By David Drake
Over the last two years, the popularity of cryptocurrencies has increased significantly and the technology underlying digital currencies has not been left behind. As speculation pushed the prices of Bitcoin to a peak of almost $20,000 towards the end of 2017, blockchain gained popularity.
But it is not just Bitcoin that ignited the interest in blockchain, the smart contract platform, Ethereum, pushed the interest in blockchain to a whole new level with its ability to facilitate the development of decentralized application.The popularity of blockchain has the paved way for innovative solutions to be created by developers across the world.
Such solutions include Gath3r targeting web miners who want to optimize the way they monetize, IOU for e-commerce businesses, NoizChain which facilitates interactive marketing, ONe Network to facilitate social media security and BlockVest that enables investors to manage their digital asset portfolios.
As blockchain facilitates the design and launch of innovative projects, the need for people working in the cryptocurrency industry to gather and interact has been on the rise. As such, cryptocurrency events have become increasingly common, mostly cases taking the form of blockchain or cryptocurrency conferences.
Today, events related to cryptocurrencies or blockchain literally take place every month in different parts of the globe. I have had a chance to keynote, moderate or speak in some of these events and in my view, they serve as great platforms for cryptocurrency community members to interact.
For projects such as family smart contract platform, URAllowance, BQT, which facilitates hedge fund and cryptocurrency trading, and LiveTradr which focuses on portfolio optimization, blockchain conferences provide interesting opportunities for sharing new knowledge, experiences and ideas.
But this is not all. According to Joseph Oreste, the founder and CEO of Qupon, cryptocurrency events are great places to shop for investors.
He says, “In addition to providing the established community members a place to share ideas and build relationships, It would be great if many of the conferences had an ICO/investor side of it for emerging companies so investors can meet these select companies. Many of these platforms success will come from having applications like Qupon running on their platform. It is applications like Qupon that will bring consumers and capital into the crypto space.”
A Unique Stage
For cryptocurrency startups looking to increase their visibility in a space that is quickly getting crowded, cryptocurrency or blockchain conferences serve as a unique stage to get noticed fast and by the people who have the potential to catalyze their success.
As Bryan Stone, CEO of HFC Coin, notes that some problems that blockchain-backed projects are seeking to resolve may not be interesting to the general public, but would be captivating to a targeted audience.
He says, “Conferences for ICO and blockchain markets are excellent for us to expose our new, innovative approach to more people in the community. Mortgage lending is not a sexy industry compared to technology companies. However, mortgage lending is one of the largest components of the US economy and has been slow to innovate since the mortgage crisis that began in 2007. I have not seen or read of any large scale operations that are fully integrating their mortgage platform on the blockchain. Conferences also provide an excellent way to network and make new connections in the community.”
The important thing to note is that startups in the cryptocurrency space don’t really have to attend every event that happens in the industry because it is expensive to do so. Also, not every event would be well aligned to the goals that every startup has. The best thing is to find an event that is likely to offer your startup the best value in terms of learning, networks and opportunities then target to attend such.
Disclaimer: David Drake is on the advisory board for most of the firms mentioned or quoted in this article.