Consensus, the annual crypto and blockchain convention, attracted over 15,000 attendees, 220 sponsors and 410 audio system to its 2023 version in Austin, Texas, despite recent regulatory struggles round cryptocurrency adoption in the US. 

The turnout at Consensus 2023 demonstrated that U.S.-based firms and worldwide organizations are nonetheless very a lot excited about implementing Web3 expertise into their enterprise fashions.

Caitlin Lengthy, founder and CEO of Custodia Financial institution — a Wyoming-based digital asset financial institution — informed Cointelegraph that the convention attracted critical ecosystem contributors, saying, “We’ve seen throughout crypto winters earlier than the place Consensus will get overrun with excessive time choice folks and corporations (for instance, a number of Lambo’s parked out entrance of the New York Hilton in 2018), and in bust years the low-time choice folks and corporations simply maintain constructing. This 12 months was the latter.”

Companies focus on Web3 methods

A number of massive organizations had been current at Consensus 2023, with Mastercard, Google, Robinhood and Coinbase, amongst others, gathering to debate their Web3 methods.

James Tromans, head of Web3 at Google Cloud, informed Cointelegraph about some blockchain-based initiatives the corporate has not too long ago launched.

“On the finish of final 12 months, Google Cloud introduced Blockchain Node Engine, which permits customers and builders to run an Ethereum node with out having to handle or help it themselves,” he mentioned.

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At Consensus, the agency introduced that it had expanded help for the Blockchain Node Engine to Polygon proof-of-stake, along with Ethereum.

Tromans added that Google Cloud is aware of what Polygon has been doing in the zero-knowledge (ZK) space, noting that Polygon ZK Ethereum digital machines (zkEVM) and Polygon supernets will profit from the availability of Google Cloud’s infrastructure and developer instruments.

Furthermore, Tromans identified that Google Cloud’s startup program will assist onboard firms excited about constructing on Web3 utilizing current Google Cloud merchandise. “Polygon is a crucial a part of this initiative, as they’ve supplied a $3 million contribution from their enterprise fund to get this off the bottom with us,” he mentioned.

World monetary providers big Mastercard introduced its “Mastercard Crypto Credential” solution during Consensus. Raj Dhamodharan, head of crypto and blockchain at Mastercard, said throughout a fireplace dialogue at Consensus that he’s “excited concerning the underlying potential of blockchain expertise” resulting from its capacity to retailer and transfer worth seamlessly.

Nevertheless, Dhamodharan defined that “this potential is just not absolutely realized at this time,” so Mastercard has began engaged on a number of merchandise like Mastercard Crypto Credential.

“I consider that upon getting the suitable constructing blocks needed for security and ease, you’ll be able to have extra companies constructing and counting on the fundamental utility of storing and transferring worth,” Dhamodharan mentioned on stage.

Conversations continued at aspect occasions

Whereas there have been 10 devoted levels for 285 panels throughout Consensus, many aspect occasions allowed necessary conversations to proceed exterior of the convention.

For instance, zero-knowledge proofs (ZK-proofs) had been extensively mentioned at Consensus, however in-depth conversations round ZK-proofs happened on the “ZK360” occasion hosted by Mina Protocol. Evan Shapiro, CEO of the Mina Basis and co-founder of the Mina Protocol, informed Cointelegraph that the objective of ZK360 was for attendees to study concerning the newest developments in ZK-proofs and the way these could be utilized in the actual world. “Web3 wants each privateness and verified computation. ZK-proofs present each of these at a time when functions are needing these options to be more practical, decentralized and scalable,” he mentioned.

Evan Shapiro, CEO of the Mina Basis, spoke about ZK-proofs on the ZK360 aspect occasion. Supply: Mina Basis

Different layer-1 blockchain networks like Ripple and Algorand hosted aspect occasions, permitting Consensus attendees to higher perceive particular blockchain choices whereas networking with neighborhood members. These occasions additionally introduced a possibility for non-Consensus attendees to study necessary matters inside the Web3 sector. 

Missing a global presence

Whereas the turnout throughout Consensus 2023 was notable, some trade consultants highlighted that the convention lacked a global presence.

Yat Siu, chairman of Animoca Manufacturers — a enterprise capital firm centered on blockchain-based video games — informed Cointelegraph that areas in Asia like Japan and Hong Kong are providing a progressive and welcoming regulatory setting for crypto adoption. He famous that most individuals he spoke with at Consensus appeared stunned and even skeptical at this. He mentioned:

“I feel {that a} bigger presence of abroad contributors would have helped permit Consensus contributors to higher perceive the scope of pleasure and alternative that exists exterior of the US. I’d like to see a stronger worldwide presence at Consensus subsequent 12 months.”

Regardless of this, Siu mentioned that Consensus 2023 was a well-attended, high-energy convention general. “I used to be stunned on the stage of deal-making exercise that was happening, even when the narrative was that the U.S. was adverse on crypto,” he mentioned.

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Echoing Siu was Keith Grossman, president of enterprise at MoonPay. He informed Cointelegraph that he was impressed to see so many executives from among the largest firms in attendance at Consensus. “Offers had been being mentioned, and I consider we are going to look again at Consensus 2023 recognizing it represented a maturation within the trade because it pertains to how Web3 applied sciences could be deployed in a significant method for companies and their clients.”