Consensus Blockchain 2018 Event
Listen Bitcoin isn’t just an underground digital store of value, it’s a global social phenmenon.
For example, takes the trending conferences. A ticket for CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference will set you back roughly $2,000 per ticket ($3,00 if you’re late) and with 8,500 attendees the event will be bringing in $17 million in ticket sales alone this year. Talk about a pricey exclusive event, for Blockchain of all things. Profiteering from conferences is a business model in and of itself, and it doesn’t exactly uplift the real work that is being done in the space.
So what exactly is Consensus 2018 about?
Consensus, a three-day conference which features talks and exhibitions on everything cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, and the underlying blockchain, is this year the biggest yet — and the first since Bitcoin’s price explosion last year that saw Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies skyrocket in price. (Forbes)
The Crypto Underbelly is Political
Pretty much everyone who’s anyone in the cryptocurrency space, from startups, to investors, and the established financial sector, is in New York for Consensus this week. However, checking out the content on Twitter or YouTube still points to a sadly nascent state of affairs. Not to mention people boycotting the event, who view CoinDesk as not the most honest crypto news publisher.
Vitalik Buterin, creator of Ethereum, is one high profile cryptocurrency personality who wasn’t at the fourth annual Consensus event this year.
Buterin slammed the high ticket prices ahead of the event, saying: “I refuse to personally contribute to that level of rent-seeking.”Buterin had many other reasons as well.
Consensus 2018 Headlines
- Amazon adopts Kaleido to AWS customers and is going to help customers move faster and not worry about managing blockchain themselves.
- Jack Dorsey Hopes Bitcoin Will Become The Web’s ‘Native Currency’
- Nokia Is Letting Consumers Monetize Their Data with Blockchain.
- Deloitte Blockchain Boss Departs To Build Ethereum Supply Chain.
- abc123….. (update in progress)
Consensus Vlog Experience
It was actually pretty hard to find decent Vlogs on this event sadly as the level of crypto journalism is underwhelming even in Mid 2018.
Thought I did find some half-decent tweets on the event.
Best Tweets on Consensus 2018
Debate on the State of Crypto & Blockchain
You can’t keep calling blockchain “disruptive”, it’s really not 2015. Artificial Intelligence is turning out to be a far bigger game-changer with a host of other exponential technologies that scale very quickly in the next three decades.
Crypto and blockchain adoption are only a small part of these developments in technology, human systems and the next iteration of the web, the cloud and computing.
The future of decentralization, sustainability and fundamentally new value systems as manifested in technology, has a lot of resistance economically, politically and with institutional bias, power-structures, centralization and inertia. It’s hard to see crypto meeting an uplifted destiny with wealth-inequality rising, global corporations dominating and China and America fighting over the future of technology.
The Consensus conference in New York City this week was a collision of worlds and with all overlapping of the new and old worlds, it’s a question of control. The misuse of AI and even blockchain by controlling entities,leading corporations, governments, national security squads and the wealth-elite is only too real. The democratization of the blockchain is nice in theory, but even the fate of smart-contract platforms remains unclear. Ethereum hasn’t scaled and NEO’s potential remains unclear. Bitcoin remains a lop-sided pyramid scheme with limited transactional up-take.
Millions in ticket sales or actual debate about blockchain innovation, here is the evil of an event like Consensus 2018. From rampant ICO fraud to crypto profiteering, it’s somehow painfully slow and hard to see the good that comes from nascent technologies that may take years to mature and find regulatory and mainstream adoption. Besides, what is blockchain without decentralization? Simply a more secure channel where everything becomes even more digital.
The inertia of the old world is strong, and quantum decentralization, might only arrive in the 2060s. The new world is fraught with power struggles. As Facebook is rumored to be working on its own P2P crypto method of payment, and Amazon offering blockchain in the Cloud, it’s clear that bigger players appear to be entering the room.
St. Louis Federal reserve president James Bullard yesterday warned that instability in exchange rates is the biggest obstacle to widespread cryptocurrency adoption. America is archaic when it comes to crypto innovation, it’s not Asia. So what can we expect from a conference in New York? Korea, Japan, parts of China, some Russians, understand blockchain at a whole different level in terms of investment in crypto and reliance on digital transactions and means of storage.
American materialism might not be very compatible with the future of decentralization in the end.
It may take younger more imaginative nations with less institutional resistance to form and pioneer the blockchain, like India, China and unlikely heroes such as South Korea. While what we call FinTech has a strong scene in London, the blockchain global community put together is still pretty small.
Silicon Valley is hardly in the real picture. The American examples are profiteers: Coinbase and CoinDesk are good examples of this — blockchain for profit mentality. It’s a merchant’s approach to crypto, and it misses the point of why it’s an exciting technology. There are so many startups that want to make a quick buck here, sometimes you have to do an audit on why they wanted to enter the blockchain space in the first place.