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Bitcoin rally this week fails to materialize as New York conference brings more hype than substance

In previous years, bitcoin had rallied significantly around a New York City blockchain conference called Consensus. Between May 22 and 24 when it was held last year, prices jumped 69 percent, Fundstrat said. Prices popped another 138 percent in the two months after the conference.

In a note to clients published ahead of this year’s event, Fudstrat predicted a bump “likely greater” than in previous years “given dramatic jump in attendance plus the fact BTC is down YTD.”

Instead, prices stayed in the low $8,000 range throughout the week, according to CoinDesk. Bitcoin hit a high of $8,835 last week before blockchain enthusiasts flocked to New York. The cryptocurrency has dropped more than 40 percent this year.

Bitcoin’s one-week performance

Source: CoinDesk

“While there was not a Consensus bump, our conviction on crypto-currencies strengthened during the conference,” said Fundstrat co-founder Tom Lee, who is the only major Wall Street strategist to cover bitcoin.

Lee even went as far as to say Friday on CNBC’s “Fast Money” that Consensus was a “huge success.”

“It’s a great conference to bring a lot of people together from around the world. And I think the quality of the people that were there,” Lee told CNBC. “It’s amazing.”

“It’s the people that you know are important to this industry coming together,” he said. “But also a lot of decision-makers incremental.”

Lee called bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ declines, “growing pains,” and pointed that that the conference has more than tripled in attendance since last year.

In fact, this year’s Consensus conference drew in more than 8,500 attendees, according to Barry Silbert, CEO and founder of parent company Digital Currency Group. CoinDesk reported 2,700 attendees for the May 2017 conference. At roughly $2,000 a ticket, the conference raked in at least $17 million in ticket sales alone.

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