Blockchain Week – Consensus 2018

New York City is where it is all happening this week with Consensus 2018 starting today.  This is the 4th annual blockchain technology summit and this year will feature 250+ speakers with over 7,000 attendees expected.  

As can be seen below, in 4 short years the growth in attendance has certainly been exponential as mainstream adoption continues at breakneck pace.



Interesting to note above is also the positive effect this gathering of the who’s who in the Crypto world has had on crypto prices.  Perhaps Blockchain Week and Consensus will be another impetus for the market as it climbs out of that early April low?

One of many presentations which could be bullish for bitcoin is Microsoft when they will be presenting about a decentralised identity for a decentralised world:

“Empower users to own and control their Identity.  In this session Microsoft, along with Sovrin, Blockstack and uPort will share why we need Decentralised Identity.   We will share proof of concept from first set of proposed standards and challenges ahead with a decentralized identity experience for everyone and everything."

Closer to home, Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley is hosting the Myriad Conference this week with a top line up of speakers ranging from ASX, Google, Apple, NAB and Accelo to name a few.  Flying the local flag will be our friends from TravelbyBit.  Go and check out their stand and see the great work they are doing.  With quite a few speakers attending from Silicon Valley, an apt play on words has been coined “From Valley to Valley”.  

Further positive news is that the banking fraternity continue to inch forward slowly but surely with their acceptance of cryptocurrencies.  The New York Times reported ‘that the NYSE might be giving its customers the option to buy and hold Bitcoin, an assertion backed up by documents, emails and anonymous sources that confirm these future crypto traders contracts.’  Certainly the lure of innovation and being at the forefront of financial change was too great for one particular bank executive, highly paid CFO of Commbank Rob Jesudason, who has left Commbank to join the EOS cryptocurrency project as their new chief operating officer.  

Overnight we learned that the world’s largest banking institution in the $9 trillion trade finance market, HSBC, completed the world’s first blockchain powered trade transaction.  The trade in soya beans was from Argentina to Malaysia for the world’s largest private company, agricultural giant Cargill.  Indeed the smart contract abilities and immutable integrity provided by the blockchain may well address some of the issues raised in the 4Corners report on them last night….

From commercial banks to central banks and the central banks of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have announced they are working toward establishing a cross-border cryptocurrency exchange to finance transactions between the two countries.

But back to NYC, and the crypto markets will certainly be interesting to watch this week as the greatest minds in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space come together to collaborate, network and foster new business and investment.

Let us leave you with a quote yesterday via CNN from legendary Mike Novogratz:

“Novogratz said it's "almost irresponsible" not to invest in Bitcoin.

That's "not necessarily because of all the gains they're going to make," he said, but because "these technologies in two to four years are going to give every vertical a challenge." Novogratz was referring to blockchain, the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies.”