Is There Life Outside Consensus

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by Maria Konash · 4 min read
Is There Life Outside Consensus
Photo: Unsplash

Despite conferences rose as a substantial element of the crypto community, now the effectiveness of these gatherings lowers. Are small side-events may be an alternative?

Blockchain world is gradually abandoning global conferences as a class. Prominent people of the industry more and more often prefer attending dedicated small side-events to find a more appropriate environment for networking. This trend eats even sharks like Consensus. How to cope with this regarding the question of the mass adoption of blockchain and crypto?

What is the Problem with Big Blockchain-dedicated Conferences?

We all saw the rising of conferences as a substantial element in the puzzle of the crypto community, but now we see that the effectiveness of these gatherings lowers. Blockchainers still visit these events even though it doesn’t cause a previous rate of a positive response.

For example, recent Consensus in Singapore has different feedback. One says it keeps on being a large and considerable conference that is worthy of visiting. At the same time, some CEOs stick to another point of view.

Steven Weusten – CEO at Qlear – states a sort of disappointment about the Consensus Singapore:

“It had a bit of a different vibe than what I expected. In terms of purely the conference – it was dry. Though, all the enthusiasm and passion of the industry are cool.”

More likely the truth is in the middle. Consensus is still one of the most exciting blockchain-dedicated events in the world. This fact may attract people, which possess no value for the industry and attend it only for pitching their projects. In fact, Consensus keeps holding its value of space that allows vast knowledge and experience exchanging between early adopters and industry leaders to taste, but is a bit spoiled with a presence of philistines.

Do All the Conferences Face This Problem Nowadays?

There are plenty of smaller events/meetups, which may occur more attractive for both beginners and advanced blockchainers regarding exchanging of knowledge. One should pay attention, for instance, to such events as Blockshow Asia in Singapore and Swiss Blockchain Summit this November.

They don’t expect to gather thousands of people but should be a strong conferences without extra buzz behind. This fact, in turn, would unlikely attract lots of pitchers what endows this event with an atmosphere of wholesome conversations.

Sora Summit, for example, doesn’t imply the kind of expectations Consensus does, but the attendance of the less promoted conferences may bring back the tradition of gatherings for masses. Especially it’s relevant concerning the rising popularity of private side-events, which pave the way to enclosing the community only to the masterminds of the blockchain world. Their absence at the conferences would hardly work for the popularization of the blockchain and crypto.

Of Side-events and Men

Dedicated small events alongside major conferences such as Consensus are at their peak these days. People attend these private gatherings to face only potential partners, not to see everyone from the industry. Appreciated urbanist Ray Oldenburg in his ‘The Great Good Place’ states that the strongest community is built and, what is more important, the biggest deals are closed in small informal places like bars.

Basing on this, one can conclude that if industry’s people tend to visit satellite parties of the conferences, they should seek for side-events that represent this informality and chamber nature. Blind choice of a side-event may lead you to a duplicate of a conference with speakers deck, pitch sessions, and meeting rooms. Extremely informal and private side-events like Fireflies events series or Stablecoin New York by its nature guarantee the great matchmaking and appropriate atmosphere.


The thing is always in keeping a balance. Big conferences are still important though obtained several drawbacks. Smaller events don’t lose in quality but provide less knowledge exchanging. Side-events of conferences are popular but still should be selected carefully. Everyone chooses what’s needed, and if the balance between these issues is kept, the industry moves forward.

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Maria Konash
Editor-in-Chief Maria Konash

Being a successful graduate of Belarusian State Economic University (BSEU), Maria has acquired competencies in economic and social studies. Given Maria’s previous research working experience, and desire to explore what's really shaping the future, the main research focus is placed on FinTech and Blockchain Technology.

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