Bitcoin’s explosive at the end of 2017 not only brought about a whole new wave of altcoins, it also inadvertently contributed to the success of various cryptocurrency conferences in the world. One of the most successful of them all is Coindesk’s flagship conference, the Consensus conference, held annually in New York City.
Consensus 2018 is not only an upgrade from last year’s Consensus conference. Boasting over 8,500 attendees – over 3 times the numbers reported last year – Consensus 2018 is perhaps one of the most profitable crypto conferences in the world.
Final attendee count for #Consensus2018: ~8,500
— Barry Silbert (@barrysilbert) May 14, 2018
According to Barry Silbert, founder and CEO of CoinDesk’s parent company Digital Currency Group, this year’s unofficial attendee count is estimated to be over 8,500 people – with most attendees getting on-the-spot tickets at the event venue. With ticket prices ranging from $1,499 to $2,999, that translates to around $17 million in ticket sales alone. Besides, this event is also sponsored by companies like Microsoft, IBM, Deloitte, and Bloq, which all contributes to the total revenue made by CoinDesk.
In an interview with CNBC, regular conference attendee Jeff Denton, who is also the senior director of global secure supply chain at AmerisourceBergen in Philadelphia, commented on the extraordinary number of attendees at Consensus this year.
“I’ve never seen anything like this for registration – I’ve been on line for an hour…It’s expensive, but it’s the largest one in the U.S., so hopefully that brings the value for the cost.”
The overcrowdedness of Consensus 2018 also raised concerns amongst attendees, who were peeved by the long wait times at the registration booth.
“It is a bit chaotic in here,” said Ronnie Moas, head of independent market research firm Standpoint Research. “I think they sold too many tickets.”
As a response, Jacob Donnelly, the director of marketing at CoinDesk issued a statement apologizing about the hectic situation.
“Whilst we apologize for any delays, Consensus 2018 has received overwhelming interest and is the largest blockchain-focused event ever held in the United States. We are working to reduce the wait time.”
However, not every prominent figure in the cryptocurrency world is caught up with the Consensus hype. Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, announced on Twitter that he will be boycotting this year’s Consensus conference because of the extravagant ticket prices.
“The conference costs $2-$3k to attend. I refuse to personally contribute to that level of rent seeking,” Buterin said.
His sentiments are echoed by fellow developer and the CEO of IOHK – the company behind Cardano.
Welcome to the boycott. I'm also not attending.
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) April 26, 2018