Fintech Summit: Bitcoin, Mobile Payments, and Startup Showcase

Bitcoin experts, mobile payment CEOs, banks and new startups showed that finance tech is a force in the LA Tech scene at our fintech summit at General Assembly in Santa Monica.

The summit featured three parts:


First, we kicked off with our Mobile Payments Panel which featured experts from Silicon Beach startups including, Mobile Majority, Yapstone,, and City National Bank, who discussed mobile payments for consumers, merchants and banks.



  • Thanks to apps like Starbucks, Uber, and Hotel Tonight, consumers are getting used to paying for things with their mobile phone. In some cases, consumers prefer to pay for things with their phone. Most mobile payments are done via apps that you add your credit card too. Consumers increasingly prefer apps where ticket selection, payment, and receiving tickets/confirmation/rewards are all done in-app without requiring email.
  • Mobile payments is more than just paying for items with your phone. Smart mobile payments add loyalty rewards and incentives to encourage use, and allow tracking of consumer data. For example, the Starbucks app rewards 10 uses with Gold status free refills, and periodically sends customers free codes for coffee or food discounts.
  • Apple payments is another platform, but it doesn’t guarantee success. After Apple announced its platform, Walmart and Best Buy announced their own mobile payment platform. Many Android users won’t be able to pay using it.



Second, GoCoin CEO, Steve Beauregard, delivered the Keynote with an overview of Bitcoin, and how his GoCoin company helps merchants create an account and generate Bitcoin forms or buttons to receive Bitcoin. He also described how GoCoin recently partnered with PayPal to be its Bitcoin provider, a huge landmark for the LA tech scene. Steve said that Bitcoin evangelist Brock Pierce introduced him to some Paypal executives at an event, and after much due diligence and paperwork, the deal was done.


Steve Beauregard, CEO of Gocoin


Third, we ended the night with our Fintech Startup Showcase hosted by Amanda Coolong of Bitcoin News Weekly podcast, and Andreas Seckler of Kluge Interactive moderated the Startup Showcase, featuring five fintech startups doing 5 min pitches. Three judges included Bitcoin evangelist Brock Pierce with new Cryptocurrency company; Kathleen Utrech of Core VC which invests in FinTech, and Simon Jaud of City National Bank.

Tether CEO Reeve Collins won both the judges and audience choice awards in the Startup Showcase, beating four other FinTech startups. Tether lets you link your Bitcoins to reduce volatility. As the winner, Tether is automatically entered to pitch Silicon Beach Fest 2015.

Laundromedia won judge’s second place choice. Spare, which lets consumers know other users who have cash near them, won the audience choice to pitch based on its 30 second pitch. Other startup pitches included Expresscoin and ZenBox.


For more photos of the fintech summit, visit the DigitalLA Facebook page.

THANKS General Assembly for hosting and thanks SPEAKERS!


Below you can find detailed info about the speakers and companies from the fintech summit.



– Ben Katz,, CEO / Co-Founder. offers prepaid cards featuring brands like Care Bears, Sesame Street, Star Trek, & The Walking Dead. @CARD.

– Jack Bicer,, Founder. is a mobile security and payments company that eliminates passwords and brings single click payments to mobile browsers. @sekurme

– Dirk Rients, Mobile Majority, VP Brand Solutions. @mobile_majority.

– Josh Hall, YapStone, Head of Product Design. YapStone develops an electronic payments as a service technology for property management and other vertical markets @yapstone


Steve Beauregard, GoCoin, CEO/Founder. GoCoin enables merchants to offer Bitcoin payment and recently announced it would be Paypal’s Bitcoin provider. @GoCoin @GoCoinCEO



– Brock Pierce, Bitcoin evangelist and speaker @brockpierce
– Kathleen Utecht, Core Innovation Capital, Venture Partner. @CoreVC
– Simon Jaud, City National Bank, Technology Innovation Manager

Startup Showcase Producer: Andreas Seckler of Kluge Interactive
Startup Showcase Co-Host: Amanda Coolong, Bitcoin News Weekly podcast


Startup Pitches:

Reeve Collins, Tether, Co-founder / CEO. Tether is a virtual reserve that lets you make a deposit with your preferred currency and receive tethers – digital tokens that act like bitcoin, but without the volatility.

David Kessler, Laundromedia, Founder. Laundromedia is developing the first laundry payment system for washing machines to accept mobile payments, giftcards and pre-paid cards, eliminating the 25-cent quarter slots that dominate 70% of apt building laundry rooms. @laundromedia

Phillip Greene, Spare, COO/ Co Founder. Spare lets consumers with the app find others near them to lend cash.

Will Wheeler, ExpressCoin, Co-founder / CEO. ExpressCoin lets you buy bitcoin, dogecoin and litecoin without a bank account, and instead offers multiple payment alternatives including cash, money order, personal check, and wire transfer. @expresscoin.

Cailen Sullivan, ZenBox, co-founder and CEO. ZenBox owns and operates the largest network of Bitcoin kiosks by offering tangible, full-service access points for anyone to buy and sell bitcoin.


THANKS for tweeting:

RT @janmcnair Mobile payments tied with incentives especially w brands is the best way to accelerate the market.

RT @janmcnair Merchant acquisition is also a big deal for mobile / digital payments. Does competitive pressure force all to participate? @DigitalLA @GA.

RT @janmcnair What we learned in the initial phase of Bitcoin – anonymity does not protect you if you are breaking the law. @DigitalLA @GA #fintech

RT @janmcnair Chargebacks when legitimate are one of the issues that needs to be solved in the Bitcoin economy. @DigitalLA @GA #fintech