This article is an informal opinion piece summarizing my personal thoughts on the PAC Hilton tech demo, the good, the bad and everything in between.
This article does not reflect the opinions of PAC as company, anything written is my personal opinion only.
I sit here, thinking about the best way to categorize this article for you all, after having experienced one of the busiest nights of my professional career. The PAC Hilton tech demo was the culmination of months of hard work, from initial meetings to event planning, catering decisions, design and production of the marketing collateral, pin pointing the more effective marketing channels to encourage a high turnout and budget management. It’s no lie, prior to the event I was nervous, anxious and excited at the same time.
I’ve been a fan of the cryptocurrency space for a long time, I’ve seen partnerships be announced by various projects, some good, some empty hype and others that simply happen because they want to slap a ‘big brand name’ against (insert generic crypto project here) theirs. The Hilton tech demo was originally intended to be nothing short of an informal, open access means to both pre-booked attendees and the general public to experience cryptocurrency in a real world setting. Of course, PAC was going to be the main attraction, we wanted strong branding at the event and to be seen as a professional financial product, but at the same time I didn’t want the vibe to come across like ‘The PAC Show!’ I wouldn’t have wanted the event to be one giant excuse to say how amazing PAC is and sing our praises, some of the best cryptocurrency events I have been to have been the events where the main aim is to educate, advise and inform instead of SELL SELL SELL. I’m sure you see where I’m coming from here.
With this in mind I’m going to kick things off right away with my overall opinion, ranked out of 30 of how I felt the event went:
- 9/10 – Goes to the PAC tech, the wallets, the network stability and the block times on the night
- 6/10 – Goes to the overall attendance
- 4/10 – Goes to the logistical planning of the event
The bad parts
I think it’s only fair to start with the negatives of the event. I have been told since, that I should not be too hard on myself here by my colleagues but the reality of it is that the first hour of the Hilton tech demo did not go smoothly at all. One of the main USP’s of the event was that people who attended would be able to claim £15 worth of free PAC to spend at the various Hilton services including food and drink, unfortunately for these attendees, they were not able to receive their free PAC until almost 8:10pm, over an hour after the scheduled start time of the event of 7:00pm.
The reason for this was because the PAC payment terminals and my personal mobile wallet which held some of the liquid PAC for the night was not cooperating with the Wifi that the Hilton offers its customers. Often publicly accessible Wifi networks have very strict security features and do not allow the sending and receiving of any data whatsoever from third party software. In the case of the PAC mobile wallets and payment terminals this was the case. This meant that both the payment terminals the Hilton staff were using on the night and attendees personal wallets would not send/receive PAC if they were connected to the Hilton Wifi. This can’t be stressed enough, this issue was nothing to do with the PAC network, the block times or the physical PAC product, the issue purely was with the security of the Hilton public Wifi.
I take full responsibility for not having the due diligence to test the network prior to the event, this was something that should have been accounted for prior to the event starting and a solution should have been in place before the event took place. This is something that I have learnt from and it will enable me to perfect the logistical side of any future tech demos that PAC plans to do, namely with the up coming London Cryptocurrency Show in October this year where our plan is to sponsor the Café at the venue instead of having a booth like last time. Delegates that come to the show in October will be able to spend and use PAC at the event much like at the Hilton demo and this time, the Wifi and connectivity to the PAC network is going to be my top priority. You can’t hold an effective tech demo if the tech can’t be demo’d.
The good parts
Once we found a solution to the connectivity issues the event truly was able to shine. Attendees were able to receive their free £15 worth of PAC and then proceed to spend this at the venue. Transactions on the PAC network were happening within 2 seconds, all night, without issue. It was amazing to witness people’s reactions when I was able to tell them that not only are the transaction times instant when stood side by side another person but if you were to send money from the UK to China that the transaction times and equally importantly the fee to do so would be identical. This proved to be a great talking point for the whole evening as well as being able to talk about the masternode opportunities, ROI and the various charitable partnerships we’ve formed since launching on February 1st.
“Even the Hilton is Bullish on Crypto!” – Mitch Clay
One key thing I’d like to mention here is how impressed the Hilton staff were with the PAC terminals, once they had made 2 or 3 transactions they had gotten the hang with the app, clicking receive, typing in the value of the sale, allowing the customer to scan the QR code and then checking the device for a notification that the payment had indeed been sent. We had numerous comments from the staff saying that they preferred the PAC terminals to the in-house Hilton ePOS (electronic point of sale) systems that they normally would use. The shift manager on the night spoke to us, saying that they often have connectivity issues with their card payment machines, having to go ‘Cash only’ for hours at a time on occasions whilst their card readers are being fixed. The manager also liked the double-spend proof feature that PAC offers merchants. Traditionally the Hilton staff will take a drinks order and make it before asking the customer for the cash, which on some occasions has lead to the customer not having enough money on their debit card to pay for the drink which has been prepared. With PAC the money is sent and confirmed on the blockchain before they even have time to turn around and grab the first ingredient, giving immediate control to the merchant against fraud.
Ian (Fozzyblob) one of our UK community managers, got a chance to speak to a few members of staff at the Hilton who, coincidentally have family in Venezuela/Colombia and he was able to educate them about the ways in which PAC is helping against their hyperinflation crisis by on-boarding refugees with food, water, medicine and cryptocurrency to make transactions in the region. It was humbling to see the genuine effect our efforts can have on people in the UK who’s family is directly suffering from the issues out there.
The PAC Hilton tech demo, did everything it intended to do, which was prove that PAC is a legitimate form of payment in a busy, high turnover retail environment. If a stable Wifi connection or data service is available in the location that you are performing PAC transactions in, then the technology we have developed will work flawlessly. The PAC network is without a doubt one of the strongest networks in the cryptospace, thanks to our 5,500+ and growing masternode network. PAC was able to prove that it is a leading, evolving financial product that does everything right to be used in a high profile venue like the Hilton as an alternative payment method with the ability to save the Hilton brand thousands if not millions in revenue from transaction fee’s alone. Not to mention the positive PR and buzz the Hilton brand would experience from being the first globally recognized hospitality chain to accept cryptocurrency officially.
Will that happen?… No, probably not for some time but PAC certainly impressed the right people in the industry, got heaps of media attention in the process and was able to broaden its brand awareness to hundreds of new potential investors. You never know, a few of them might have already joined our social media channels already.