The biggest conference in crypto history, with more than 8,000 attendants, was an opportunity to announce we are now in the big league.
The incredible varied and innovative developments that occurred just in the past few months, were to be displayed with a big bang you would think.
Art would be showcased to inspire, thinkers would bring new radical ideas, the smartest of a generation – presenting such complex thoughts you need to rewind three times to understand a quarter of it – would take the stage, you’d think.
But no cat t-shirt was found at Coindesk’s Consensus, the biggest crypto-conference of the year. No young man or woman even took the stage, except for perhaps very briefly. No builders in sight.
The baby boomers were very much in charge. Some bankers, some regulators, some from established traditional companies.
We found some of the talks interesting. Seeing different perspectives is always useful. The re-affirmation can also assist. And if there is one takeaway is that our fathers and mothers are now listening to us.
Yet the general mood is of significant disappointment. “Instead of actual substance during the talks, they took a stance like they were propositioning the entire world instead of the crypto community,” one attendant says.
“By far the worst crypto conference I’ve been to,” another one says before adding: “Talks were superficial… the whole presentation vibe was, let’s bend over backward for bankers and discuss how we’re going to do it.”
There was a time when bitcoiners did not like Coindesk, and Coindesk did not very much like bitcoin either, but then owners changed and now Coindesk is more bitcoindesk.
The conference, therefore, can be seen as bitcoin’s conference. The problem Coindesk would have had, or we would have had if we were organizing it, is that not much is happening in bitcoin.
Sure, the Lightning Network deserved a presentation, but beyond that, and maybe another project here or there, what do bitcoiner’s talk about? Obviously not scalability. Certainly not how to really be the internet of money. Clearly not about how to give Africas a bank account. Nor really whether they managed to disrupt banking, or how they can do it.
Those things no longer belong to bitcoin. Those that dream of achieving them have long moved on to primarily ethereum where the most fascinating crypto-conference, of all times in our view, was livestreamed for three days just before Consensus begun.
Edcon is a newcomer, with their first conference undertaken only last year. This year, however, it has considerably surprised us and has impressed us far beyond our expectations.
Over three days packed with presentations that couldn’t last for more than 15 minutes, one is transported to a very new world, indeed the future itself.
We haven’t finished watching it, the Token Summit is currently on too, and we really don’t want to give any spoilers just yet because Edcon is a must watch from start to finish.
You get one guy from Status talking about linguistics and after a brief history of the field brings us to how code, as a new language, changes the perception of time itself.
You get a 16 year old girl who despite her slides not showing up (the basic tech in this conference wasn’t very honed down) she goes on without notes to give a flawless presentation without going one second overtime.
And what she presented was impressive in itself. A way to provide biological samples to gene researchers without revealing any other detail about you whatever through ethereum, of course.
Then, you have someone from what looks like a completely different field presenting a radical idea of hyper capitalism and hyper communism merged into one.
Stutter, sometime they did. One even almost fell off the stage, while more generally things would constantly metaphorically fall off the slides, sound would not work now and then, the clipper either, sometime the presentation would not even show up.
But ignoring those clear signs of a very new beginning, the contents of the presentations were astounding. The quality, of the highest level possible.
Edcon was the builder’s conference, and for builders. It’s as if you got the brightest of this generation in one room, and you got them to present to each other.
And not just present, but showcase what they are building to their peers who might want to work for them or might want to give them a dressing down. And showcase they did, with many projects probably making a name here.
Our words can do no justice, so we won’t proceed any further. We give it 9/10. And it’s only a 9 because we want to encourage even higher quality next time, but really it’s a 10 out of 10.
There was art too (featured image), but not of the usual kind. We call art anything that is beautiful, and there was much beauty on display at Edcon 2018.
Devcon is now coming up this autumn in fine Prague and it might even top Edcon, but we doubt while secretly hoping to be surprised.
Yet we wouldn’t really be very surprised because ethereum has just far too much building to talk about for it to bother with bankers or regulators or any of that jazz that belongs more to lawyers and perhaps other spaces like these pages.
With 1,200 dapps already running, many of them finding considerable use, with much to think about how to disrupt the internet giants, how to modernize shipping, how to steer the token economy in the right direction, how to get to one billion transactions a day, how to even get cars to “talk” to each other, how to inspire and make men dream, they, the builders, have no time to fluff about.
That’s because scalability will probably be addressed in about two years, and that’s barely enough time to take a step in the coding world let alone be ready for grandma to have a go at using the thing.
So they are busy, and get only about 15 minutes, with a parade of builders – almost unnoticeably to the outside world, almost underground really with only these pages talking some of it – so showing just what ethereum and this blockchain thing is.
And so showing to us, as each day passes in this 2018, that the miraculous year continues, and might even become a miraculous decade.