Cryptocurrency Conferences Continue to Thrive Despite Industry Downturn

Over the last year, cryptocurrency prices have dropped significantly and mainstream attention has been waning in recent months. However, according to recent data, the digital currency and blockchain conference circuit did not see a steady decline during the last six months of 2018.


Digital Currency and Blockchain Focused Conferences Are Still Trending

Cryptocurrency and blockchain related conferences did not see a decline in popularity last year. The number of crypto-infused events held was a stark contrast to the many other sectors within the digital asset economy, according to recent data collected by the analysis site Tradeblock. In 2018, cryptocurrency conferences really started heating up and event organizers pulled in millions from steady ticket sales and initial coin offering (ICO) exhibition booths. For instance, last year at Consensus Week (May 11-17) in New York the conference scored a whopping $10.5 million with event tickets being sold for $1,500-2,000 for all 7,000 attendees.

In fact, blockchain conference tickets sold for big money all year long and most of the events in 2018 sold out. The two-day Ethereum Ethereal Summit hosted by Consensys sold tickets for $1,300 a pop, even after Vitalik Buterin publicly spoke out against expensive conference tickets and rampant scams. The Women on the Block conference on Mother’s Day sold for $299-599, and Token Summit on May 17 sold out its early bird tickets at $649 and sold the rest of the seats in the house for $979. Last May, the company Eventbrite was selling NYC Blockchain Tech & Invest Summit tickets for $899-$1,299 per person.

In the face of massive layoffs, the declining cryptocurrency market values in 2018, and tickets selling for hundreds and even thousands of dollars — Blockchain conferences have remained unscathed from the faltering crypto economy. The well known provider of institutional trading tools and digital currency data Tradeblock explained this week that 2018 blockchain event organizers continued to host conferences all around the world.

“Despite the crypto bear market during 2018, the number of industry related conferences did not see a steady decline in the latter half of the year,” the analytical data website Tradeblock detailed on Thursday.

Cryptocurrency Conferences Continue to Thrive Despite Industry Downturn

Pricey Crypto Events See Sold Out Exhibit Halls and Thousands of Attendees

Many of the 2018 blockchain events had upwards of hundreds to thousands of attendees, according to the vast list of conferences held last year. The Paris Fintech Forum saw 2,000 guests, Finovate Europe 1,400, Malta Blockchain Summit 9,500, Cryptocurrency World Expo Berlin 1,600, Blockchain Summit Vienna 2,000, Deconomy South Korea 2,000, Blockchain Conference Moscow 2,000, and the Blockchain Expo Global in London saw 6,000 participants. Blockchain conferences saw appearances from numerous cryptocurrency developers and blockchain luminaries as well, such as Tim Draper, Joseph Lubin, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, Vitalik Buterin, Charlie Lee, Balaji Srinivasan, and many other speakers.

2019 cryptocurrency and blockchain related conferences are still in full swing as there are many scheduled for the next few months already. There are conferences such as Blockchainge DC, Crypto Investor Show Manchester, TNABC Miami, and the Binance Blockchain Week event. Some of these conferences will host up to 4,500 people depending on the blockchain event. Even though online attention and crypto trends may be dwindling, the general public is still very inquisitive toward cryptocurrency and blockchain focused events.

What do you think about the cryptocurrency and blockchain conference circuit still thriving? Did you attend any blockchain conferences last year? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Author:  Jamie Redman
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Worst performers in the last seven days!

A week ago, Black Wednesday came, brought a huge dip, and a week later most coins are still struggling to keep their heads above the water.

We checked to see how the top 100 coins by market cap are holding up.

Even the least of the top 10 losers – Cardano (ADA) – lost more than 40%. RChain (RHOC) is the biggest loser of the bunch, with almost half its price shaven off.

The top 10 coins by market capitalization have also experienced varying degrees of loss: if the top 50 by amount lost are the losers, then Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Cardano are the only ones below that line. The others are relative winners – but only compared to what happened to other coins that lost upwards of some 30%.

Ethereum has been on a downward spiral for some time now, as sentiment worsens, and hit new yearly low today. Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, has not been helping either: from agreeing with the opinion that ETH will be worthless if its protocol doesn’t change, to saying that, “There isn’t an opportunity for yet another 1,000-times growth in anything in the space anymore,” he does not sound exactly optimistic.

As of the time of writing, the market stays distinctly red.

Ethereum: Death Through Economic Abstraction?

Cryptocurrency entrepreneur Jeremy Rubin caused quite the stir last week when he declared the collapse of Ethereum to be inevitable. In an article that appeared on Sept. 2, Rubin argued that Ethereum’s scalability issues and failure to adopt more secure contract authoring practices would eventually lead ether to be upstaged by its competitors. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin took to Reddit on Monday to issue a lengthy response to the article.

Death by Economic Abstraction

The core of Rubin’s argument centers on “economic abstraction,” a term used by the Ethereum community to describe gas payments in a non-ETH asset. Economic abstraction is basically paying smart contract fees through an ERC-20 token instead of Ethereum. In Rubin’s view, allowing smart contract fees to be paid in ERC-20 tokens will eventually make Ethereum redundant, leading to its price collapse.

To illustrate this point, he used the example of “BuzzwordCoin,” a fictional decentralized application that will pay gas in ether. According to Rubin, requiring every BuzzwordCoin transaction to also depend on Ethereum for fees creates significant risk, third party dependency and downward pressure on the underlying token price. In other words, if a user had to sell BuzzwordCoin for ether ahead of time to facilitate a BuzzwordCoin transaction, then the selling will happen before the transaction needs it.

Rubin adds the following:

“Instead of paying for Gas in ETH, we could make every BuzzwordCoin transaction deposit a small amount of BuzzwordCoin directly to the block’s miner’s address to pay for the contract’s execution. Paying for Gas in a non-ETH asset is sometimes referred to as economic abstraction in the Ethereum community.”

Vitalik Responds

In a lengthy Reddit response, Vitalik Buterin partially agreed with Rubin’s analysis but said Ethereum is “likely not doing “full economic abstraction.””

“In Ethereum as it presently exists, this is absolutely true, and in fact, if Ethereum were not to change, all parts of the author’s argument (except the part about proof of stake, which would not even apply to Ethereum as it is today) would be correct.”

To address economic abstraction, Buterin clarified that developers are considering two proposals that require ETH to be paid at the protocol level. The two proposals – modified fee market and storage maintenance fees – would basically make gas payments in ether mandatory.

Buterin said economic abstraction can still happen at the user level but block proposers would still need to “cough up ETH.”

ETH/USD Price Update

Ethereum declined sharply on Wednesday as part of a wider market pullback. At the time of writing, the ether price was down 9.9% at $259, according to CoinMarketCap. The second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap briefly traded above $300 over the weekend but was unable to hold that critical  level. The panic sale has put ether at a weekly loss of more than 11%.

Author: Sam Bourgi
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