After the persistent lull around Bitcoin through 2018 to date, a New York event is trumpeting cryptocurrency again in a manner reminiscent of December 2017. Although the Bitcoin price still far from its heyday at just under $20,000, celebrity Bitcoin is but one aspect of a cryptosphere event like Blockchain Week.
A three-day blockchain bonanza started on May 10, 2018 and attendees can expect to see young technology enthusiasts debating the future of digital currencies with some big names in fintech. Startups will also be pitching their concepts to anyone who passes by. The New York City Economic Development Corporation is a principal partner in Blockchain Week, launched as a showcase that presents the city as a great destination for blockchain companies. A concurrent job fair has been scheduled for May 16, 2018.
Dubbed “Blockchain Week” after the decentralized ledger revolutionizing the world, the event is also an attempt to attract more blockchain jobs to one of the financial capitals of the world. The decentralized ledger has been touted as a solution to everything from current banking costs, security solutions to world hunger.
There are a number of pertinent events within the main event, and about 6,500 people are expected to flock to the Midtown Manhattan hotel hosting the three-day Consensus conference that kicks off on May 14, 2018. It is the biggest of about two dozen events and conferences between May 10, 2018, and May 19, 2018.
CoinDesk Is hosting Consensus, and the conference will see the likes of Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, James Bullard, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and FedEx CEO Frederick Smith addressing the audience.
Afterparties surrounding the event include a Ripple-funded bash with celebrity rapper Snoop Dogg headlining.
Attendance at the Consensus event has risen almost 1,000 percent over the last three years. The recent May 10, 2018, Fluidity Summit granted attendees a glimpse of the week ahead.
Crypto celeb Mike Novogratz sat opposite a suited woman with pink hair discussing his meeting with executives from Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank AG on the future of cryptocurrency trading. A Wall Street worker also opined about the boring nature of investment banking and openly stated that she had come to the event looking for employment in the cryptosphere.
The Consensus attendance is expected to be more than double what it was in 2017 when at the time a single Bitcoin was selling for $2,500. Thomas Lee, the Fundstrat Global Advisors head of research, postulated that the week’s enthusiasm and the Consensus conference specifically could prompt a Bitcoin rally.
From The Fringe To Center Stage?
The initial division between enthusiasts and non-believers has persisted since Satoshi Nakamoto first introduced Bitcoin in 2009. There has been a definite division between enthusiasts and, for example, the global formal banking sector. Now, with Blockchain Week attendees like Goldman Sachs, that hard line is starting to soften.
As banks themselves have become aware of the potential cost-cutting and other benefits of a decentralized ledger, the cryptosphere is swelling with more and more established businesses looking at the technology’s value. From the anti-establishment association of an unimagined project years ago, crypto tokens are becoming mainstream.
In the midst of innumerable first drafts of crypto regulation from lawmakers all over the world, the advent of regulation will no doubt be a strong theme of many debates. As a sign of the narrowing of the gap between the formal and crypto sectors, speakers from both the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will be speaking.
On a different note, many won’t attend simply because of the hefty price tag. The cheapest tickets start at $1,499 and go up to $2,999 for attendance. One dispiriting voice comes from the Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. He tweeted in April 2018 that he will boycott the event due to a few concerns, but among them was his disenchantment with the cost of tickets. “The conference costs $2-3k to attend,” Buterin said. “I refuse to personally contribute to that level of rent-seeking.”