As many would agree, the crypto world generated massive attention during the year 2017, especially in November and December.
As tremendous amounts of money entered the crypto markets and caused Bitcoin and the altcoins to surge, it was only a matter of time until crypto conferences and networking events skyrocketed just as Bitcoin’s price did.
While 2017 was the peak of the recent so-called crypto bubble, 2018 was a bubble for blockchain and crypto conferences. During the first half of 2018, conferences took place daily. The biggest crypto event so far was Consensus 2018 without a doubt. The latter saw over 8,000 eager participants. And then… the crypto conferences bubble popped along with decreasing prices.
“A year ago, the market was full of unprofessional investors who just wanted to earn easy money, without much effort,” Vitaly Andrusevich, the CEO of Coinsbank, which organized Blockchain Cruise, told CryptoPotato. “Together with the 2018 bear market came the changes to the structure of the market’s players and community members. Now they are more mature and experienced.”
This year’s Consensus had no more than 4,000 participants, 50% less than last year’s (but way higher in its quality, in my opinion). In an ecosystem full of conferences, you’ve got to be unique. This is precisely the experience I had at the recent Blockchain Cruise conference. Cruising is one of my hobbies, and when you combine it with crypto, this sounds nothing but promising. Alas, it didn’t disappoint at all.
The Openness Of Community – As Only In Crypto
Coinsbank initiated this tradition four years ago. “The main difference is that the focus isn’t on standard conferences, but also informal networking and a unique entertainment environment for our community,” according to Andrusevich. I must admit that it couldn’t have been described in better words. Besides the usual business talk, I found myself asking about places visited ashore and poker hands played on Deck 4 last night. The vacation feeling, with the blue ocean upfront, made the networking a lot easier and more fun.
In my opinion, the fact that the crypto community is open and inviting helps create more opportunities to engage in informal networking such as this one.
In the crypto industry, one can meet in-person with market leaders such as Changpeng Zhao (CZ, the CEO of Binance) and Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum’s co-founder) and just start chatting with them, and they will respond earnestly, just as if they were your mates. Yes, from my and many others’ experience.
On the recent blockchain cruise, it was not odd to hang out with Brock Pierce, who suddenly popped aboard for a day, just as if he were your college buddy.
Unlike past cruises, this one was part of a Royal Caribbean route between Barcelona and Rome, on board the Oasis of the Seas, one of the biggest vessels in existence, with a capacity of over 8,000 passengers. 1,000 were attending the actual conference.
Yes, most passengers were not blockchainers. However, the ‘normal’ tourists couldn’t miss the conference tags, and when you had on board Bitcoin maximalists such as Tone Vays, it was just a matter of time before all the other people on board – including the captain – heared about Bitcoin. Adoption, anyone?
Regarding CoinsBank’s daily adoption efforts, the five-year-old company is working to develop an end-to-end solution for handling cryptocurrencies and fiat. This includes a digital wallet, a fiat-to-crypto exchange, and a prepaid, renewable debit card. “The new prepaid cards will also have US dollars, in collaboration with UnionPay,” Andrusevich noted.
“Crypto for the masses becomes more and more accessible and attractive for the simple user. Not only from an investment point of view, but also for everyday payments and settlements,” he concluded.