It never gets boring in the Cryptoverse. Blockchain, DeFi and Web3 technologies are evolving rapidly in a world of wild extremes. How extreme? Consider these two examples.
The Terra ecosystem vanishes in a multi-billion dollar crash and burn as traditional investment firm Andreessen Horowitz closes a $4.5 billion crypto megafund. Then you have crypto’s ongoing regulatory tug-of-war amid the Coinbase insider trading lawsuit.
There’s a lot to follow and digest, so we asked a portion of our editorial team, Lucas Matney, Jacquelyn Melinek, and Anita Ramaswamy — who eat, sleep, and dream all things crypto — to weigh and share their insights and perspectives. They are also the braintrust behind the programming at TC Sessions: Crypto and the hosts of TechCrunch’s Chain Reaction Podcast.
Before we get into the juicy stuff, here’s a reminder to join us – and these excellent editors – at TC Sessions: Crypto on November 17th in Miami. Buy a launch pass now and save $250.
Without further ado, here’s a quick look at what our editors are most looking forward to as they head to TechCrunch’s inaugural TC Sessions: Crypto event.
What are your top priorities or goals when putting together the program for the first TechCrunch Sessions: Crypto event?
Anita Ramaswamy: I focus on ensuring that our speaker line-up and the topics we compile are representative of the diversity of views and backgrounds that exist within the web3 community.
Luke Matney: I spend a lot of time developing an agenda that ensures we live up to the unprecedented excitement surrounding this industry, while also providing the less glamorous context on the inherent risks involved in pushing more consumers towards products that encourage speculative investment.
Jaquelyn Melinek: I hope to create a program that dives into the complexities of the industry while making the content easily accessible to those curious about crypto, while also having experts in space to highlight the risks associated with the industry and Leave a Comment.
Speaking of the event name, will we hear more than just “crypto”?
LM: You bet. While cryptocurrency adoption continues to be the industry’s high-level focus, the space has become much less monolithic over the past two years as founders pushed new blockchain technologies for organizing and running online communities and incentivized early adoption Launch of new products have created the network.
JM: The crypto industry has a deeper level than just “crypto”. Attendees can listen to discussions on a range of topics that benefit from or derive from it, but also make their own way with the technology. Crypto is the center of the industry, but not the all-encompassing term for discussions.
AR: Absolutely – many people use the word “crypto” as a synonym for anything related to blockchain technology, although it mainly includes the financial applications/tokens themselves. These are important, but we’ll also talk about how blockchain technology and the ideas that shape it are impacting founders, developers, and everyday internet users who may not be as deeply immersed in the Web3 space. Cryptocurrency itself is at the heart of most Web3 projects, but I would consider this a broader Web3 event.
What makes 2022 an especially fascinating year to hold our first crypto event?
JM: This year has been downright turbulent — I mean that for both good and bad — and a lot of people want answers about that volatility. Even if the event happens, the crypto industry may be very different than when we first started planning. There’s a chance we’ll have to adapt our discussions to the current landscape, but that’s the kind of “beauty” of this industry. It’s always new and fitting that we host an event during one of the “crypto winters” because we need to provide content and conferences even when things don’t go according to plan. Hosting an event this year shows that we are here to create debate in good times and bad.
AR: Notwithstanding the recent talk of “crypto winter,” I believe the past two years have marked a significant turning point in the arc of crypto history. Market conditions can (and likely will) fluctuate, and we’ll cover that extensively at the event, but over the past two years there has been a large influx of people dipping their toes into crypto for the first time. For that reason, 2022 is a great time to reframe some of the discussions we’ve had within the crypto community with a broader perspective and a look to the future.
LM: Crypto may be in a downturn right now, but in these times players looking for quick bucks are exiting the industry and the industry is streamlining. Holding this event in 2022 promises an opportunity for those wanting to stay close to hear from enduring power players about their success stories and how they’ve survived past winters.
Regarding your own background, how did your interest in writing about the crypto, NFT, blockchain and web3 communities come about?
LM: So much of my own initial interest related to the developers’ zeal for the space, which differed from the financial speculation. The close connection between technologists in the NFT community and emerging digital artists – who have never had an effective means of monetizing their work – was an early inspiration for me to further explore the sector and engage with communities working on things that have never been done before . It’s been a wild ride ever since – it’s all happening 24/7 on Twitter.
AR: I credit a cousin of mine who is now a commodity trader for sparking my initial interest in blockchain — I will never forget visiting his family when I was in college and listening to him explain things to me such as decentralization and hashrates explained context of bitcoin. It sounds nerdy, but as a political science major, I was intrigued by trying to understand the ideology behind it. And as a former investment banker turned business journalist, I spent much of the pandemic tracking giant, bureaucratic financial institutions that were slowly warming to the idea of crypto, often because of customer demand.
JM: I had a personal interest in crypto before covering the industry full-time, but I never delved too deeply into it. Little did I know that the room is so much bigger than I initially thought. As I began covering it, I found that many of the “good” players in the industry were innovative – if a bit grim – and determined to succeed regardless of the hurdles thrown at them. That was inspirational for me. My interest also stems from my love of learning. Even though I’ve covered a number of crypto topics, I still learn something new almost every day. This industry keeps me curious and always on my toes.
Aside from the obvious reason that it’s a great city, why would you host this event in Miami?
JM: Miami has emerged as one of the frontrunners in the crypto industry and boasts a vibrant community of builders, developers, and individual and institutional investors.
AR: Miami has always been one of the most global cities in the United States with a vibrant immigrant community. Now the city has become synonymous with crypto as major investment firms and startups have settled in the world to call Miami home. As a Miami-born New York resident, it was fascinating to see the significant impact the influx of crypto talent to Miami had on both my friends and family who still live there, and my NYC colleagues, many of whom have relocated to Miami temporarily or permanently.
LM: Just as crypto has been the breakthrough success of the tech market rally in recent years, Miami became the poster child for a new brand of tech hubs during a pandemic-driven outflow of young Bay Area tech workers. People have many opinions about the city, but no one is arguing that Miami lacks passion or intensity – elements I’m particularly excited about at TechCrunch Sessions: Crypto.
There you have it, and we’ll be sure to check back with our team when we get closer to TC Sessions: Crypto. In the meantime, take advantage of our special introductory pricing and save $250 on general admission passes. Purchase your pass or bundle today, then get ready to make crypto with the web3, DeFi, and NFT communities.
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