What happened at 2017 Consensus Conference

2017 Consensus Conference was held this last week in New York City. It was a coming together of startups, developers, industry and public policy experts to get a taste of where distributed ledger technology is going. It was a dense few days, with many wonderful conversations that a Medium artcile can never do justice!

With every interesting conversation, my Safari browser open tabs grew slightly. So, I have tried to consolidate the interesting moments from the last week into the list below. It’s by no means comprehensive, but it’s reflective of what I think is worth following, or learning more about if you’re interesting in this rapidly evolving industry.

Web development and standards

  • Identity.Foundation is doing a great job seeding and facilitating a set of identity open standards. Well done to Daniel Buchner for catalysing this
  • Blockstack framework held a workshop taking us through their app development APIs. The APIs today let you build an app where the user persists their data in a cloud location of their choice. I’m looking forward to seeing the API made available for developers to persist ‘public’ data, which should be soon

Advocacy & Public Policy

  • Coin Center; “the leading non-profit focused on the policy issues facing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin”
  • Blockchain Research Institute
  • ID2020 have an announcement coming, staged for the ID2020 Summit 19-June. They have been working with Microsoft, Accenture, and the Identity Foundation to bring reliable legal identities to 1.5b people globally who do not currently have this. I’m looking forward to hearing their announcement.

Startups & Blockchain POCs

  • Nekti legal identity verification. Helps fintechs and other online businesses onboard users and meet identity regulation requirements
  • Civic identity platform. Interesting startup looking at solving the online identity problem
  • Vechain. Blockchain-as-a-service
  • Delioitte demo’d a realestate management platform where rental agreements are registered and managed using smart contracts
  • Toyota Research Institute announced they “are exploring the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology for the use in a new mobility ecosystem that could accelerate the development of autonomous driving technology. TRI is collaborating with MIT media lab and other industry partners to foster a digital environment where users — both businesses and consumers — may securely share driving and autonomous vehicle testing data, manage ride-shre and car-share transactions and store vehicle usage information that could be used in the setting of insurance rates”

Exchanges, Tokens, and Crypto-Currencies

  • ZeroCash and ‘zero knowledge proof’.
    Taken directly from the ZeroCash website:
    “Zerocash extends Bitcoin’s protocol by adding new types of transactions that provide a separate privacy-preserving currency, in which transactions reveal neither the payment’s origin, destination, or amount”
  • FileCoin; “a blockchain-based storage network and cryptocurrency”
  • Monero; this is definitely not a new coin. But I went along to their meetup and was fascinated by their commitment to an open source community. They seem to be doing a good job of organising themselves as a community, so I’ll be interested to see how this unfolds.
  • openANX; Open Transparent Decentralised Exchange. Token sale coming soon
  • Bitsane. A new crypto-exchange
  • Blockstack announced that they will be undertaking a token sale in support of their decentralised browser. There is more information to be released by Blockstack on this.