Blockchain Week is this week in New York City. As has been customary, Ethereal Summit kicked off the week of Blockchain events with a two-day focus on making the most with Ethereum. In previous years, the focus has simply been on making money from trading ETH, but this year, speakers set their sights on a more mature purpose for the second-largest cryptocurrency: actually building businesses on top of the Ethereum blockchain.
The humming of a bronze meditation bell told a small class of yoga students it was time to change positions at the Ethereal Summit in Brooklyn, which concluded Saturday after two days of events focused largely on building products using the Ethereum blockchain.
On the other side from the Zen Zone that housed the yoga class was an art gallery filled with nine mostly experiential exhibits, highlighted by a neon altar to Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of bitcoin, in front of which event participants knelt — perhaps in jest.
Similar to last year, the event was hosted at an old factory in one of the cooler sections of Brooklyn, by Ethereum startup incubator, ConsenSys, and continued in its tradition of being about as quirky and fantastic as it was thought-provoking.
But what was different this year was a sense that good ideas and noble ambitions aren’t enough to change the world if there’s no one there to execute them. Much less, actually find a business model that makes them sustainable.
So, in what is increasingly becoming a trend at blockchain events around the world, the focus at this year’s Ethereal Summit, which is part of an ongoing Blockchain Week in New York City, was largely on moving past making money trading cryptocurrency to making money making businesses, according to event co-creator and ConsenSys experience design lead, Saraswathi Subbaraman.
“The Ethereal Summit will be a success if people take a critical pause to reflect on all of the work that’s being done and create a truly decentralized, accessible, empowered future for people,” she said.
To that end, Ethereum Foundation executive director, Aya Miyaguchi, kicked off the event on a somber note, and called the audience of 1,400 people to take action.