For all the hype and excitement around Bitcoin and blockchain the cryptocurrency industry remains very much in its adolescent phase.
The price of Bitcoin has given up some 60% of its value since the 2017 peak, nonetheless, there was still a great deal of enthusiasm among attendees at Web Summit’s MoneyConf event in Dublin this week.
There was an awful lot to talk about as company executives, crypto investors, start-ups and blockchain subject matter experts converged on the Royal Dublin Society venue - not least, what the future holds for Bitcoin now that the so-called bubble has deflated significantly.
Frankly, this remains a very busy and nuanced space. It is fair to say that the technical jargon was flowing quite profusely in certain arenas - admittedly, the crowd was still quite broadly dispersed between the millennial crypto-enthusiasts and those coming from a more traditional finance background who were less fluent.
Besides Bitcoin, there was greater deal of debate around ‘alt coins’, the array of other less advanced cryptocurrencies.
There are some1,800 other with Ethereum and Dash among the most frequently mentioned among them – although the comments about the secondary coins were often in less glowing terms than for Bitcoin which seemingly remains the crypto golden child.
Forward -presenters discussed a breadth of topics including tokenisation (essentially digitally represented and exchangeable versions of real world assets), the somewhat controversial initial coin offerings (ICOs) and, significantly, what does and doesn’t constitute a security when ICOs are implemented to raise capital.
Perhaps the most significant theme among the presentations, talks, and debates was that of cryptocurrency and blockchain’s compliance and integration with the existing or traditional finance infrastructure.
The industry matures and evolves in the coming months and years, this is expected to be the key issue. Exactly how will the technology-driven, self-governing and borderless alt-finance sector sit alongside the long-established institutions that have traditionally stood over money.
Whether by evolution or revolution, the view among many at Moneyconf is that some form of convergence is coming.