ZMQuant | Highlights and trends at Consensus 2023 by Coindesk

LIZZIE LU
ZMQuant
Published in
4 min readMay 4, 2023

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Consensus has been one of the foremost events for the global crypto, blockchain, and Web3 community since 2015, where developers, investors, founders, brands, artists, policymakers, and many other stakeholders congregate to reflect, showcase, and envision the future. Against the backdrop of recent tumultuous developments in the crypto industry, this event is more imperative than ever. From April 26–28, Consensus 2023 convened in Austin, Texas, to address industry-wide challenges, learn from seasoned thought leaders shaping the future of finance, explore cutting-edge blockchain innovations, and engage in community-building activities.

Consensus 2023 saw a reduction in attendee numbers, with about 12,000 to 15,000 crypto builders, investors, and other participants compared to 20,000 in 2022. Similarly, the number of sponsors decreased by around 30 with only 231 in total this time. Last year’s primary sponsors, such as Binance.US, Bitget, and Bybit, were noticeably absent from this year’s event. As one of the most anticipated events, Consensus 2023 was relatively subdued due to the deteriorating regulatory environment in the United States, the overall downward trend in the cryptocurrency market, and financial turbulence at the parent company of the organizer, DCG.

Despite these challenges, the event still managed to attract a sizeable audience and obviously provided a platform for valuable discussions and networking opportunities. The conference managed to attract 150 distinguished speakers and guests, including Yuga Labs CEO Daniel Alegre, Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu, and a16z partner Sriram Krishnan. We, ZMQ, also had a great time meeting with our partners and friends, including Hashkey Capital, BIXIN, Kucoin Ventures, OKX, MEXC, Coinstore, NEO, HOPE, Conflux, Bitmart, Bullish, CertiK, SFOX, Crust, Lbank, StorX, CoinW, Upbit, Deepcoin, and Hello Labs.

Here are some highlights and trends:

  • The crypto industry urgently needs clear and definitive regulations, and the pressure put on the industry by U.S. regulators is unreasonable. According to the CFTC’s approval of Bitcoin futures in 2017, regulators can indeed participate successfully in the field;
  • The key difference between CeFi and DeFi lies in custody. DeFi may not see massive adoption in the short term, as CeFi remains the primary means of trading digital assets for TradFi clients;
  • NFT royalties represent a crucial and beneficial component of the NFT ecosystem. This is because they reinforce the key principle of proving ownership of digital assets, which ultimately benefits not only creators but also collectors and investors;
  • Many projects are developing payment-related crypto projects as they are optimistic that blockchain technology can bring a fundamental change to the investment and payment fields;
  • Although AI is often considered a centralized technology, demanding significant data and computing power, blockchain technologies, on the other hand, work on a decentralized network model, empowering users with ownership of their data. In this case, investors have recognized that ChatGPT has become a recent topic of interest, prompting a timely examination of the groundbreaking technologies that are bridging both DeFi and TradFi.

Obviously, the Consensus team did an incredible job of curating industry experts for talks, focusing specifically on relevant topics that spark insightful discussions. While there were fewer attendees compared to previous years, the ones who came this time were all industry practitioners, resulting in higher communication efficiency. During the event, we have also discussed various topics with the speakers, our partners, friends, and the audience, such as legislation and compliance, DAO, digital art, and the metaverse.

Despite the bear market, the industry is progressing towards a more favorable Web3 user experience through new use cases and exciting projects. We are delighted to return with fresh inspiration and valuable business relationships, knowing that the knowledge we have gained will generate positive outcomes for a brighter and more responsible future.

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LIZZIE LU
ZMQuant
Editor for

Crypto Market Making | Hedge Fund | Investment | Advisory | Marketing | Web3/NFT/Game/DeFi / Layer1,2