WhalePanda, a well known trader and investor within the cryptocurrency market and community, published a blog post entitled “Consensus 2017 Recap” to entail his takeaways from the NYC Consensus event.
At the event, WhalePanda explained that there were four main discussion points led by industry leaders and developers:
- Legality of ICOs
- Bitcoin’s scaling issues
- Increasing demand toward Ethereum Classic
- Generally negative perception of EthereumFor the most part, bitcoin scaling discussions were the major focus points for the majority of participants of the event, especially because of the announcement of the Digital Currency Group and the formation of the Bitcoin Scaling Agreement.
At the NYC Consensus event, DCG and 56 other companies revealed a plan to activate Segregated Witness (Segwit) by September with a 80 percent activation threshold and execute a 2MB hard fork six months thereafter. The Bitcoin Scaling Agreement included companies like Bitmain that previously expressed their opposition toward Segwit.
Bitcoin Core developers including Greg Maxwell and Matt Corallo have criticized the Bitcoin Scaling Agreement for its unrealistic deadlines. Maxwell in particular pointed out that in order for a new Segwit proposal to be accepted, the previous proposal of Segwit with 95 percent activation threshold (BIP 148) has to expire.
Other developers and influential figures including Core developer Eric Lombrozo and Adam Back expressed their enthusiasm toward the progress and vowed to help the initiative to become a success.
“There are so many brilliant people working on the development of Bitcoin and Bitcoin-related projects that I’m still very bullish on Bitcoin. Even with the mining pools and certain individuals trying to stall and block progress. Yes, fees are up and actually too high, the price is also up x10. There is no logic behind blocking Segwit besides bad intentions,” said WhalePanda.
Apart from the discussions around bitcoin scaling issues, most of the panels and presentations focused on the state of ICOs, their legality and potential. Several experts and attorneys suggested that ICOs could run in conflict with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in the future and criticized the way ICOs are handled and initiated.
Recapping discussions around ICOs, WhalePanda wrote:
“The insanity around ICO’s was a hot topic at Consensus. What I learned from the regulatory panel is that ICO’s which don’t have a working product on launch, are basically scams and they will probably get in a lot of trouble at a later point. I’m not saying that ICO’s with a working product on launch aren’t scams, but at least they put some more effort in than just writing a whitepaper.”
Other panels also actively led discussions on ICOs, debating on their legality and legitimacy. Most notably, Monero lead developer Riccardo Spagni, better known as FluffyPony, told the crowd:
“There are scammers that don’t realize they are scammers yet.”
Overall, WhalePanda noted that he was disappointed with the event due to the unbalanced proportion of industry experts, developers and figures from the traditional finance industry. He explained that the event was overwhelmed with figures from the finance industry.
“There were some interesting talks, but overall I was still a bit disappointed. I think I was just too naive going there. When I walked in the conference I was expecting maybe 70% suits 30% devs/traders/people like me. I think it was more like 95% suits and 5% “other”. Which of course is normal considering the blockchain hype,” said WhalePanda.
Interestingly, he also noted that most of the discussions surrounding Ethereum weren’t positive due to its long-term strategy of shifting towards a Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus protocol and the possibility of the recurrence of a chain split amidst a hard fork execution, while the crowd positively reacted to Ethereum Classic and its newly implemented fixed monetary supply that demonstrates similar qualities of bitcoin.
“Ethereum came up quite a few times during Consensus and never in a positive way. Basically everyone I talked with agrees that Ethereum will split again into multiple chains with the PoS switch, besides the fact that there can potentially be huge issues/bugs with PoS,” noted WhalePanda.
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