Consensus 2022 recap: Web3, regulations, and optimism for crypto's future
The crypto conference was held from 9 to 12 June in Austin, Texas and was attended by over 17,000 people
By Shashank Bhardwaj
Image: Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Consensus 2022, the crypto conference, was successfully concluded in Austin, Texas, and attracted 17,000 attendees from across the globe despite the hot weather. Consensus 2018, held at Hilton Hotel in New York, was attended by 9,000 people.
Besides current market conditions, the themes that ruled the discussion banter during the conference were the rise of Web3, the upcoming projects, and the optimism surrounding cryptos. Ray Youssef, founder and CEO of Paxful, a P2P exchange, commented on the current turmoil in the crypto market, saying that crypto winters allow for the onset of new development phases, “We are now seeing projects build platforms that are real and empowering.”
Meltem Demirors, Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, considered the bear market a lesser impediment for people genuinely interested in the crypto sector. She said, “ There are different niches and pockets of crypto I’m now seeing, some of which I haven’t heard of. For example, the STEPN group is here, a whole move-to-earn movement. The music NFT and fashion NFT scene is also big here. These are newer communities I’ve read about and have engaged with, but seeing them congregate and host their own events has been really fun.”
Demirors also commented in her keynote on cults and how the sector is involved in creating shared identity, belief systems and lifestyle rituals around emerging projects. She said, “People no longer focus on their occupation, religion, or nationality. Crypto is filling this interesting role, bringing together people through memes, capitalism and community values.”
Staci Warden, CEO of Algorand, also said that their company believed the current crypto winter was an opportunity for building. Warden avered on Web3’s prospects, “With Web2, everything went back to huge platforms, but with Web3, creators and contributors receive incentives and benefits for their participation.” Justin Banon, the co-founder of the Boson Protocol, reiterated the impact of the 2021 NFT craze, which prompted the fashion industry to participate in the NFT movement.
Solo Ceesey, the co-founder of Calaxy, a social marketplace for creators, said that their organisation has raised $26 million in strategic funding and will be using the funds to expand its operations. While the growth of Web3 projects is notable, Peter Wall, CEO of crypto mining firm Agro Blockchain, said that the bear market has made it difficult for miners to raise equity. He said, “There are only two ways for miners to raise capital now, which is either through debt or by selling Bitcoin.”
Discussions around regulations were also heavily discussed at the Conference, especially due to the flurry of regulatory events leading up to the event. Most of the discussions revolved around the US bipartisan bill. The attendees mentioned that the bipartisan bill would be a significant advancement for the sector. It was also avered at the meet that stablecoin regulations and CBDCs would form a hot discussion topic in 2022.
Demirors pointed out that developing new crypto infrastructures like data centers, semiconductors, etc., holds exciting prospects for the industry. She also stated that though most legislation didn’t revolve around making jurisdictions crypto-friendly, with regard to the US, she was hopeful that states like Texas would continue to opt for a welcoming approach to crypto initiatives like mining.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash
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