Listicles

7 Unmissable Highlights From Consensus 2019

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The 2019 edition of the Consensus conference in New York has drawn to a close.

As ever, the three-day event attracted many of the industry’s leading people and businesses to discuss their latest products, ideas, and coins.

But what were the main takeaways from this year’s event? It’s time to look back. Here are seven things we learned at Consensus 2019.

1. The Arrival of Amazon and Microsoft

A reoccurring theme at Consensus 2019 was the concept of Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS).

Leading the charge was web giant Amazon, serving as yet another indication of how the world’s biggest tech companies are rapidly starting to take notice of the benefits of blockchains and crypto.

Amazon’s main offering was its “Managed Blockchain Service.” In simple terms, the Managed Blockchain Service makes it easy for companies to set up their own scalable blockchain networks.

At the moment, Amazon only offers its product on the Hyperledger Fabric framework, though support for Ethereum is imminent.

Microsoft also had a booth to talk about its blockchain services. The company has a partnership with Ethereum fork Quorum, allowing Azure users to deploy private blockchains and build decentralized applications.

2. Chainlink Imminent

Chainlink CEO Sergey Nazarov confirmed that the much-anticipated decentralized Oracle Network would finally go live on 30th May 2019. It’s taken the Chainlink team more than six years to get to this point, so it’s an impressive feat.

The technology is designed to be a link between smart contracts and current real-world events which aren’t on the blockchain. The technology relies on “Oracles”—they are responsible for finding the real-world data and bringing it onto the blockchain for the smart contracts to access.

Chainlink will launch on the Ethereum blockchain. During his speech, however, Nazarov said that he saw value in other blockchains and support for them would not be far behind.

In the days since Consensus, Chainlinks’s coin—LINK—is up by more than 100 percent.

3. Justin Sun Crashed and Burned

Justin Sun is no stranger to the headlines. The creator of the Tron network has faced oft-repeated allegations of questionable behavior.

When he took the stage at Consensus, many of Tron’s supporters thought that it offered Sun a perfect chance to set the record straight.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Amid a robust line of questioning from interviewer Pete Rizzo, Sun struggled to answer questions about any of the allegations. Most notably, he failed to respond to interrogations about the plagiarized Tron whitepaper adequately.

(Note: If you want to learn more about Tron, check out our Tron coin study.)

4. The Rise of Blockchain Transparency

It’s fair to say that crypto has suffered from its fair share of criminals, hackers, scammers, and other bad actors.

Consensus 2019 felt like we were starting to see the beginning of the fightback against such groups and individuals.

Particularly noteworthy was the Chainalisys booth. The company—which specializes in “preventing, detecting, and investigating cryptocurrency money laundering, fraud, and compliance violations,”—was at Consensus to discuss how it could help institutions, governments, and crypto exchanges improve on-chain ethics.

5. Everyone Was Trolled by eBay

ebay ad consensus 2019

eBay had several ads around the Consensus show floor, many of which appeared to suggest that the online auction company could be about to start accepting crypto payments on its site in the near future.

Unfortunately, eBay was quick to pour cold water on the rumors. In a press release, the company said it had no plans to change its current payment options:

“Cryptocurrency is not accepted as a form of payment on the eBay platform, nor is it part of our payments strategy. […] The ad is referencing the fact that eBay has a variety of virtual currency related items for sale on the marketplace, such as mining equipment.”

Intentionally misleading, we’re sure you’ll agree…

6. U.S. Presidential Candidate Talks Regulation

2020 U.S. presidential candidate Andrew Yang has been a vocal supporter of cryptocurrency during the last few years.

After recently throwing his hat into the ring for the Democrat nomination, he was at Consensus to discuss his opinions and what crypto advocates could expect if he made it all the way to The White House.

Yang was especially critical of the U.S. regulators’ current approach to crypto, which seems to favor enforcement rather than guidance:

“I think it’s unfair to folks, and I think it’s a clear emblem of the U.S.’s approach […] It’s one thing that regulators come down when there are clear guidelines, but there aren’t in crypto. The regulators owe the community some degree of clarity.”

7. Deloitte Commits to Ethereum

There had been rumors that Deloitte might be about to move its all clients to VeChain, potentially leaving Ethereum behind.

That’s not the case. In a statement, Antonio Senatore, the Global CTO for Deloitte’s Blockchain, said the following:

“Deloitte believes strongly in multi-platform development, and 50% of our projects are built on Ethereum. We will launch a very large project by the end of the year on the Ethereum platform.”

Deloitte will use VeChain for some clients, however. According to Senatore, the blockchain’s lower transaction costs paired with its “strong community and ecosystem” made it an excellent choice in certain use cases.

Share Your Favorite Stories From Consensus 2019

Considering Consensus only lasted for three days, it feels like we’ve got a mountain of new news and information to digest.

We’ve not even touched on the launch of DAPS Coin, NEO’s slew of announcements, the rumors surrounding trading crypto on TD Ameritrade, or Gemini’s partnership with Flexa.

So, now it’s over to you. We want you to tell us which were your top stories from the conference floor; make sure you let us know in the comments below.

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Dan Price
Dan is the Managing Editor of Blocks Decoded. He has a background in both finance and technology and holds professional qualifications from the UK's Chartered Insurance Institute, including a Certificate in Discretionary Investment Management and a Diploma in Financial Planning. In his early career, Dan worked for more than five years as a private financial consultant, advising clients on investments, fund portfolios, and long-term savings. Today, Dan also writes for MakeUseOf. He started at the company in January 2014 and has gone on to hold several key positions in the organization.
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