Blockchain bros and crypto take over SXSW

Cryptocurrency has its own decentralized trading platformconsumer collectibles, and now, its own inevitable place in the SXSW zeitgeist. The trendy topic emerged as a theme at a number of decidedly tech bro parties and panels, some that managed to tackle some tricky topics about the realities of operating in the nascent space.


Blockchain startup Consensys, led by Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin, hosted panels and parties at the Ethereal Lounge to discuss topics like smart contracts, blockchain solutions to misinformation, women and inclusion in tech, and shifting power structures in the music industry. As Mashable noted, The enthusiasm around Lubin and blockchain was clear by the thousands of people who waited in line to see his official SXSW keynote on Friday.


The Founders Organization, a curated private community of founders from around the world, brought together bright minds in business, cryptocurrency, and blockchain technologies to discuss how crypto and blockchain will impact the future of business at Initial Taco Offering. The over-capacity event featured a series of panels and discussions that addressed issues like the environmental cost of operating on the blockchain and the future of monetizing music. As the name implies, the event also featured tacos courtesy of Taco Bell. 


YOBitcoin, a startup based in Austin that builds and maintains facilities for bitcoin mining, threw its first "Just Hodl It" party at Austin's Rio club, where for one night only, the venue accepted cryptocurrency as payment for bottle service. While most major brands have been slow to accept cryptocurrency, a growing list of companies is acknowledging consumer interest in the area and beginning to welcome it as a payment option. Brands on board include Microsoft, PayPal, Expedia, Overstock, Shopify, and even Subway.