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Last week, I had the pleasure to attend Consensus 2018 in New York, the premier gathering for the who's who in blockchain, Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies.
Attendance doubled from last year to an estimated 8,500 people, all of them packed in a Hilton built for only 3,000. Ticket sales alone pulled in a whopping $17 million, while event booths – the largest of which belonged to Microsoft and IBM – generated untold millions more.
The entire three-day conference, hosted by crypto news outlet CoinDesk, had the energy and flair of the world's greatest carnival. Sleek Lamborghinis sat outside the hotel, attracting all sorts of gawkers. Passersby also stopped and stared at the "Bankers Against Bitcoin" protest, conceived and funded by Genesis Mining, one of the largest Bitcoin mining companies.
The same money went to finance Bitcoin awareness billboards outside the Omaha office of Warren Buffett, who recently bashed the cryptocurrency, calling it "rat poison squared."
"Warren," the billboards read, "you said you were wrong about Google and Amazon. Maybe you're wrong about Bitcoin?"
But of course, that's not the most exciting thing that happened…