Despite the fact that there was half the number of attendees as last year (The Information reported ~4,000 registrations as opposed to last year of around ~8000), many people that I’ve spoken to during the week were quite happy about the quality attendees that turned out. We also had a fair share number folks and projects showing up from Asia as well, Nervos Network, a a layer-1 project from China started by the first Chinese Ethereum developer, organized 1-2 events per day during Consensus to share their latest work and highlighting their token economies.
Kakaotalk, Korea’s largest messaging platform with 50million users, had brought over 10 people from their Blockchain team over to the US. I interviewed the CEO of the Blockchain business, Jason Han, on stage at Consensus and Jason revealed that they will be launching their layer-1 protocol Klatyn mainnet on June 27 and listing their KLAY token. It’s pretty impressive to me given that the Blockchain team was only formed a year ago, and now they are looking to take Klatyn global.
Bitcoin broke $8,000 for the first time in almost a year on Tuesday and is now hovering around $7,900. People have speculated that its a combination of increasing China/US trade war tensions and people flighting to bitcoin as a hedge, capital flight alternative; trading volume increasing in South America; many funds’ latest short positions getting squeezed as lending in the ecosystem has grown in the last few months; Bakkt‘s announcement to roll out testing for bitcoin futures trading in early July 2019; and Bitcoin now being able to be accepted in Starbucks and Whole Foods.
- Top trends and takeaways thus far:
- Pay attention to Japan: Japanese FSA seems to be working on announcing a guideline on categorizing tokens into utility, security tokens this summer. Some insiders seems to be extremely bullish about the outlook of Japan’s involvement in cryptocurrencies and blockchains, more than other countries in Asia. I think folks should definitely consider going to DevCon this year in Osaka on Oct 8-11 to get a feel of the environment there. Besides, how can anyone resist going to Japan?
- The token offering wave has returned: I attended a Huobi Prime event and saw the Thunder and Reserve Protocol CEO highlighting the pros of listing their tokens on Huobi Prime. I spoke to the CEO on his experience listing on Huobi and it seemed like he flew to China for a few weeks and spent a lot of time with the team there and the process didn’t take too long. Harmony protocol also announced their listing on Binance Launchpad. Thus far, given the regulatory conditions in the US, there are a number of top projects I’ve spoken to in the West that is actively thinking about their IEO strategy.
- TRON’s money is kind of irresistible: For those folks who were present at Consensus, TRON decided to hijack the covers of the Midtown Hilton elevators with Justin Sun’s face and his promotional message about TRON. Justin Sun has been in conversations with some top cryptography and protocol projects at the conference to potentially give them TRON token grants in the magnitudes of millions. I’ve openly tweeted about my thoughts about them.
- Bitmex is looking to launch hashrate futures. Bitmex is looking to launch hashrate futures and this will mostly benefit retail markets and fill their speculation appetite while miners get hurt. Some small miners and those outside of China that I’ve spoken with were not happy and seems to be looking to diversifying their businesses.
- Defi Opportunities Abroad: I’ve had a number of conversations with Defi teams that have asked me about going to market in Asia and the current players in Asia. Be sure to listen to my interview with Pan Chao head of Maker in China, and checkout my 8 takeaways from my convo with him. Another helpful resource is my interview with Justin Chow, head of BD at Cumberland.
- Bitmex is in discussions to issue its first IEO with company Ampleforth