There is never a dull moment in the cryptoverse. Blockchain, DeFi and web3 technologies continue to evolve rapidly in a world of wild extremes. How extreme? Consider these two examples.
The Terra ecosystem disappears in a multibillion-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 against the backdrop of Coinbase insider trading.
It’s a lot to track and digest, which is why we’ve asked some of our editorial staff, Lucas Matney, Jacquelyn Melinek and Anita Ramaswamy – who eat, sleep and dream all things crypto – to weigh in and share their insights and perspectives. They are also the masterminds behind the programming at TC Sessions: Crypto and the hosts of TechCrunch’s Chain Reaction podcast.
Before we dig into the juicy stuff, here’s a reminder to join us—and these ace editors—at TC Sessions: Crypto on November 17 in Miami. Buy a launch pass now and save $250.
Without further ado, here’s a quick look at what our editors are most excited about going into TechCrunch’s first TC Sessions: Crypto event.
What are your top priorities or goals when putting together the programming for the first TechCrunch Sessions: Crypto event?
Anita Ramaswamy: I am focused on making sure that our speaker line-up and the topics we put together are representative of the diversity of viewpoints and backgrounds found in the web3 community.
Lucas Matney: I spend much of my time building an agenda that ensures we do justice to the unprecedented excitement surrounding this industry, while providing the less glamorous context of inherent risks around pushing more consumers towards products that promote speculative investment.
Jacquelyn Melinek: I hope to create a program that delves into the complexities of the industry, while making the content easily accessible to those who are crypto-curious, while experts in the field highlight and comment on the risks associated with the industry.
Speaking of the event name, will we hear about more than just “crypto”?
LM: You can bet on that. While cryptocurrency adoption continues to be the industry’s high-level focus, the field has become much less monolithic over the past two years with founders pushing new blockchain technologies to organize and drive online communities and spur early adoption of new products online.
JM: There is a deeper level to the crypto industry than just “crypto.” Attendees will be able to listen to discussions on a variety of topics that benefit from or derive from it, but also create their own path with the technology. Crypto is the center of the industry, but is not the absolute term for discussion.
YEAR: Absolutely – many people use the word “crypto” as a synonym for anything related to blockchain technology, although it mainly captures the financial applications/tokens themselves. They are important, but we will also talk about how blockchain technology and the ideas that shape it affect founders, creators and ordinary internet users who may not be so deeply immersed in the web3 space. Cryptocurrency itself is at the core of most web3 projects, but I would consider this a broader web3 event.
What makes 2022 a particularly fascinating year to hold our first crypto event?
JM: This year has been nothing short of turbulent — I mean that in both good and bad ways — and a lot of people want answers related to that volatility. Even when the event takes place, the crypto industry may be very different from when we started planning it. There’s a chance we’ll have to shape our discussions to fit the current landscape, but that’s the kind of “beauty” in this business. It is ever-changing and appropriate 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 provide discussion in good times and bad.
YEAR: Regardless of the recent talk of “crypto winter”, I believe the last two years have marked a significant turning point in the history of crypto. Market conditions can (and probably will) fluctuate, and we’ll dig into that a lot at the event, but the last two years have seen a huge influx of people dipping their toes into crypto for the first time. Therefore, 2022 is a great time to reframe some of the discussions we’ve had in the crypto community with a broader perspective and an eye to the future.
LM: Crypto may be in a slump at the moment, but it is during these periods that players looking for a quick buck leave the industry and the industry streamlines. Holding this event in 2022 promises an opportunity for those looking to stick around to hear from perennial power players about their success stories and how they survived past winters.
In terms of your own background, how did you become interested in writing about the crypto, NFT, blockchain and web3 communities?
LM: So much of my own initial interest was tied to the developer fervor around the space that felt distinct from the financial speculation. The close bond between technologists in the NFT community and emerging digital artists – who have never had an effective means of monetizing their work – provided an early inspiration for me to explore the sector further and dig into communities working on things like had never been done before. It’s been a wild ride since – it’s all played out 24/7 on Twitter.
YEAR: I credit a cousin of mine, who is now a commodities trader, with sparking my initial interest in blockchain – I’ll never forget visiting his family while I was still in college and listening to him explain things like decentralization and hashrates to me in context of Bitcoin. It sounds nerdy, but as a political science major, I was fascinated by trying to wrap my head around the ideology behind it. And as a former investment banker turned business journalist, I spent much of the pandemic following huge, bureaucratic financial institutions as they slowly warmed to the idea of crypto, often due to customer demand.
JM: I had a personal interest in crypto before covering the industry full-time, but never delved too deeply into it. Little did I know, the place is so much bigger than I first thought. Once I started reporting on it, I found that many of the “good” industry players were innovative—if a bit tough—and determined to succeed regardless of the obstacles thrown at them. It was inspiring to me. My interest also stems from my love of learning. Although I have covered a variety of crypto topics, I still learn something new almost every day. This industry keeps me curious and always on my toes.
Finally, beyond the obvious reason that it’s an amazing city, why host this event in Miami?
JM: Miami has become one of the front runners representing the crypto industry and has a vibrant community of both builders, developers and retail and institutional investors.
YEAR: Miami has always been one of the most global cities in the US, with a vibrant immigrant community. Now the city has become somewhat synonymous with crypto, with major investment firms and startups in the area settling down to call Miami their home. As a Miami-born New York resident, it has been fascinating to see the marked impact the influx of crypto talent to Miami has had on both my friends and family who still live there and on my peers in NYC, many of whom have moved to Miami temporarily or permanently.
LM: Just as crypto was the success of the tech market’s rally in recent years, Miami became a poster child for a new tech hub during a pandemic-driven exodus of young tech workers from the Bay Area. People have a lot of opinions about the city, but no one argues that Miami lacks passion or intensity—elements I’m particularly excited about TechCrunch Sessions: Crypto tapping into.
There you have it, and we’ll be sure to check in with our team as we approach TC Sessions: Crypto. In the meantime, take advantage of our special launch pricing and save $250 on general admission tickets. Buy your pass or bundle today and get ready to go crypto with the web3, DeFi and NFT communities.
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