Consensus 2024: Crypto’s back, baby

The side events were the places to be at Consensus 2024, according to attendees

article-image

Consensus modified by Blockworks

share

Consensus 2024 wrapped last Friday, and it went out with a whisper. 

To be honest, that’s the case with most crypto conferences. By the end, people are ready to hop on their flights and jet home, especially if they decided to event-hop the night before (shout out to the two guys who agreed to a 4:30 am bedtime Thursday after leaving an event that wrapped up at 8:30 pm). 

This year’s conference, multiple people told me, was all about the side events. Again, that’s not unusual, but it did make the conference itself feel emptier at times. 

I attended Consensus last year, and thought that the comparison would be stark. But this year’s conference didn’t include as many flashy booths, though there were plenty of stages filled with interesting speakers. 

Dear reader, I have to admit I wasn’t there on the first day, but attendees told me that people were excited and crowds were large on Wednesday as the conference kicked off. That seemed to taper off slightly through Thursday and Friday, though.

I was told that there were close to 15,000 attendees, up from last year’s 10,000. The Austin Police Force’s presence seemed to verify my information, as security was definitely heightened throughout the conference. By Friday, it seemed like most had relaxed, and I even saw a police officer playing life-sized chess against an attendee. 

The vibe this year was very much focused on institutions, and clearly there’s support from both sides. For example, Google Cloud had a “start-up village” which included a stage for founders, investors and entrepreneurs, and which featured constantly a rotating assortment of panels and talks. 

Source: Consensus

Read more: RFK Jr is ‘happy’ about Trump’s crypto commitment

In that regard, it felt like crypto was back and definitely more upbeat than last year. While Consensus 2023 may have felt more crowded, there was a lot of healing still taking place as the industry dealt with the ramifications of the FTX collapse, bankruptcies and looming Securities and Exchange Commission actions (important to note, though, that neither Binance nor Coinbase had pending legal action at the time). 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presence on Thursday definitely added to that, as the presidential candidate spoke both to the press and on stage. In fact, the news of former President Donald Trump’s verdict (found guilty on all 34 counts) broke while RFK Jr. was in the press conference. At first, he said he’d been “disciplined” about not commenting on the court cases. 

However, he and his team must’ve decided to change course, because he later said that he believes the verdict could end up “helping” Trump since it was the “weakest case” brought against him. 

One thing that was brought up in plenty of conversations both at the venue and the side events were the Jamie Dimon knock-offs stationed outside the entry doors. And, honestly, is it even a crypto conference if there aren’t some weird shenanigans taking place? (The answer is no.)

I still couldn’t tell you exactly what the point was, though — according to a press release in my inbox — the company behind the stunts is UNFK, “a secret society and Web3 game to prank the world’s largest corrupt corporations.”

While I heard reports about the lack of deodorant at ETH Denver, I can promise you that wasn’t the case at Consensus. I caught the strong whiff of cologne multiple times as I wandered the venue hall, even tearing up from the odor once or twice. 

There were also a large number of kids, at least on Friday, but perhaps that’s a sign of crypto maturing — though not in the way most of us expect I guess.

But, back to what’s important: Overall, it was a fun event and it felt like crypto really has bounced back. Vibes were high, side event food was good and there were productive conversations both on and off stage. 


Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2023

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research Report Cover Vertex.jpg

Research

The proliferation of new perp DEXs has led to fragmented liquidity across various DEXs and chains. Vertex, known for its vertically-integrated DEX that includes spot, perpetual, and integrated money markets, is now tackling cross-chain liquidity fragmentation through horizontal integration with the launch of new Edge instances. Vertex's integrated offerings and cross-margined account structure amplify the benefits of new instances: native cross-chain spot trading, optimized cross-chain basis trading, consistent interest rates, reduced bridging friction, and more.

article-image

Partnering with EtherFi and Angle, the fully on-chain perp DEX features bespoke collateral

article-image

Sponsored

Gavin Wood introduced the next evolutionary step for the Polkadot network: the Join-Accumulate Machine, or JAM

article-image

The side events were the places to be at Consensus 2024, according to attendees

article-image

Also, who’s come out swinging in the spot ether ETF fee war — and who could undercut them

article-image

I know it is not in their nature, but US regulators could learn a lot by researching the digital asset frameworks that overseas regulators have already gotten right

article-image

Also, the ETF hype train can count out at least one member