Blockchain conferences experience rebirth, getting rid of fraudsters with precarious ICOs and technically illiterate speakers.
In May 2018, New York was flooded by exclusive parties at burlesque clubs in the city downtown. They were run by crypto investors and millionaires who participated in one of the most famous blockchain conferences in the world, Consensus 2018. Visitors witnessed Aston Martins, whose cost starts from $150,000, Lambos, which are necessary attributes of dolce vita, night clubs with waitresses in corsets and lace underwear. Despite the fall of the bitcoin price in the first half of 2018, the cryptocurrency industry continued living a life as if bitcoin was trading at its peak at $20,000.
Following the explosive growth of cryptocurrencies, recent years were marked by the rapid development of the associated event industry. The world capitals and economic centers were invaded by blockchain events whose organizers promised to initiate discussions about the latest industry insights, by blockchain conferences and forums, whose speakers, however, were not mostly developers, but millionaires who made a successful bet on cryptocurrency, or marketing and PR managers who get acquainted with bitcoin and blockchain several days before the event.
“Technology conferences nowadays are just hundreds of men just repeating “blockchain” and “AI” at each other to give the impression they’re intelligent and sell you on some bullshit product or service you don’t even need,” wrote Twitter-user Cobra, who is considered to be a co-owner of the Bitcoin.org and Bitcointalk domains.
Blockchain conferences at that time were almost as profitable as crypto trading itself, especially taking into account lower risks associated with organizing such an event in comparison to high risks of crypto trading. With tickets roughly $2,000 each, the Coindesk’s Consensus 2018 blockchain conference was likely bringing in at least $8 million to its organizer.
Nevertheless, the event industry could not avoid decline amid the recession in the cryptocurrency market. In 2019, instead of giving away sports cars, champagne and exclusive club parties, attendees of the Consensus blockchain conference in New York preferred sound baths and meditation.
Blockchain event organizers were criticized for insufficiently careful selection of speakers. The lists of speakers could include representatives of fraudulent cryptocurrency projects or newcomers with little knowledge of technology.
“No one wants to listen to the same five losers talk bullshit that doesn’t help you make money at yet another “blockchain” conference with $1000 tickets,” wrote one of the crypto investors on Twitter in fall 2019. However, by that time, the blockchain-related event industry has changed dramatically in response to community requests.
2019 was the year of recovery for the cryptocurrency industry. The ICO bubble was all past and done with, cryptocurrency exchanges began to unite to counteract wash trading on shady platforms, many corporations launched blockchain projects in test mode following the period of development. And the main indicator of recovery, which is without doubts the bitcoin price, has again shown growth, although not as rapid as in 2017. After the crypto “winter” in 2018 and its “spring” in 2019, the crypto community is waiting for the summer, with decentralized projects and solutions based on cryptography and blockchain to flourish and achieve mass adoption in to world. To achieve this ambitious goal, combined forces and resources are needed. Networking and desire to discuss and find solutions to the key problems of blockchain infrastructure and cryptocurrency market will become the dominant mood at the upcoming blockchain conferences in 2020.
Every year, hundreds, if not thousands of blockchain events are held in the world. Attendees are promised to be granted the opportunity to talk with leading experts in this field and get acquainted with the latest technologies. But only a few of these events are really worth time and money spent.
We analyzed and compiled a list of the best blockchain conferences in 2020.
Chain 2020, January 2020, Hong Kong (China)
Blockchain conferences should carry an educational mission to attract and unite young and talented specialists around new technology. Such an ambicious goal was manifested by the organizers of the Hong Kong Conference Chain 2020, which amazes with its scale and scope of topics for discussion. 10,000 visitors are expected to visit Chain 2020. The conference include a separate day dedicated only to educational events that will be focused not only on blockchain, but also fintech, robotics, and artificial intelligence. Chain 2020 promises to be a landmark event for the crypto industry throughout the Asian region and the whole world. The list of invited guests includes the Huawei technical director, partners and successful financiers with careers at leading American banks such as Bank of New York Mellon and Morgan Stanley, blockchain platform developers and blockchain association leaders. The world-famous humanoid robot Sofia, created by Hanson Robotics, is mentioned as a special guest of Chain 2020. The discussions will cover a wide range of topics, from central banks digital currencies to scaling solutions. Attendees will be able to learn more about existing architectural solutions for blockchain platforms and how development is going on in this area. And, of course, they will be able to discuss their knowledge with the robot Sofia. It’s already worth going to Chain 2020 just for the sake of this, isn’t it?
Autonomy 2040, January 2020, Tulum (Mexico)
The time has come to loudly declare the potential of Latin American countries in the field of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The Autonomy 2040 Conference in Tulum is organized for those who are interested in the opportunities the Latin American market offers. Nowadays, when largest developed economies tighten legislation on cryptocurrencies, seeing them as competitors to national currencies and preferring to ban them instead of exploring their potential, the authorities of developing economies, including those in Latin America, choose a more loyal approach, legalizing cryptocurrencies and actively implementing payment blockchain solutions in various areas. Just remember the decision of 60 Latin American banks to unite through a single payment provider and use the bitcoin blockchain to accelerate cross-border payments on the continent. Representatives of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, directors of consulting companies, developers of payment blockchain solutions and creators of AI algorithms are among the expected guests of the conference. Special attention at the conference will be paid to tokenomics and the regulatory landscape regarding cryptocurrencies and blockchain in Mexico.
Consensus, May 2020, New York (USA)
There are activities that do not require presentation. The New York Consensus Conference is Las Vegas and Mecca all-in-one for those working with cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Since its debut in 2015, Consensus has earned a reputation of one of the largest and most important blockchain and cryptocurrency conferences in the world, which unites under one roof (it is worth noting that this is the roof of the Hilton Hotel in New York) developers, founders, owners of crypto-exchanges, as well as financiers, investors and representatives of world regulators. This is a unique opportunity to make the necessary acquaintances. And even if such a goal is not worth it, it’s still worth visiting Consensus. Who knows, maybe you will be the one who wins Aston Martin in 2020.
Blockchain Expo Europe, July 2020, Amsterdam (Netherlands)
An independent blockchain is good, but corporations are not ready to take their hands off the wheel. They need their own manageable and, to the extent necessary, controlled decentralized solutions. It is precisely such decisions and platforms that will be the main topic of one of the largest blockchain conferences in Europe, Blockchain Expo Europe, which will be held in July in Amsterdam. Blockchain solutions for retail and healthcare, logistics and trading, industry 4.0 and smart contracts in the energy sector, Internet of things, cybersecurity, data analytics and artificial intelligence, and a plenty of other hot subjects are expected to be discussed there. It is expected that the event will be attended by 8,000 visitors, including IT experts, technical directors, innovation and technology managers, developers, founders of tech startups, representatives of world governments, automotive concerns, telecom operators, investors and major venture capitalists.
DevCon6, October 2020, Osaka, (Japan)
Even if you are not admiring Vitalik Buterin, the Devcon6 conference is an event that is worth visiting for those who are interested in developing decentralized applications, applied solutions based on the Ethereum blockchain or just have something to say about Ethereum scalability (and we all have some ideas to share on this matter). Devcon, which is held annually by the Ethereum Foundation, is aimed at developers, researchers, “thinkers and makers”, as stated in the description of the conference. The main emphasis is made on the discussion of technological issues, such as the EVM-based formal rules language, functional programming for Ethereum, Dapp creation and sharding, data privacy problems and the search for possible vulnerabilities. Conference visitors have a unique opportunity to get acquainted with those who daily contribute to the development of the Ethereum blockchain system. Who knows, maybe you will become the one who offers the most optimal solution for scaling?