“Bear market is for building” is the rallying cry heard throughout most of 2022. As we look at the charts in despair with a bit of occasional hope on the green days, this is the time for us to come together as a community. Not just to commiserate but to look forward to new developments happening with our favorite projects. Even though Covid is still very present in our society, we have come to live with its existence, taking every opportunity we can to get together. What better place to do that than at a crypto conference!
For the rest of 2022, here are some of the crypto conferences worth checking out. It’s a great time to find out what’s happening, have passionate in-person conversations with everyone in the industry, celebrate small wins together or simply have a good natter.
DeFiCon @New York City (Aug 11 – 12th)
It’s very rare to see the mission of a conference to be one of charity where all the proceeds from the events are donated. The aim of DeFiCon conference is to show that DeFi is not all just about speculation and profit-maximizing but rather on having the best experiences for all the participants. Although the time for the conference is drawing soon, there is still no set agenda as of now. What we do see instead is an interesting lineup of speakers, with more to be unveiled in the near future.
Access to the conference comes in the form of a NFT ticket known as the Unbearable Bear Holders. Those who mint it before July 5th gets 50% off which translates to 0.25 ETH. After that, prices rise gradually to 0.35 ETH and finally 0.5ETH per NFT.
The event looks to be much smaller than the ones held in conference halls but sometimes, these are also good for building relationships with people that might get have gotten smothered in bigger events.
Token 2049 is actually two conferences in two different locations, London and Singapore. With over 3000 attendees, it’s a decent-sized conference and it features quite a calibre of leading crypto people.
Let’s begin by looking at Token 2049 in Singapore. This event will be held between September 28th and 29th. However, while the main conference only lasts two days, there’s much more to it. In London and Singapore, the week leading (or a few days after) to the conferences will feature multiple independently-organized events. None of these is yet listed on their site, except they advertise the Formula Grand Prix organized in Singapore between September the 30th and October the 2nd. Maybe some of you’d like to visit that too after listening about cryptocurrency for a couple of days.
While the off-site events haven’t been announced, the schedule itself seeks to explore all the trending topics in crypto such as:
- Play-to-Earn: The Future of Gaming?
- DAOS: Fully-Native Internet Businesses
- The Multichain Future
- Building Web3 etc.
There are also plenty of networking opportunities in between each seminar. From my own experience of attending conferences (not crypto ones though), it is moments like this where you could meet the most unlikely people. Whether you’re looking for a job in crypto, wanting more info, or simply want to say hi to your favorite crypto personnel, you never know who you could meet at the drinks counter!
When it comes to who you’ll be listening to, the stellar line-up of speakers are a who’s who in the crypto space. These include Emin Gün Sirer of Avalanche, Charles Hoskinson, Mike Novogratz, Kathleen Breitman of Tezos, Alexander Leonard Larsen of Axie Infinity, Sandeep Nailwal of Polygon, Stani Kulechov of AAVE, Willy Woo, and Justin Sun of Tron, just to name a few.
If you act fast, you can still catch the early bird ticket prices, saving you a ton. The early bird basic tickets are $499, while they’ll be $999 after the offer expires. On top of that, there’s a special access ticket for $3999 which will grant you some food and beverages and the opportunity to connect with speakers and VIP guests. Also, I haven’t yet mentioned that there will be an NFT gallery, and you can access that with all of the above-mentioned tickets. Bitcoin and USDC are also accepted in case you’re interested. These payments are processed by Coinbase.
The London event is scheduled for Nov 9 – 10th with only the speakers listed. We know that it includes a London crypto week with independently organized events. Last year these events were hosted by, for example, Circle, Metamask and Consensys.
Although the schedule isn’t out yet for events, the speaker line-up looks to be quite a solid one. Some, like Stani Kulechov and Kathleen Breitman, are doing both events, so if you missed them in Singapore, here’s another chance to see them in action. Other speakers currently confirmed include Uri Kolodny of Starkware, Sebastien Bourget of The Sandbox, and Sunny Aggarwal of Osmosis Labs. Reps from Tether, StepN, Gemini and BlockFi are also in attendance.
SmartCon 2022 @NYC and Online (Sept 28 – 29th)
Organised by Chainlink, SmartCon is the conference for those who are serious about building in the blockchain space. Chainlink is one of those behind-the-scene workhorses that just keeps its head down and focus on what it does best. This conference gives the general public a chance to take a peek behind this solid company that’s supporting the industry with its oracle services. If you are not sure what is Chainlink’s role, check out this video by Guy here.
Aside from accumulating knowledge from world-class speakers, builders will also get a chance to build alongside the Chainlink team in technical workshops as part of the events. If made use of properly, you can really go away with some solid skills that might help you in building your next crypto project.
Tickets for the event is for $1477 but there is an early-bird discount ending August 7 for only $777. If even that is a bit too pricey, you can choose to attend the event virtually online which is free! The agenda isn’t set yet but the topics they intend to cover range from DeFi, development resources and tools, working with enterprises on how to get them to build with blockchain technology, governance, identity, NFT & gaming, all the way to research and exploring social impact such as the fight against climate change, and enabling a better healthcare system.
This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to attend a crypto conference without the cost (but also without the in-person networking). At the very least, you’d have walked away with some good knowledge in learning more about the industry in general.
World Blockchain Summit
This is also not just one conference but many. The World Blockchain Summit is organized all over the world throughout this year. As we head into the second half of 2022, there are only two more events left: Canada between the 18-19 of August, Australia between the 15th and 16th of September, Dubai between the 17th and 18th of October and lastly Bangkok in December.
All of the World Blockchain Summits are organized by Trescon, and they’ve been doing this for a while. Trescon is actively organizing different events and conferences, and they’ve been doing it for 6 years. Even though the Canadian one is happening next, in terms of importance, the one in Dubai holds more weight. This is evidenced by the number and calibre of speakers attending the Dubai event versus the Canadian one.
The speakers vary from event to event, but past speakers include a plethora of crypto leaders like Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, Dan Morehead founder and CEO of Pantera Capital, and Anthony Pompliano, co-founder at Morgan Creek Digital. As with all the conferences, the speakers consist of cryptocurrency founders, VCs, CEOs, and famous media personalities/influencers. At any rate, I’m sure you’ll find at least a couple of you’re interested in hearing from at every event.
Tickets to World Blockchain Summits can vary between locations. Looking at Dubai, you’ll be happy to know the prices aren’t as expensive as for the other conferences. The standard ticket is only $399, and it will grant you access to all the basic things. The next ticket is a business one, and you’ll get that for $699. However, the only additional benefit is access to the after-party, meaning you pay $300 for one party. The third ticket is a VIP ticket which is $999 and will get you access to a VIP and speaker lounge and a pre-event investor dinner.
Future Blockchain Summit @Dubai (Oct 10 -13th)
Billed as the MENA region’s “first and largest blockchain conference and exhibition”, the 5th edition of Future Blockchain Summit, to be held at the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC), is leveraging on the UAE’s desire to become the most crypto-friendly place in the region. There are also a number of events running in tandem with this conference, giving all events as much cross-exposure as possible, maximizing the number of visitors.
Attendance to this event comes in 4 kinds: visitor, workshop, delegate and certified training. Visitor prices are the cheapest at around USD51 while the certified training pass is about ten times the visitor’s price at USD544. All passes grant access to all 7 exhibitions listed above together with workshop attendance and a mentorship programme. Those who opt for the delegate pass have the chance to network with others in the industry.
Given that there are still no speakers or an actual agenda listed, this looks to be one of those government-sponsored efforts to one-up a private event held in its vicinity. I’m leaving you to guess which event it’s trying to hold a candle to.
MoneyConf @Lisbon (Nov 1st – 4th)
MoneyConf is a mix between finance, blockchain and cryptocurrency. It might be interesting because it takes a step out of the crypto bubble. At this conference, you’ll find speakers from traditional banks, investors, and fintech companies who are looking to incorporate cryptocurrency and blockchain into their day-to-day businesses.
Last year, there were speakers from some major companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Meta, Spotify, Amazon, Royal Dutch Shell, etc. On top of that, there are many politicians both from Portugal and the US. From the cryptocurrency side, we saw Alex Mashinsky, Pascal Gauthier, CEO of Ledger, and Kathleen Breitman, co-founder of Tezos, among others.
General attendee tickets go for €675 which gives you pretty much all access to the events except lounge access and the speakers’ evening reception. For those, you would need to pony up €4850 for an Executive pass just for the reception and the executive lounge access. €24,850 gets you the Chairperson pass which lets you hobnob with the real money people in the Investor and Forum lounge access. Whew! They don’t call this MoneyConf for nothing!
Additional Pro Tip: While we are on the topic of gaining industry insight, Telegram is also a powerful tool to keep a finger on the pulse of what is going on in the industry. Feel free to check out our article on the Top 10 Telegram Channels that are worth checking out.
DCentral @Miami (Nov 28th – 30th)
DCentral is the largest Web3 event combining NFTs, Metaverses, DAOs and DeFi all under one ginormous umbrella. The event itself is split into two: one held in Austin earlier in the year in June and another one in Miami, coming up in November. The latter occurs around the same time as Miami Art Week, one of the largest art events in the US. This works out well for the artists as they are able to traverse easily between the regular art and NFT events.
There are 5 stages for events:
- DCENTRAL Mainstage – All Web3.
- NFT CON Stage – Focused on the world of JPEGs & beyond. Art, Sports, Music, Entertainment.
- DeFi & DAO Summit – Let’s talk about the tech. Deep dive into decentralized finance, DAOs, protocols and the tools that will change the future of finance.
- GM Summit Stage (Games + Metaverse) – Learn about the growing Metaverse(s), world of Gaming, Digital Fashion and even Phygital.
- Workshop Stage – Longer talks & sessions. Open forum to ask questions to the speakers/panels as well.
Additional experiences such as browsing at NFT galleries, afterparties (for the schmoozing), art installations and the VIP lounge are dependent on the access granted by the pass you have. Tickets range from $399 – $1499 but no further details so far on what each level gives you access to.
While the upcoming event in November still have many details to be ironed out, assuming the team is still in the throes of preparing for it, reviewing the June event gives us a good inkling as to what kind of an event we can expect for the Miami edition.
Featured speakers at the Austin event include from Certik, Secret Network, and Charles Hoskinson of Cardano. If you’re planning to check out Miami as one of the more crypto-friendly places in the US, it might be worth checking out the event itself too.
Similar to the World Blockchain Summit, Blockchain Expo is also a multi-region event spread out across North America (Santa Clara, Oct 5-6), Europe (Amsterdam, Sept 20-21), with the Global event anchored in London (Dec 1-2). Each location offers hybrid attendance, meaning you can attend in person or online. In terms of registration, events in Europe are mostly free except for a paid VIP pass for £99.
The North America event features a mixture of day passes for $399 per day, $599 for both days and the Ultimate Pass for $959. The discrepancy in the pass prices is because there are other events the passholder has access to. These events, which are also held in Europe, are:
- IoT Tech Expo Conference
- AI & Big Data Conference
- Cybersecurity Conference
- Digital Transformation Week
- Edge Computing Expo
The focus of this event is mainly towards the business community in general. This can be seen with the cadre of speakers they have lined-up in the various locations. The London event has reps from Vodafone, BP, Shell, banks, other major companies and governmental agencies such as the European Blockchain Association, UNICEF etc. The Amsterdam and Santa Clara events also has speakers of a similar calibre.
Holding multiple events together is an efficient way to bring together people from related industries together for some very interesting conversations. Much of what is discussed can easily be transferred from one conference to another.
ETHDenver – Feb/March 2023
Without a doubt, ETHDenver is one of the major events in the crypto space. Each year, the event draws thousands of crypto fans to Denver for all things Ethereum. Given that this is the network that powers half of the protocols in the crypto space, and is the no. 2 crypto asset in the market, ETHDenver has built up its credibility throughout the years with the supporters. One key reason for the draw is Vitalik himself. This is one of the few conferences that he shows up in person. Most people would be happy to make the trek to Denver solely for the reason of seeing him.
While it is advertised as a conference, the schedule gives off quite a retreat kind of vibe, with emphasis on community-building, Solidity bootcamp sessions and other building workshops.
Humans are social creatures and there is comfort in numbers. Crypto conferences are one of those events that brings together people whose shared passion in crypto irons out many other differences as we celebrate and commiserate with a drink (or two) in hand. In a year when the market is down, it is important for the community to support each other, so that We Are (all) Going (to) Make It (#wagmi). While we can all be rallying together online forging connections with others thousands of miles away, it’s at the conferences where we meet that the bonds are strengthened, together with the conviction of what crypto can bring. Let us all bask in this shared narrative hand in hand at the next conference!
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.