Exploring the Future of Digital Assets: Insights from Mainnet 2023 in NYC

Exploring the cutting edge of finance, creativity, and innovation at Messari Mainnet's annual event.

By: Reagan Cook

GTM Lead

Published on:

As a CPA and also an artist, being part of the evolution of the digital asset space personally and professionally is fascinating. Since joining TaxBit in 2021, I’ve enjoyed watching the industry’s growth and maturation. Companies continue to showcase their commitment and capability to embrace practical use cases, while preserving the original elements of fun, creativity, and efficiency that initially captivated consumers. 

As a CPA, I find the industry increasingly more fascinating with accounting and regulatory updates becoming more defined. Enterprise adoption is on the rise across various forms, such as payment processing. Overall, individuals are actively engaging in collaborative learning, moving beyond traditional approaches from how something has been done in the past. 

In an industry evolving rapidly from a technology, regulatory, and knowledge perspective, it was energizing to see a group of professionals come together to brainstorm, share experiences, and share optimism about the future of the digital asset application for a week in NYC last week. 

Mainnet Conference Takeaways

With over 3,000 attendees, 150+ speakers, and industry representation from venture capital and private equity firms, consulting and professional service firms, and information technology and security professionals, the Messari Mainnet summit was buzzing with well-rounded representation. A few key themes emerge in the form of conversation, demonstrations, and discussion on the current state and outlook of the industry.  

  1. Tax and Accounting change is here, and people want to talk about it. The crypto space needs clear, digestible guidance related to regulation, and multiple industry leaders took the stage to address the current state of tax and accounting for crypto. 

  2. A wave of new crypto adoption through on-chain technology is apparent. For example, Coinbase presented real-world use cases for conferencegoers. A lounge with a cafe where conference attendees could send messages and order a latte with a Coinbase wallet, professionals connected in a more intimate space that overlooked the conference. Coinbase created a unique experience and had a strong presence overall with the lounge private breakout sessions, and got people using their app/wallets while they were at it. Companies continue investing in experiences for other industry leaders, which was apparent all week long through the different events and interactive demos. 

  3. New hot topics emerge in the crypto space beyond trading and investing in crypto and NFTs. Zero-knowledge proofs is one of them. EY did a breakout session to talk about a zero-knowledge project it is working on, and they are excited about the technology related to privacy for larger enterprise applications. Additionally, regarding zero-knowledge proofs, there was also an AI startup at the conference showcasing an interactive demo that empowers individuals to verify their humanity online while maintaining anonymity through the use of zero-knowledge proofs. 

While there were many notable topics and presentations (which can be watched on Messari’s Mainnet site here), what resonated most with me is that there are still passionate thought leaders in the space. Reflecting on the adoption of the iPhone or Internet, it’s clear that none of us today would have recognized the value of those technologies if the thought leaders had abandoned their efforts due to the slow pace of progress.. As an artist, I hesitate to mention “hot topics” because I believe the space will evolve in a truly unique and useful way when the creative innovators can continue to think critically and creatively about where they see a real use case. 

Also, as a CPA at TaxBit building tax and accounting software, we are keeping a close pulse on crypto adoption use cases and we will be here to support these use cases from a back-end/operational perspective to enable companies to build with confidence. 

Digital Asset Space Outlook

A strong takeaway from the conference is that there are many leaders in the industry who want to facilitate projects and forms of adoption that have real utility. Industry leaders are ready to solve complex problems and become more sophisticated so that society can truly recognize the benefits of the underlying technology. 

At the end of the day, I believe there is a genuine desire to build solutions that enable the adoption of blockchain technology. It has been a thrilling experience to be part of the evolution of this industry, and we are all just getting started. 

Here’s to building solutions that will allow us all to spend more time with the people and on the things that really matter!