Yesterday marked the beginning of New York’s Blockchain Week, which kicked off with Consensus, a conference that brings together the world’s leaders in the space. At Talk Shop, we do a lot in the emerging and blockchain tech PR space, so I decided to come and check it out.
The scene is impactful: Lamborghinis parked outside, a few peaceful protestors and 8,500 delegates, ranging from crypto miners to government regulators and institutional investors, all piled into the conference centre ready to connect and learn.
The big question on everyone’s mind seems to be around regulation. A panel on governance, with both Eva Kaili from the EU parliament and Rep. David Schweikert from the US House of Representatives, shed light on the current efforts and limitations of government bodies and blockchain. Both were in agreement that one of the largest hurdles is educating policymakers on what blockchain is and how it will transform government by removing friction in areas like tariffs, identification, and voting.
It was encouraging to hear that while both the EU and the US are working hard to regulate blockchain, they’re each hyper-aware that over-regulation could slow down all of the explosive innovation that’s currently happening. As such, they’re looking to the industry experts to help build guidelines to protect both consumer and innovation at the same time.
What surprised me most from my first day at Consensus was the breadth of blockchain products available today. From Etherparty’s smart contracts to qiibee’s loyalty programs and Netcoins’ Virtual Bitcoin ATM, there are so many applications of blockchain tech that are helping people do business faster, smarter and with more security.
I left day one of Consensus feeling inspired and excited for the adoption of blockchain technologies that we’ll see in the coming years.