Consensus 2023: Companies present curiosity in Web3, regardless of US regulatory challenges

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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, regardless of current 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 eager about implementing Web3 know-how into their enterprise fashions.

Caitlin Lengthy, founder and CEO of Custodia Financial institution — a Wyoming-based digital asset financial institution — advised Cointelegraph that the convention attracted severe ecosystem members, saying, “We’ve seen throughout crypto winters earlier than the place Consensus will get overrun with excessive time choice folks and firms (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 firms simply maintain constructing. This yr was the latter.”

Companies talk about Web3 methods

A number of giant 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, advised Cointelegraph about some blockchain-based initiatives the corporate has not too long ago launched.

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

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At Consensus, the agency introduced that it had expanded assist 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 within the zero-knowledge (ZK) area, 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 eager about constructing on Web3 utilizing present Google Cloud merchandise. “Polygon is a vital 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 stated.

World monetary providers large Mastercard introduced its “Mastercard Crypto Credential” answer throughout Consensus. Raj Dhamodharan, head of crypto and blockchain at Mastercard, acknowledged throughout a hearth dialogue at Consensus that he’s “excited in regards to the underlying potential of blockchain know-how” resulting from its means to retailer and transfer worth seamlessly.

Nevertheless, Dhamodharan defined that “this potential will not be absolutely realized immediately,” so Mastercard has began engaged on a number of merchandise like Mastercard Crypto Credential.

“I imagine that upon getting the appropriate constructing blocks vital for security and ease, you’ll be able to have extra companies constructing and counting on the essential utility of storing and shifting worth,” Dhamodharan stated on stage.

Conversations continued at facet occasions

Whereas there have been 10 devoted phases for 285 panels throughout Consensus, many facet occasions allowed essential 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 befell on the “ZK360” occasion hosted by Mina Protocol. Evan Shapiro, CEO of the Mina Basis and co-founder of the Mina Protocol, advised Cointelegraph that the aim of ZK360 was for attendees to be taught in regards to the newest developments in ZK-proofs and the way these might be utilized in the actual world. “Web3 wants each privateness and verified computation. ZK-proofs present each of these at a time when purposes are needing these options to be more practical, decentralized and scalable,” he stated.

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

Different layer-1 blockchain networks like Ripple and Algorand hosted facet occasions, permitting Consensus attendees to raised perceive particular blockchain choices whereas networking with neighborhood members. These occasions additionally introduced a chance for non-Consensus attendees to study essential matters throughout 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 targeted on blockchain-based video games — advised Cointelegraph that areas in Asia like Japan and Hong Kong are providing a progressive and welcoming regulatory atmosphere for crypto adoption. He famous that most individuals he spoke with at Consensus appeared stunned and even skeptical at this. He stated:

“I believe {that a} bigger presence of abroad members would have helped permit Consensus members to raised 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 yr.”

Regardless of this, Siu stated 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 damaging on crypto,” he stated.

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Echoing Siu was Keith Grossman, president of enterprise at MoonPay. He advised Cointelegraph that he was impressed to see so many executives from a number of the largest firms in attendance at Consensus. “Offers had been being mentioned, and I imagine 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 might be deployed in a significant method for companies and their clients.”