Cryptocurrencies on the Rise at South By Southwest® 2019

In 2017, tech-savvy early investors across the globe watched as their investments in bitcoin surged nearly 2,000 percent. Stories of Bitcoin millionaires, red Lamborghinis, and precarious ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) flooded the news. The prolific rise of cryptocurrencies caught the attention of media outlets, amateur investors, entrepreneurs, and Wall Street trading groups alike. But while the world watched the rise and fall of coin prices, early adopters and innovators began quietly working with the bewildering technology behind it all.

New for the 2019 SXSW Conference, we have introduced the Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Track dedicated to exploring the ideas, investors, policies, and tokens that will impact global industries. Although all cryptocurrencies exist through a blockchain, the exchange of digital currencies is only one function of the mammoth and largely unexplored versatile technology.

Unhackable and without a single point of failure, blockchain technology can be used to store confidential information and process transactions without a central verification point. Essentially, the adoption of blockchain technology means the elimination of the 'middleman' or platform in transactions. This new technology is ushering in an era reminiscent of the days when sellers and buyers interacted directly and it will bring the disruption of nearly every industry imaginable.

"We at SXSW believe that Blockchain technology is going to fundamentally impact the current digital infrastructure of the internet through data decentralization, data transparency, and digital currency. We are at the very beginning of discovering how this innovation will be adopted across industries and impact our day to day lives. The promise of Blockchain is very compelling and SXSW will be a place where you can see its future unfold." - Head of SXSW Conference Programming, Todd Hansen

Already announced for SXSW 2019, join Kyle Samani (Managing Partner, Multicoin Capital), Linda Xie (Managing Director, Scalar Capital), Ari Paul (CIO, Blocktower), and moderator Robert Hackett (Editor, Fortune) for a conversation on their investment approaches and predictions for the future of blockchain users around the world.

Stay tuned for far more programming announcements this fall and join us from March 14-16, 2019 for the brand new Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Track during the SXSW Conference. Hear from technologists, investors, creators, and industry leaders as they explore the ways in which blockchain technologies are being deployed and discover the power of digital currencies that are fueling the exponential rise of this technology across all industries.

In the meantime, explore some of our Blockchain & Cryptocurrency programming from SXSW 2018 such as the Featured Session Blockchain & the Decentralization of Finance and Co-Founder of Ethereum Joseph Lubin's talk, Why Ethereum Is Going to Change the World.

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Featured Image Photo by Errich Petersen

By Ari Roth