Unlike last year's NYC Blockchain Week, which was more form over substance (anyone recall Lambos parked in front of the Hilton?), this year's conferences focused on the progress that had been made over the past year and the future promise of the sector as institutions prepare their entries.
While bitcoin's price experienced a significant price hike from May 8 through the end of the week (albeit at one point retreating back to $7K before reaching $8K again), there was other noteworthy news.
Amazon Web Services, used by many tech startups and larger companies for their cloud infrastructures, announced the expansion of its Blockchain as a Service offering. Microsoft announced the first decentralized identity infrastructure implementation by a major tech company built directly on the bitcoin blockchain (most have built on top of ethereum or private blockchains). While Microsoft continues to work with the ethereum blockchain for other projects, I found it telling that they chose to use the more proven bitcoin blockchain for such a key implementation. FPV portfolio company Blockstream announced the release of its new Liquid Securities platform, a user-friendly solution for businesses issuing security tokens on its bitcoin based Liquid Network: "With the launch of the Liquid Securities platform, businesses can issue security tokens with the click of a button, and establish sophisticated rulesets to conform with their regulatory requirements with no software engineering experience required...Thanks to this unique architecture, token rules do not have to be written at the smart contract level–as is the case with other blockchain platforms–and can be easily adjusted via the Liquid Securities control panel to allow issuers to adapt to fast-evolving digital asset regulations."
On the crypto side, Binance resumed trading services after its $40M hack. I was on a panel with Pascal Gauthier, CEO of hardware wallet Ledger, who noted that their sales doubled the day of the Binance hack. Off exchange custody continues to be an area of growth, as even the most well capitalized exchanges have been subject to significant security breaches. I'll be watching this space in the coming months.