As bitcoin gyrates, less euphoria in evidence at blockchain gathering

Deloitte demonstrated blockchain-based cybersecurity technology at the Consensus 2019 conference in New York on May 15, 2019

The vibe at a gathering this week for blockchain enthusiasts felt decidedly less exuberant than its predecessor a year ago after dizzying swings in bitcoin.


Last year’s Consensus blockchain conference took place just four months after the hit almost $20,000, spawning a legion of millionaires who rode in swanky luxury cars and partied in over-the-top soirees.

Despite bitcoin’s latest bounce, this year’s gathering, again held at a hotel in New York, featured less ostentatious displays of wealth and a more sober sensibility.

The shift is partly a reflection of bitcoin’s dramatic price swings, as well as a sign of the evolution of blockchain technology into more real-life, less trendy applications.

“It’s definitely less buzz, less show,” said Wes Fuldord, chief executive at Bitfarms Technologies, a cryptomining operation based in Quebec. “But it’s reflecting signs of a more mature market.”

Blockchain is a digital ledger that is the underlying technology of bitcoin with broad applications in finance and many industries that permit multiple users to share data and information in real time. The technology is considered secure because the data cannot be altered.

“In 2018, we just had a lot of powerpoint presentations,” recalled Francois-Xavier Thoorens, founder of blockchain company Ark. “This year, we have real products.”

Display stands at the event included a Deloitte product of three screens that employs blockchain for cybersecurity, and an application from startup Riddle & Code that authenticates expensive watches.

The 2019 Consensus blockhain conference drew 4,800 people, down from the 8,000 who attended a year before
The 2019 Consensus blockhain conference drew 4,800 people, down from the 8,000 who attended a year before

Speakers included representatives of Pfizer…

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