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Conflict in Europe and skyrocketing interest rates in the US have put cryptocurrencies in the midst of one of the worst market crashes in the technology’s history.
Bitcoin and Ethereum dropped more than 70% since the peak of last year’s bull run, while several high-profile crypto companies shut their doors as the size of the industry fell below $1 trillion – a significant decrease from just a few months prior when the industry was worth more than triple that.
While market volatility might deter some investors, those with an appetite for high-risk, high-reward innovation can see the opportunity on the horizon – and nowhere else is this greater than in Africa, where crypto transactions have increased by more than 2 500% over the past year, while funding for African crypto start-ups increased eleven-fold over this same period.
Evidently, crypto is no longer a distant concept for African investors to indefinitely ignore. This begs the question: for how long will sceptics and technophobes continue to keep their head down?
To help seasoned investors, novel bag-holders, and no-coiners alike harness the opportunities in African crypto, Bitcoin Events is excited to announce the return of Crypto Fest 2022 – the largest gathering of crypto industry leaders, entrepreneurs and experts on the continent, taking place both virtually and in-person at the Grand Africa Café & Beach on 30 September 2022.
Now in its fourth year, this year’s event will be a one-of-a-kind experience for crypto crusaders and deniers alike. Under the theme of “Don’t Look Up”, an array of entrepreneurs, traders, investors, developers, and enthusiasts will engage in hard-hitting conversations, sparking critical debates into the opportunities that crypto, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), Decentralised Finance, Web 3.0, and the Metaverse have on the worlds of finance, investment, art, music, sport, gaming, entertainment, marketing, governance, and more.
Says Sonya Kuhnel, co-founder and director of Bitcoin Events and organiser of this year’s festival: “Change is inevitable, and the world is – slowly but surely – realising the impact that crypto and crypto-related technologies are having on the future of industry.
“Yes, the world of crypto has had its fair share of ups and downs, but the proof of concept is there; it’s only a matter of time before the sector bounces back. Now’s the time to look up and explore where opportunities lie. Now is the time to learn as we prepare to leap into a new era.”
With this in mind, attendees can look forward to a jam-packed day of keynotes, presentations, competitions, product exhibitions, and performances from more than 30 global innovators and thought leaders in the cryptocurrency, NFT, DeFi, Web 3.0 and Metaverse space.
Among others, this includes a keynote address by Michael Jordan, South African Business Development Lead at Polygon; an exploration into crypto innovation and regulation by Wiehann Olivier, Partner and Digital Assets Lead for Mazars; routes towards mass crypto education and adoption across Africa with Nolu Mashologu, Business Development at FTX Africa; a panel discussion hosted by Bakari’s Daniel Kimber, who will lead a conversation outlining how to best manage risk with your DeFi investments; and a discussion presented by Kyle Brown (rugby) and Sean Roberts (football) defining Crypto and the role it’s going to play in South African sport.
For the first time ever, Crypto Fest 2022 will also feature an NFT Gallery and a Metaverse gaming zone, featuring NFTs from various local artists. The NFT Gallery will be showcased by Libex, a South African-owned NFT Marketplace.
The NFT gallery will host “Lightning Talks” where attendees can interact, network, and win prizes in the NFT Gallery and experience the world of virtual reality at the Metaverse gaming zone.
Renowned South African musician and fine artist, Arno Carstens will be hosting a 15 minute “lightning talk”, discussing his latest collection of minted artworks.
“I’m excited to be part of something that is still developing, and being able to connect with people who are as excited as I am. The human mind is drawn to the possibilities of what can be, and it’s the potential of this that I am excited about.
NFTs and the Metaverse are technology in its infancy. Crypto Fest 2022 is a place where developers, artists and collectors can come together on this voyage of discovery. The idea of being self-sovereign is such a light at the end of the tunnel for a lot of people,” says Carstens.
Commenting on this year’s programme, Michael Jordan, at Polygon, says: “The world of cryptocurrencies can be a complex one to navigate – more so for those with limited exposure to the ecosystem and understanding of the technology’s impact potential. For this reason, we’re excited to be partnering with Crypto Fest 2022, to provide a platform for more people to learn, explore and understand how they can get involved with one of the most disruptive developments in finance and industry since the abandonment of the gold standard fifty years ago.”