Consensus 2018 kickoff: Lambo rental, fake bankers, oversold crowd
The cryptocurrency circus has come to town.
“I think they sold too many tickets,” says attendee Ronnie Moas.
Consensus 2018, billed as the largest conference in cryptocurrency, has kicked off and is living up to its promise. A crowd of 8,500 people has elbowed through itself for a place at the conference, braving $2,000 to $3,000 ticket prices – US dollars only, no cryptocurrency accepted – for a seat at the table.
It’s more than triple the attendance of last year’s event, showing that cryptocurrency hype is still very much alive and well.
It might be amplified, quite literally, by the stunts surrounding it. Like the Lamborghinis revving through the streets of New York around the venue.
Rumor has it they’re all rented, just like the eye-catching “banker protest,” organized by an outfit called Genesis Mining, which has paid actors protesting against cryptocurrency on the bank’s behalf.
“19% to send money to Mexico is fair,” reads one of the more scathing signs.
“Everyone is here. A lot of the top 100 crypto names are here. The developers are here,” Moas said.
Well, almost everyone. A movement to boycott the conference started gaining steam ahead of the big day, and plenty of those top 100 crypto names, such as Vitalik Buterin, are vocally absent.
It’s not just a big day for big fish either. Crypto giveth and crypto taketh away, and some who experienced more of the latter are showing up at the circus with an axe to grind.
As Internet rumor has it, the story behind this unfortunate chap is that he bought into the NEM ICO but then missed the deadline for providing details to receive the tokens and was neither refunded the BTC nor given any NEM later.
4.5 million NEM is worth about $1.6 million at current prices, snatched away by a moment of inattention. Oops.
In an industry that’s still equal parts glitter and gold, marketing and engineering, you can probably expect a show.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC, XRB
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