What We Learned at Consensus 2022 in Austin: Web3 is Thriving
Despite the crypto winter, Consensus 2022 came back in-person, drawing in 17,000 people to discuss the crypto landscape, Web3 development, and the future of digital assets. Consensus 2022 conference took place from June 9–12 in Austin Convention Center, Texas. Matters Lab is astonished to see Austin’s cryptocurrency community thriving, as it has become a hot spot for a number of Web3 projects.
What is Consensus 2022?
Curated and hosted by CoinDesk, an industry-leading blockchain news site, Consensus is the world’s longest and biggest crypto conference covering topics such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi), web3, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO), and metaverse.
First established in 2015, Consensus is known to be one of the few worldwide events celebrating all things blockchain tech. Every year, it attracts thousands of prominent blockchain thought-leaders and enthusiasts around the world, who engage in debates, discuss trending topics, and showcase their innovative projects.
Consensus is usually held in-person in different states in the US, except for 2020 and 2021 when COVID-19 restrictions called for a switch to an online format. However, Consensus 2022 returned to in-person mode and accommodated 17,000 participants from June 4-6. This was a significant spike in attendance compared to the 2018 event in New York, which hosted 9,000 participants.
Over 700 speakers participated in Consensus 2022, including:
- Abby Johnson (Chairman and CEO, Fidelity Investments)
- Dan Schulman (President and CEO, PayPal)
- Changpeng Zhao (Founder and CEO, Binance)
- Meltem Demiros (CSO, Coinshares)
- Kirsten Gillibrand (Senator, US Senate)
- Wally Adeyemo (Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, U.S. Department of Treasury)
- Sergey Nazarov (Co-founder, Chainlink)
- Joseph Lubin (Founder and CEO, ConsenSys)
- Joyce Yang (Founder, Global Coin Research)
- Sam Bankman-Fried (CEO, FTX)
- Edward Snowden (President of Freedom of Press)
- Kimbal Musk (CEO of Big Green and brother of Elon Musk)
The main themes that dominated discussions included the rise of web3 startups, speculations surrounding cryptocurrency, NFT fraud, and the need for standardized regulations. Staci Warden, CEO of Algorand comments on the future of web3, “With Web2, everything went back to huge platforms, but with Web3, creators and contributors receive incentives and benefits for their participation.”
The speakers also touched on the cultural and societal implications of the rise of blockchain technology. Meltem Demiros, CSO of Coinshares, notes that, “People no longer focus on their occupation, religion, or nationality. Crypto is filling this interesting role, bringing together people through memes, capitalism and community values.”
Head of Venture and Growth Investing at Digital Currency Group, Rumi Morales also comments on the level of innovation in the blockchain industry, “The level of innovation is greater than I have ever seen in 25 years of being in venture capital…In the last crypto winter there was no defi, no NFTs, no metaverse, this is super exciting now.”
Consensus will return in April 2023.
How Matters Lab participated in Consensus 2022
Despite the crypto winter, more attendees remained optimistic about the crypto ecosystem and new projects. The rise of Web3 caught the attention of the conference, and more venture capitalists are now investing in Web3 infrastructure.
Matters Lab, the popular Web3 social media ecosystem with 100,000 content creators, was honored to attend the festival with our latest project: The Space. We introduced the concept of Partial Common Ownership and Radical Economics applied in the Pixel NFT co-creation game. The Space will further enhance Matters Lab in its future explorations in attention economy on how to build a fairer social graph.
Chief Technology Officer of Matters, Guo Liu, says, “It’s amazing to see how much Web3 has grown in the past 5 years. It started from a niche and geek topic, to an industry attracting talents from all walks of life even in such a bear market.”
Regarding the creator economy, NFTs are containers of ownership, and most projects are experimenting with what they can stuff into the container. Projects like Traveloggers and The Space are important because they experiment with the container itself.
We firmly believe Web3 is a chance to bring censorship resilience and a better content economy. Moreover, the potential of the economic model behind The Space intrigued many professionals. With hundreds of visitors at our booth, we were delighted to share the Fairdrop Claim stickers that welcomed new players with $SPACE tokens.
Consensus 2022 also managed to concentrate great energy offline. It gave us a chance to gather our good friends and investors, such as Tea Project Blog, Radical x Change, and Crust Network. It was also a pleasure to foster potential future partnerships with CoinDesk, Cointelegraph, BlockBeats, Huobi Global, Binance Lab, Babel Asia, and Adventures Lab.
Finally, Consensus by CoinDesk is a fantastic place where all Web3 ideas are shared and exchanged. We dream big that Web3 Matters.