It was a tough month for the global cryptocurrency market. And yet, community members continue to gather non-stop to network, learn, and party in what feels like a seemingly endless loop of crypto conferences.
But there seems to be a slight change in mood from just a few weeks ago when I attended FTX and SALT’s joint Crypto Bahamas conference to last week when thousands of people gathered in West Palm Beach for the Permissionless conference, co-hosted by Bankless (and, disclaimer, my former employer) Blockworks.
There was a mix of feelings from those present at the event who are deeply entrenched in the crypto world. Some participants were in poor shape, others were fresh-faced, lively and excited to meet other people in space, while many had their heads in their laptops or their faces close to their phones as they were trying to work and socialize amid talk of a crypto winter. But overall, many participants seemed indifferent to the current market volatility.
The past month has been tough for the crypto market, with its total market capitalization down 29% from $1.9 billion a month ago to $1.35 billion on May 22, according to data. data from CoinGecko.
“Whenever crypto conferences are held, you never know if the market will be bearish or bullish during the week of events,” Ty Blackard, chief product officer at NFTY Labs, told TechCrunch.
To Permissionless’s credit, its main stage room was filled with over 2,000 people – not to mention the smaller breakout rooms overflowing with hundreds of people – and there was only standing room available for most sessions. . I can’t remember the last time I went to a conference with rooms full of listeners – but from my direct look, those in attendance couldn’t get enough of the content.
“This [time] it sucks, but it will also be nice to remove some moss from the ecosystem,” Ed Sim, founder and managing partner of boldstart ventures, told TechCrunch. “True builders and believers will stay and continue to build.”
I spoke with a handful of event attendees who lost their jobs — or feared layoffs — and all of their crypto investments after Terraform Labs’ algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD (UST) and cryptocurrency LUNA fell over 99% in a matter of days, shaking and bringing down the entire crypto ecosystem with them.
What was supposed to be an enjoyable event for many attendees suddenly became a job fair for some as they weaved their way between sponsored booths, shaking hands and chatting in hopes of meeting potential future employers. .
Don’t get me wrong – there was plenty of fun throughout the event too, from a number of open tab bar crawls to invitation-only parties on $40 million yachts and estates. of several million dollars. But in a way, it was wrong to celebrate as the crypto-economy was collapsing or approaching it.