The Ethereal Summit featured heady panels with industry experts alongside crypto art, striving to be the “SXSX of Blockchain”. Panels covered topics such as future governance, finance, gaming, and AI. The conference coincided with a tremendous spike in the valuation of Ether, its price rising nearly 50 percent over the weekend.
Vinay Gupta offered a summary of the state of Ethereum near the start. He emphasized that considerable integration is already happening between Ethereum and traditional existing financial systems. Lagging behind the financial sector, the IoT, Energy, and Robotics sectors are starting to reckon with the power of blockchains. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are permitting capital to flow freely to innovative projects, but Gupta warned that honesty is necessary to prevent regulators from taking control. “Self governance [of the blockchain ecosystem] is the price of freedom”, he said.
The former prime Minister of Haiti provided a harrowing account of how their country lost many of their records during disasters, underscoring how blockchains can help any nation. A minister from Rwanda encouraged the developers, stating that when it came to blockchain development, “Rwanda is open for business”. The acceptance of cryptocurrency in some regions will quite possibly create hubs of a parallel society.
Representatives from FirstBlood and ChallengeMe publicly envisioned how blockchains will allow trust and money to flow in e-sports. Digital game retailer Valve has recently come under scrutiny for giving content providers a meager 25 of proceeds; peer-to-peer markets may soon disrupt this monopoly.
Blockchain technology is likely going to revolutionize the supply side of businesses, yet rarely does this transformation convey any sexiness. The founder of ‘slavefreetrade’ challenged this preconception by taking off all his clothes that were likely produced using slave labor. Eventually the he gave mercy to the audience and stopped, but illustrated a very compelling use case for blockchains: allowing consumers to see the path that their items had taken, fostering a greater awareness and connection to their goods that may eventually make slave produced items unprofitable.
SingularDTV unveiled a massive project in merging entertainment and Ethereum. They announced a collection of 11 dapps containing “Rights Management Gateway, Project Funding Portal and VOD platform “. Whether or not this ambitious ecosystem ends up being the platform that eventually remove intermediaries such as YouTube and Hulu remains to be seen.
Brock Pierce did not show up for the panel on the Token Economy, but I hope you will join me in assuming he was occupied increasing Ethereum’s valuation. Before the conference, on May 18th, the price of Ether was at $94.31. By the 21st, it had reached $160.14.
The program can be found here.
Picture from Ethereal Summit.