If anyone doubts the power of F2F, look no further than bitcoin. The cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system was the first decentralized digital currency, as it changes “hands” without a central bank. It was born in 2009 of skepticism, if not downright disdain, for traditional ways of conducting business.

Yet this week, in New York Hilton Midtown, thousands of the bitcoin savvy and curious filled a ballroom for Consensus 2018, a conference “where people pitched ideas, mingled and reveled in the possibility of disrupting health care or real estate or how government works,” reported The New York Times.

For the ins and outs of bitcoin, read here.

The newspaper’s account noted that some in attendance looked the part of disrupter. For instance, Seth Kaye, a “miner” of Litecoin, another cryptocurrency, from Washington state, who sported hot pink hair and wore Pokemon stuffed animals on his shoulder.

Yet the gathering also had all the “typical trappings of a modern American business conference: hotel-catered lunch wraps, networking mixers and schwag.” Exhibitors included Deloitte, Microsoft, KPMG and IBM.

“Nibbles, chafing dishes and lanyards were in abundance at the conference, which was put on by CoinDesk, a news and data site,” The Times said.

Speakers at the conference covered topics ranging from government regulations to advances in privacy and what kind of lawyer you need if you work with bitcoin or another currency using blockchain technology.