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Everything you need to know about Consensus 2019

23 May 2019 : 13:34
Updated : 29 May 2019 : 13:55
4 min read

There’s a season that crypto traders love more than Christmas, and that’s the Consensus week. The 2019 edition was held from the 13th to the 15th of May in New York.

The Big Apple was once more, the epicentre of the three most important days in the crypto space, bringing together practitioners, developers, researchers, traders, entrepreneurs, media and even politicians! In comparison with the 2018 edition, more institutional investors and tech giants were among the attendees. In other words? The progress in global adoption was more than evident.

It can not be said that Consensus 2019 was the primary catalyst in the recent uptrend seen in prices, as there are many factors involved in current price action, but it certainly proved that the speed of adoption is unbelievably fast. In the following paragraphs, we will be covering the most important announcements.

Let’s begin with key attendees. Microsoft, TD Ameritrade, Samsung, Amazon, Deloitte, and IBM were among the giants taking the stage. The first one, Microsoft, surprised investors with its new plans for using blockchain within their identity verification processes. It will be the first tool of this kind developed on BTC blocks.

Amazon, the monster monopolising global tech services, gave more insights about their Blockchain-as-a-Service (BAAS), which is simplifying processes for building scalable crypto-projects inside their Amazon Web Services (AWS). Also, this was the first time they publicly explained their ledger database (Amazon QLDB). Everything points to the fact their holistic services will also colonise a huge range of pillars in the crypto ecosystem (not surprising at all, knowing Amazon’s big vision).

Recognised financial institutions such as TD Ameritrade, also highlighted their intentions to take profit from the positive momentum. TD did not specify which product they will be launching to enter the market, but an important announcement will likely follow at some point this year. It may revolutionise crypto trading amongst electronic platforms.

Samsung isn’t new to this ecosystem, but it certainly surprised followers with concrete plans of expanding their Samsung Blockchain Keystore (Hardware-wallet grade security system) to its upcoming range of phones.

Blockchain adoption across the energy sector was also an important topic of discussion. The French electric utility giant, Électricité de France (ranked within the top 5 most prominent companies in the ground globally) announced the beginning of the testing period of new software based on Ethereum Dapp with applicability in Europe, USA, Asia, MENA, LATAM, and Africa.

In addition to the statements made by big global players, leading blockchain companies also made some significant announcements. The king of tokenised securities, Polymath, announced a new protocol called Polymesh. Koverko, the former CEO, explained the new features of this edge regulatory-compliant security platform aiming to solve more scalability obstacles. On the same page, the Oracle Network, Chainlink will soon be available on ETH main net, after many successful trials during the backtesting.

NEO was also under the spotlight because of its recent release of NEO 3.0 and millions in extra funding to keep improving infrastructure and to ensure a 2019-2020 mind-blowing adoption.

In July, BTC futures contracts will be launched by BAKKT with the help of the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and other secondary financial institutions. The newest physically-settled products have been built based on frameworks provided by The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Successful implementation of this may well act as a solid starting point for further institutional adoption in global markets.

Retailers couldn’t resist the necessity of getting the spotlight as well, with Whole Foods, Gamestop, Regal Cinemas, Starbucks, Baskin Robbins and Nordstrom officially accepting payments in crypto through the support of Gemini platform and its new alliance with Flexa.

Did US politicians stay quiet during Consensus 2019? No. Quite the opposite! Key members of the US political scene had the chance of setting a future agenda for national adoption. 2020 presidential candidate, Andrew Yang, received much of the attention from the attendees during his speech. He emphasised the necessity of further efforts to set regulatory frameworks faster and efficiently. Andrew is for sure, putting his money where his mouth is. The visionary candidate stated the following: “I’m sympathetic to members of the community who want to have more of these transactions occur in a non-monitored manner or context.” His words and attitudes towards crypto will be met with positively by many in the crypto space.

Image licensed via Shutterstock

Michela Silvestri

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