Consensus 2020 Gets Underway – Virtually

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  • Consensus: Distributed is the first live streamed, free Consensus event
  • Winklevoss twins, CZ, and Anthony Pompliano all appeared on day 1
  • Event could be precursor to permanent streamed event

Consensus is usually the highlight in the crypto convention calendar, but for obvious reasons this year has required a different approach. 2020’s Consensus meetup, renamed Consensus: Distributed, has seen Lamborghinis swapped out for LAN cables as attendees log in from bedrooms and living rooms all round to watch the usual crypto big shots offering their opinions on the state of cryptocurrency. With a switch from the physical to the virtual necessitated by the coronavirus, how did the first day compare to the usual New York Hilton affair?

Consensus 2020 Goes Under the Radar

Like almost every conference worldwide, Consensus 2020 has been given a kicking by the coronavirus, resulting in a pared down virtual approach. This would have been enough on its own, but with the Bitcoin halving stealing the limelight in recent weeks you would have been forgiven for forgetting about Consensus altogether.

However, the annual crypto gettogether got underway yesterday thanks to the marvels of technology, with some big names appearing on day one – the Winklevoss twins, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, and Anthony Pompliano were among those being asked their opinions on crypto matters, with the speakers appearing from kitchens, home offices, and broom cupboards from around the world.

While most got the hang of the technology and managed to come across as professional as possible in the circumstance, others, such as Jason Hsu, a former Taiwanese Legislator, had a little difficulty in getting their webcam properly aligned:

Screenshot 2020-05-12 at 09.58.48

Free Event the Future of Consensus?

Unlike the regular event, which is traditionally held at the New York Hilton and comes with a $2,000+ ticket price, Consensus: Distributed is a completely free virtual event that anyone can dial into from the comfort of their own homes. The event is expected to bring together more than 13,000 attendees between May 11 to May 15, with over 100 sessions broadcast online.

Other big name speakers due to appear include Blockstream CEO Adam Back, singer turned crypto advocate Akon, Caitlin Long, NBA star Spencer Dinwiddie, and Vitalik Buterin. Of all the industries, you would think that blockchain companies would be on top of the technology required to turn a physical conference into a virtual one, and for the most part it seems to have gone well, with the only issues caused by limitations in the technology itself.

So could we see Consensus: Distributed go from being a one-off measure of necessity to a permanent fixture? We will have to see how the rest of the week pans out and whether the response from viewers is positive and strong enough to warrant a repeat, but there is every possibility that the two could run in tandem next year, with the free online version complementing the main event. There is however little chance of it replacing the main event.

I mean, everyone needs a little rented Lambo in their life, right?