Categories: Bitcoin Business

As bitcoin gyrates, less euphoria in evidence at blockchain gathering

Click here to view original web page at www.france24.com
Deloitte demonstrated blockchain-based cybersecurity technology at the Consensus 2019 conference in New York on May 15, 2019

New York (AFP)

The vibe at a gathering this week for blockchain enthusiasts felt decidedly less exuberant than its predecessor a year ago after dizzying swings in bitcoin.

Last year's Consensus blockchain conference took place just four months after the virtual currency hit almost $20,000, spawning a legion of bitcoin millionaires who rode in swanky luxury cars and partied in over-the-top soirees.

Despite bitcoin's latest bounce, this year's gathering, again held at a hotel in New York, featured less ostentatious displays of wealth and a more sober sensibility.

The shift is partly a reflection of bitcoin's dramatic price swings, as well as a sign of the evolution of blockchain technology into more real-life, less trendy applications.

"It's definitely less buzz, less show," said Wes Fuldord, chief executive at Bitfarms Technologies, a cryptomining operation based in Quebec. "But it's reflecting signs of a more mature market."

Blockchain is a digital ledger that is the underlying technology of bitcoin with broad applications in finance and many industries that permit multiple users to share data and information in real time. The technology is considered secure because the data cannot be altered.

"In 2018, we just had a lot of powerpoint presentations," recalled Francois-Xavier Thoorens, founder of blockchain company Ark. "This year, we have real products."

Display stands at the event included a Deloitte product of three screens that employs blockchain for cybersecurity, and an application from startup Riddle & Code that authenticates expensive watches.

Speakers included representatives of Pfizer and AstraZeneca, who discussed blockchain applications in pharmaceutical research, and Microsoft, which is marketing a blockchain-based "decentralized identity" to secure personal data.

Attendees also discussed solutions to manage the ownership of digital assets and the various legal and regulatory issues that have surfaced.

This year's conference, sponsored by the digital media company CoinDesk, follows a turbulent year for bitcoin, which bottomed out at $3,200 in December in a decline that sparked skepticism on the potential of blockchain.

- Mysterious bitcoin rally -

The recent rally in bitcoin -- doubling to $8,000 from $4,000 in late March -- failed to push conference attendance to the 2018 count of 8,000. This year's event drew just 4,800 people.

The volatility in bitcoin prices as especially troubling for some observers. Fuldord said some smaller players have exited the market, leaving it to more established companies.

"Some of the hype has slowed down in the back of price weakness in 2018," Fuldord said.

Some blockchain experts have questioned whether the latest rise in bitcoin as a result of financial market uncertainty due in part to protracted US-China trade talks, with investors seeking "refuge" in the crypto market.

But for many the rally in the digital currency remains a mystery.

"We're still at the stage with bitcoin of alternating between euphoria and despair," said Thoorens, adding that more attention from regulators should with time lead to a more normalized market.

Thoorens noted that the crypto universe has come a long way from one that only two years ago could lead to banks closing an account linked to a crypto trading platform.

"All technologies go through the same steps, from fringe, to frontier, to mainstream," said Margaret Rosenfelds, an attorney who specializes in blockchain at K&L Gates.

At this point, finance is the most seasoned when it comes to understanding cryptocurrencies and using blockchain, she said.

But many other sectors are looking at applications, and devotees still expect to see growth is expected, even if the technology remains a bit abstract to a non-specialist.

Comparing it to the technology underlying email and many other now-common applications, Rosenfelds said, "The average person don?t need to understand how it works to adopt and use it."

? 2019 AFP

The vibe at a gathering this week for blockchain enthusiasts […]

cinerama

Illuminati, Mason, Anonymous I'll never tell. I can tell you this, global power is shifting and those who have the new intelligence are working to acquire this new force. You matter naught except to yourself, therefore prepare for the least expected and make your place in the new world order.

Disqus Comments Loading...
Share
Published by
cinerama

Recent Posts

Watford FC to brand Bitcoin logo on the jersey

The initiative is being carried out as a part of a brand partnership with sports betting site Sportsbet.io. Sportsbet.io's marketing… Read More

1 hour ago

Latest Bitcoin price and analysis (BTC to USD)

At the time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at just above $10,300 after gaining about 1% since last week.BTC… Read More

1 hour ago

Johnstone: How To Defeat The Empire

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via CaitlinJohnstone.com, One of the biggest and most consistent challenges of my young career so far… Read More

1 hour ago

Today’s Bitcoin Drop Driven by Massive Volume Influx

Bitcoin has been facing a bout of sideways trading for the past several days, but today’s drop to below $10,200… Read More

1 hour ago

L.A. to Choose Blockchain Pilot Project at CIS Conference

With a growing interest in blockchain solutions for government, the city of Los Angeles has partnered with organizers of a… Read More

1 hour ago

Bitcoin’s heading to a new all-time high along with the S&P 500, says Fundstrat’s Tom Lee

watch nowTalk about a bitcoin bull case.The digital currency is headed to new record highs, says Tom Lee, co-founder, managing… Read More

1 hour ago

This website uses cookies. We use these cookies to collect data about your interaction with our website for the purpose of continuously improving your experience with our site. For more information we encourage you to read our privacy policy.

Read More