Consensus Conference Sheds Light on Cryptocurrency, DAOs, NFTs, Metaverses and More in Austin

NFT Gallery at Consensus 2022 in Austin

Consensus 2022 kicked off in Austin this week.

This is a conference organized by the media company CoinDesk, which focuses on Web 3, Cryptocurrency, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, known as DAOs, Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs, Metaverses, etc. .

A few hundred people attended the first Consensus in 2015, and it has over 17,000 registered ticket holders. A general admission ticket costs nearly $1,600, and the more expensive ProPass and Piranha passes are both sold out.

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Consensus features more than 600 speakers on 23 stages and is spread across the Austin Convention Center, Hilton, Fairmount and various other downtown locations. It has a south by southwest feel on a smaller scale.

There’s a definite feeling of FOMO with all the lineup and exhibits happening at once, plus dozens of happy hours, parties, gallery shows, DJs, bands, and even a night out. casino.

The event also takes place during a volatile time in the US economy with the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, soaring inflation, skyrocketing gas prices and tensions created by the war between the Russia and Ukraine, said Michael Casey, Chief Content Officer for CoinDesk. , during his opening address on Friday. Cryptocurrency, like the stock market, is also experiencing some turbulence. Bitcoin is hovering around $29,333, down from its all-time high of $68,990 in November 2021. And Ethereum has fallen to $1,676, from its all-time high of $4,865, also in November 2021.

On top of that, there have been cryptocurrency failures and scams, Casey said.

Recently, the collapse of the Terra project “resulted in combined losses of approximately $60 billion between the stablecoin, also known as UST, and its sister cryptocurrency luna,” according to CNBC. A few sessions at Consensus look at what went wrong.

“Since the start of 2021, over 46,000 people have reported losing over $1 billion in crypto to scams,” according to the Federal Trade Commission.

But despite the massive volatility, bankrupt companies, and scams, cryptocurrency has taken hold globally and increasingly in the United States. In September 2021, the Republic of El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. Consensus has members of Congress and the Biden administration present and as speakers discussing regulation and consumer protection. But they are also talking about establishing a stablecoin and creating a digital dollar.

Recently, China unveiled its digital yuan or e-CNY, a digital version of its sovereign currency that is not a cryptocurrency but is instead issued and controlled by the People’s Bank of China, according to CNBC.

And NFTs have opened up a whole new way for artists and creatives to make money in the digital age. Some major brands, including Mastercard, Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, and the NBA, have also embraced NFTs as a way to engage with their audiences.

There’s also a lot of talk at the Metaverse conference, which wasn’t really a topic when Consensus held its last conference in New York in 2019.

Consensus organizers decided to move the event to Austin because it has the infrastructure to handle large crowds, Casey said.

“It was a big decision to leave New York. But Austin made a smooth transition,” he said.

Mayor Steve Adler said Austin is known as a city with a tolerance for risk-taking and that’s what creates innovation and drives progress.

“It’s a city that’s innovative, creative and entrepreneurial at its core,” Adler said.

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Consensus Conference Sheds Light on Cryptocurrency, DAOs, NFTs, Metaverses and More in Austin


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