Lights, camera, crypto? Not quite as it seems, as despite what can only be described as a relatively low-key event which was not branded as “crypto”, ConsenSys, one of the biggest cryptocurrency-themed events on the crypto calendar was branded as “Invest: Asia” this year.
And despite being held at the always ritzy Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore, the mood was subdued, with the bulk of the exhibitors filling the gamut from IoT to artificial intelligence.
Cryptocurrencies it seems, as far as large scale events go, have not quite seemed to re-enter the spotlight.
Which is why traders looking for the “ConsenSys effect” – where cryptocurrency prices used to rise in conjunction with the annual cryptofest would no doubt have noticed the fall in both Bitcoin and Ethereum over the course of the 2-day event in Singapore.
To be sure, “Invest: Asia” as it was innocuously named, was never touted to be about cryptocurrencies, despite about one-third of the floor space at the Convention Center at Marina Bay Sands being devoted to all things crypto.
By the end of the week and when the exhibitors had returned their booths to the packing crates, both Bitcoin and Ethereum pretty much ended the week the same way they started it.
Bitcoin started the week of Invest: Asia at about US$10,400 and during the two days of Invest Asia plummeted to just a hair’s breadth above US$10,000 before ending the week back where it began. Ethereum started the week at US$180 fell to as low as US$176 before ending the week at US$181 – more or less unchanged.
In percentage terms, the movements due to Invest: Asia were not even a statistical speed bump and perhaps may help to put to rest once and for all the theory that ConsenSys, or any other crypto-themed event would have any significant effect on bellwether cryptocurrency prices.
Yet despite the muted sentiment on the floor at Invest: Asia, the vibe at the many after parties was decidedly more upbeat.
At some of the most exclusive parties and clubs across Singapore, crypto-bros and their hangers on were partying as if it was 2017 all over again and perhaps may be more reflective of the general market sentiment towards prices.
Cryptocurrencies have inescapably entered the popular consciousness as well as the purview of institutional investors.
At the many after parties, ex-bankers, traders and financiers and all manner of ex-Wall Street types seemed to have decided to drink off the cryptocurrency fountain and throw their hat into the ring and perhaps it is this shift – from tech bro to Wall Street bro that has contributed somewhat to the resilience of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
But it appears that the altcoins have not been invited to the party as Bitcoin dominance continues unabated and the majority of altcoins continue to languish well below 90% from their peaks.
What is more surprising though is that many of these altcoins which have weathered the so-called crypto winter continue to post news of advancing their projects as well as significant development advances.
As awareness of cryptocurrencies continues to increase, the short to medium term outlook is for Bitcoin and Ethereum to dominate investor interest while altcoins are likely (for now at least) to languish.