The Consensus Distributed Virtual Conference 2020 has been extraordinary, to say the least. It was a week-long extravaganza with an all you can eat buffet for everything Blockchain and Crypto. The star-studded lineup is filled with Blockchain rockstars like Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, co-founder of Binance, The Winklevoss Twins, Vitalik Buterin, NBA Player Spencer Dinwiddie, and so many more. When I say so many more we are talking like hundreds of people at very high levels of the industry. The pioneers, the innovators, and the trailblazers. I write to you today as a humble newcomer to the industry and space with an infinite curiosity to learn and seek understanding about anything and everything I can get my hands on. I could ramble for hours about every meeting I went to and participated in, but I want to get into the overarching themes and my biggest takeaways from the four days that I have attended the virtual meetings so far.
There is something for everyone at this event and what I mean by that is the subject matters being discussed were vast in nature ranging from financial markets, crypto regulations, developer-focused chats, DEFI (Decentralized Finance), to privacy workshops, ecosystem analysis, and insights from the amazing people behind current projects. I think it is so hard to just categorize Blockchain as one thing because it’s everything. Every industry imaginable had some sort of representation, and it wasn’t just the interns from these companies. I got to look inside the minds of some of the smartest people on the planet across the entire board and I think that was one of the coolest things.
After day two of the conference, I realized what was happening. I was literally sticking my head into the future, and seeing the foundational concepts and new infrastructures of what was to come. Let me tell you, the future is bright and promising. One of the underlying premises of blockchain technology is to give power back to the people of the world instead of handing our power to massive corporations, governments, and institutions. It was as if the present-day constructs were melting away in front of your very own eyes and you got to peer into the matrix of complexities and feel the energy from the people that have helped lay the bricks to this emerging industry. Blockchain is no longer the new kid on the block and we should get used to it. But how?
Education is a big piece of that. Going to events exactly like Consensus: Distributed and learning about how the technology is being applied in all different fields. Once we are able to have Blockchain run in the background while we don’t know it is there it will begin to take over the world. I don’t mean take over the world in a terminator robot kind of way, but in a way that we just simply start learning and doing things a new way. The better way, which is creating and innovating a decentralized world built on consensus. The idea wasn’t mine, hence the name of the conference, Consensus: Distributed. You can see the mission of why the conference was organized. The blockchain industry realizes that people need to be educated and I think you can tell that these conferences are shifting from strictly technical high-level conversations to a more inclusive, educational, and informative environment because the industry realizes how important it will be to bring in talented individuals from outside. In order to do that, we have to start making sure that people understand what is going on and why. The goal of the blockchain industry is a push towards mass adoption and the more people that understand the field the more adoption that will happen.
If you didn’t have a chance to attend any of the meetings they still have recordings posted that you can scroll through and watch and I will give you the list of ones that I recommend going to watch if you have some time on your hands.
Meetings and Speakers from some of my favorite meetings I was able to attend
As you can see you had CEO’s, Presidents, Upper-Level Management, Government Agents, Global Institution Members, Entrepreneurs, Influencers, and media members all coming together for one thing… The one thing and major driving force behind this whole conference were to continue pushing humanity into the future built on Blockchain technology. After digesting the plethora of information and really thinking about everything my biggest takeaway was the from the Defi presentation made by Defi Dad. He took a multifaceted topic like decentralized finance and broke it down so that anyone could understand it. I think for me that meant a lot because I instantly started to think about its applications in the real world and what a parallel financial system like Defi would look like. He helped paint that picture to bring you into his world, the blockchain decentralized world. It isn’t far fetched or really out of touch. Many of the instruments of Defi are currently being deployed today, and many more innovations are sure to come. Some of his panelists believed that the Defi segment of Blockchain will be the first industry that goes mainstream because of how ready the tech is.
What really is Defi?
Decentralized finance is exactly that. A financial system where there are no banks or middlemen between parties. A person in Europe can easily lend money to another person in Africa with terms agreed upon in the program. Interest can be earned, and money distributed without having to wait for a bank to clear the funds or remit paperwork for a loan. It allows people to access a financial system with just a phone and an internet connection. That’s pretty powerful stuff right there.
In summation, I am so grateful to have attended the Consensus: Distributed conference and am excited to see what many of the great people and companies do in the upcoming months. I highly recommend you visit the website above and check out some of the meetings that were recorded if some of those subjects or people interest you. My one piece of advice is to take off bite-size chunks and let things marinate because many of the concepts presented can be building blocks for each other. To understand one topic you might need to understand another topic. I found that when I was able to digest and process one idea by sleeping on things it became easier to relate the concepts I learned. Drinking through the fire hose can be tough. The process is a slow drip.