The annual crypto and blockchain conference, Consensus, attracted over 15,000 attendees to its 2023 edition in Austin, Texas. Companies and international organizations such as Mastercard, Google, Robinhood, and Coinbase showed their interest in implementing Web3 technology into their business models.
Caitlin Long, founder and CEO of Custodia Bank, a Wyoming-based digital asset bank, mentioned that Consensus 2023 attracted serious ecosystem participants. She noted that in previous years, the event was overrun with high-time preference people and companies, but this year, it was more focused on substantial builders.
Large organizations like Mastercard and Google Cloud were present at Consensus discussing their Web3 strategies. Mastercard announced its “Mastercard Crypto Credential” solution, while Google Cloud explained its recent launch of Blockchain Node Engine that supports Ethereum nodes.
According to Raj Dhamodharan, head of crypto and blockchain at Mastercard, the potential in blockchain technology to store and move value seamlessly can only be realized once the proper building blocks for safety and simplicity are put in place.
Side events such as “ZK360” hosted by Mina Protocol provided attendees with insights on specific topics like zero-knowledge proofs (ZK-proofs). Evan Shapiro, CEO of the Mina Foundation and co-founder of the Mina Protocol, mentioned that Web3 needs privacy and verified computation, which ZK-proofs offer.
Layer-1 blockchain networks like Ripple and Algorand also hosted additional events, enabling Consensus attendees to understand specific blockchain offerings and network with community members.
However, some experts pointed out that the conference lacked an international presence. Yat Siu, chairman of Animoca Brands, believes that a larger presence of overseas participants would help Consensus attendees to better understand the excitement and opportunity that exists outside of the United States.
Keith Grossman, president of enterprise at MoonPay, echoed Siu’s sentiments. He highlighted the impressive attendance of executives from large companies and the deal-making activity taking place. Despite the perceived negative stance of the US on crypto, Consensus 2023 was a well-attended event focused on the meaningful deployment of Web3 technologies.
In conclusion, Consensus 2023 demonstrated the growing interest in Web3 technology adoption among large companies and organizations. The event effectively showcased essential Web3 strategies, innovations, and the importance of privacy and verified computation in the future of the blockchain ecosystem. However, the conference could benefit from a stronger international presence to better grasp the global excitement and opportunity surrounding Web3 technology.