Just last week, Wattum was thrilled to attend and exhibit at one of the largest crypto events in the world, Consensus 2022 by CoinDesk, which took place in Austin, Texas from June 9–12. The event provided an exciting opportunity to connect with clients and other members of the crypto space as we discussed the future of the Bitcoin ecosystem with some of the most influential members of the community. We also hosted an event-exclusive raffle at our booth, and one lucky miner took home a brand new Antminer S19j Pro!
This year marked the event’s return to an in-person format for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking place in Texas for the very first time, Consensus 2022 drew in over 17K attendees from all around the world, including plenty of movers and shakers from across the Bitcoin mining industry. Though the festival wasn’t exclusive to Bitcoin itself, BTC unsurprisingly played a prominent role throughout the course of the week’s events.
Texas, which has become one of the leading crypto hotspots in the world as of late, provided a perfect setting for the festival, and Austin, where the Bitcoin mining industry has been thriving, took its role as host city very seriously. Though the temperature outside topped out above 100 degrees throughout the course of the week, the air inside the Austin Convention Center was cool and filled with optimism.
Consensus 2022 featured an all-star list of speakers and presenters, including Edward Snowden, Jimmy Song, Sam Bankman-Fried, Changpeng Zhao, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cynthia Lummis, and Mike Novogratz, along with hundreds of other leading voices in the crypto world (as well as a special guest appearance by rapper 2Chainz). The presentations ranged in tone from cautious to defiant, though talk of crypto market prices generally took a backseat to talk of growth and innovation.
Despite the ongoing Bitcoin price drop, overall optimism for the future of Bitcoin and crypto as a whole still reigned supreme throughout Consensus 2022, with discussion focused on crypto regulation, internet privacy, Web3, NFTs, and spot Bitcoin ETFs, just to name a few. In the end, the festival amounted to the most attended Consensus to date, nearly doubling the event’s previous attendance turnout of around 9K in 2018.
One memorable highlight from day one involved Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, who later presented on “Digital and Personal Freedom in the Age of Crypto,” playing ten matches simultaneously against event attendees. Also of note was CoinDesk’s official rollout of its blockchain token, DESK, which was used by attendees as digital currency throughout the week. By the final day, Austin Mayor Steve Adler had announced that Consensus would return to the city in 2023 (though in April, in an attempt to beat the heat the next time around).
Consensus 2022 also saw a major announcement from Jack Dorsey’s TBD, which revealed its development of “Web5,” a Bitcoin-based decentralized internet that aims to bypass Web3 (Web5 will use Bitcoin as its single blockchain). In addition, both Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand spoke on a panel titled “Washington’s Crypto Awakening” mere days after their bipartisan crypto bill, the “Responsible Financial Innovation Act,” was formally introduced to the US Senate. The bill has the potential to enact major changes to the crypto space in the US moving forward.
Though the event took place at a time of uncertainty in crypto and finance markets, Consensus 2022 also reinforced the crypto community’s resilience through bear markets of the past, and illustrated its belief in cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin in the long term. For many in attendance, there was a look of calm detachment; this was not their first crypto bear market. Indeed, a recurring theme throughout the week was an emphasis on the opportunities for growth and expansion during such market conditions.
Wattum is happy to have attended and exhibited at this year’s event, and we look forward to continuing to evolve with the ever-changing crypto landscape. We enjoyed connecting with our clients and the larger crypto community in our shared belief in Bitcoin’s potential to continue changing the world, and we look forward to helping launch and expand their mining operations in the time ahead. To learn more about your Bitcoin mining options, get in touch with a Wattum representative today.