Times Square

Wow, what a wild week it has been! Between attending the blockchain industry’s biggest event and the skyrocketing prices of just about every cryptocurrency — especially Bitcoin — capped with a holiday weekend, we are still reeling. We are all back at our desks though and finally had a chance to unpack some of our thoughts about CoinDesk’s annual event, Consensus, in beautiful New York City!

10,000 Foot View

First, the event was huge. Tickets were sold out and almost 3,000 people were in attendance across 4-5 floors. Speakers & panels were often down to standing room only and some great topics were covered like Can Bitcoin Scale? and Chasing Privacy in Blockchains among many other discussions & presentations on the business & technical applications of blockchain.

Second, you couldn’t help but realize that cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin are gaining fast in their validity and tokens/Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) may still be controversial, but they are big business at the moment with a lot of money to show for it. Everyone was interested in learning about ICO case studies and their future as a serious business model beneath the looming cloud of regulation.

Third, it seems that Bitcoin still has some battles ahead of it still as miners, developers and users continue to wrestle with the best way to scale it. Fundamentally it will come down to the question of defining what BTC really is—a currency or a security — either by declaration or action.

We have our own thoughts about this and were also excited to soft launch a new campaign we are working on as the OB1 team to share them. Check out Crypto Is Currency Day coming up this September and join us if you believe in the mission of digital currencies we can actually acquire & spend easily & efficiently.

Getting Personal

To conclude, we also wanted to share few other exciting thing that were shared by some of our excellent partners at the event!


Prism is a new service from Shapeshift that uses Ethereum to allow users to invest in a basket of cryptocurrencies of their choosing. In their words, “Prism is a platform upon which humans and machines can acquire exposure to portfolios of digital assets without trusting a counterparty.” We think non-custodian exchanges like this is a big step in the right direction to protect users and provide more privacy and security to traders. More details here

Protocol Labs

Protocol Labs, the company behind IPFS, teamed up with AngelList to create a new platform for token sales, called CoinList. We’re interested to see more of their work here which is aiming to legitimize crowdfunding crypto projects through ICOs within the United States and providing opportunities for them to stay here instead of moving offshore. More details here

Next, we are proud to announce our newest partnership with Digital Currency Group (DCG) as a strategic investor! This is very exciting for us as DCG is the most active investor and business incubator in the bitcoin and blockchain industry and they share a vision for the future of commerce where digital currencies are more accessible and usable for everyone. See our press release for more information.

Finally, for more of our thoughts on the event, check out this brief YouTube Live video we recorded this week with another partner of ours, Jeremy, CEO of Never Stop Marketing.

We are really energized by the members of our community who are working hard to build the financial future they want to see and we are privileged to be working with them. It’s really a gift to be surrounded by smart, driven people who are building excellent products and companies and we can’t wait to tell you more about the irons we have in the fire with them soon!

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