The big bitcoin conference Consensus descended on Manhattan this week, and a number of significant companies chose it as a venue to announce news. (The ability to own and oversee Consensus was one of the driving factors in the Digital Currency Group’s acquisition this year of bitcoin news site CoinDesk, which created the conference.)
Most of the excitement about this industry at the moment, from the financial world, is around the use of blockchain, the decentralized ledger technology that underlies the digital currency bitcoin, and less so on the currency itself. Banks and other payment giants are eager to explore how blockchain—but a closed, permissioned form without bitcoin, as opposed to the open, permissionless bitcoin blockchain—could speed up their transaction settlement processes. Much of the buzz and commentary at the conference matched this. But not all people in the industry are so eager to abandon bitcoin. Among lots of interesting news, here are 5 of the biggest stories to come out of the Consensus conference this week.