all the difference – people can take physical delivery of Bitcoin, which is to take possession of their private keys anytime, anywhere, 24/7, without anyone’s permission. It’s the option citizens need to control government and other institutions. Under the gold standard, it was called convertibility,” Breedlove explained.

Along with philosophical and moral discussions, the conference will also host a series of sessions on finance, economics, and technical aspects of blockchain. “I’m interested in some of the discussions with more technical expertise on projects being done with crypto,” said Stephen Barrows, chief operating officer at the Acton Institute, who will also speak at the conference.

Timing is everything

Although it is crypto winter, with prices stuck in a fairly tight range, the conference is creating a buzz in the Catholic world, Pinto pointed out. And the conference schedule favors a regular approach.

“Having a conference during a time of FOMO would have been a lot easier. But now is a better time to do it because we’re really in a wrap-up period,” Pinto said. “It would be a good time of preparation for people because we will have about a year or a year and a half to find out before the next crypto race starts again.

Vatican reach

What is unique about this conference is its potential impact on the whole Catholic community. There are plans to release several white papers that will be shared with all Catholic bishops in the United States and Canada and even forwarded to the Vatican.

“We’re going to release five separate white papers. We’re not just making this a conference where we’ll hear great ideas. We’ll come away with practical insights into what the Church can do with these various technologies,” Pinto said.

The Catholic Church historically had a favorable view of new technologies. “Catholicism sees technology as something morally neutral or good,” Pinto added.

The Church is unlikely to make an authoritative statement on specific crypto technical issues, Barrows pointed out. “The Catholic Church is interested in crypto because of the potential to bring the unbanked into the economy and help them gain access. The Church would consider the moral dimensions.”

And while the Catholic Church has yet to make an official statement on crypto, there have been several clues.

Last year, the Vatican called on the international community regulate the crypto spacewarning that cryptocurrencies are used in the trafficking and exploitation of migrants and vulnerable people.

This year, a project is underway for the VR and NFT Gallery which will host Vatican art, content and academic initiatives. “The public-private partnership aims to extend the availability of Vatican heritage – manuscripts, masterpieces and scholarly endeavors – to people who otherwise would not be able to experience them,” Sensorium said in its statement. press on the project.

New developments are also happening in North America — kansas city nuns using bitcoin to build and manage their monastery and the offering of the Archdiocese of Washington crypto options for donations.

In a recent published book“Thank God for Bitcoin: The Creation, Corruption, and Redemption of Money,” co-authored by Breedlove and other well-known Christian figures, the subject of how Bitcoin can redeem “the evils of our corrupt monetary system” was explored in detail, challenging the ethics and morality of the current fiat model.

Since the US dollar ceased to be backed by gold in the early 1970s, the US government has been able to print money at will, manipulating the value of the dollar and negatively impacting the lower classes, according to the thesis of the book. Bitcoin is described by the authors as a decentralized and autonomous monetary solution, free from manipulation and limited to only 21 million bitcoins, designed to help prevent inflation.

This comprehensive approach differs from other religions. For example, Islam has a much more complicated view of cryptocurrencies. Several well-known Islamic religious figures have recently issued fatwas urging followers to stay away from the crypto space, likening it to gambling, which is banned by the Quran.

Crypto and the Catholic Church

The Catholic Crypto Conference wants to explore how blockchain and crypto can help the unbanked, reduce remittance costs, and promote social justice and the common good. The use of DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) is an exciting example of how these new projects can unfold, Pinto said.

Other interesting ideas on the radar include putting Catholic teachings on an immutable blockchain and using the blockchain for sacramental records.

There is also the financial aspect, with several dioceses potentially considering putting assets like Bitcoin on their balance sheets. “We are holding talks at the conference precisely to get this type of conversation started, so that we can address the question of whether he should be put on someone’s balance sheet and the pros and cons of that. I would be very surprised if bitcoin is not on the balance sheet of most of our dioceses and even parish balance sheets within five to ten years,” Pinto said.

For many, this comes down to the solid money argument that Bitcoin offers. “Sound money leads to better everyday human decisions,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a big step forward to conclude that sound money principles are conducive to the issue of Christian formation and stewardship. I would consider Bitcoin sound money.”

The conference will also explore many blockchain applications, said Deacon Rich Napoli, CEO Emeritus and Advisor at Relevantz, who is a fellow speaker and has worked in the software industry for more than four decades.

Blockchain has very high potential – NFT projects in the Vatican having the ability to create its own currency to send money to poor parishes while minimizing the risk of the funds being stolen, Napoli told Kitco News.

Regarding the timing of the conference, Napoli said it was the perfect time ‘to look at technology without the rose-colored glasses’.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. This is not a solicitation to trade commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article accept no responsibility for loss and/or damage resulting from the use of this publication.

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