March 22, 2022 - 8 min read
It’s undeniable that blockchain and Web3 are entering the mainstream, so it only seems prudent to seek out the education, networking contacts, and hands-on experience that comes from physically attending blockchain events. It’s easy enough to sit back and meet virtually with co-workers and friends on video calls, but nothing beats the atmosphere of thousands of crypto-enthusiasts gathered in a single place to interact with one another in person.
Attendance not only puts like-minded entrepreneurs and investors in the same buildings, but it helps breathe life into an emergent culture, manifesting itself hybridly online and in the flesh. It’s also an opportunity to educate ourselves on new products and use cases, which seem to be popping up everywhere, disrupting various sectors as crypto sweeps across the globe.
There are too many crypto and Fintech conferences across the world to list them all, but efforts have been made to find some diversity regarding price ranges, geographical locations, and spread out throughout the year in case timing is an important factor for deciding which event to attend. Though the following is not an exhaustive list, the following sequence of conferences should serve as notable examples for what is on schedule this year, and can at least serve as a starting point for beginning ones search.
The annual Bitcoin conference relocated to Miami back in 2021 after the city’s mayor vowed to make it a crypto hotspot. The conference sold out in 2021, attracting over 12,000 visitors, and 2022 is set to shatter that number with 35,000 tickets being offered for sale. Crypto enthusiasts, and especially Bitcoin maximalists, will descend upon the city for three days of business networking and a music festival day, plus a bonus evening for VIP ticket holders.
The event is hosted by BTC Media, which also publishes and runs the website Bitcoin Magazine. Prices to attend Bitcoin 2022 are a bit on the high end compared with some of the other events on this list. However, gaining access can cost as little as $110 just for the “Sound Money Festival” to as much as $15,999 for a “Whale Pass.”
Bitcoin 2021 made quite an impact, with speakers like Jack Dorsey, Nick Szabo, Michael Saylor, and U.S. Senator (R-WY) Cynthia Lummis, further demonstrating that crypto is going mainstream. 2022’s list won’t disappoint either, welcoming back familiar faces like Michael Saylor and El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele, ARK’s Cathy Wood, ‘The Bitcoin Standard’ and ‘The Fiat Standard author Saifedean Ammous, Elizabeth Stark of Lightning Labs, Strike CEO Jack Mallers, and even Dr. Jordan Peterson, just to name a few.
Fundamentally, Permissionless aims to be a cultural event centered around creative expression. Artists and creators will be front and center, showcasing their creations within an on-site art gallery. The conference lasts for three days and expects to see over 5,000 attendees, and over 120 speakers.
Forward-thinking names in the Web3 space are scheduled to speak on topics ranging from DeFi, the metaverse, to NFTs and P2E gaming, institutional adoption trends, and much more. The conference has been organized into three distinct sectors to better personalize the experience of the diverse mix of attendees, and deliver compelling content tailored to their specific areas of interest.
Blockchain Fest is touted as one of the most interactive hybrid events in South East Asia on Blockchain and Fintech. The event involves lots of networking opportunities, giving attendees the space for personal and business development. Expect to see exhibition booths, networking lounges, conference and workshop spaces, and guest speakers.
This has to be one of the more approachable events on the list. With over 100,000 attendees expected to attend in one way or another and over 500 speakers, it is not surprising to see tickets coming in at more affordable rates, costing $77 USD for the standard pass. Guest speakers include representatives from KuCoin, Celsius, Gemini, and DeFi cybersecurity protocol GK8.
Curated and hosted by CoinDesk, Consensus 2022 will bring together tens of thousands of attendees to hear from thought leaders in crypto and finance. Attendees will experience a wide range of discussions, meetings, parties, music performances, dinners, and other networking opportunities.
The event has been self-described as “festival-style,” and is to be held June 9-12 at the Austin Convention Center, while other locations throughout the city will host a variety of additional programming from CoinDesk, the World Economic Forum, Coin Center and other partner organizations.
The fourth annual NFT.NYC will bring together the NFT community, blockchain devs, gamers, artists, creators, investors, and fans for several days of crypto networking. The event seems to emphasize the creator community, creative expression, bold marketing campaigns, and a playful air of fun. The first conference was held back in 2019, but has quickly gained steam, inviting over 600 speakers and selling thousands of tickets.
To mark the occasion, Times Square is filled with NFT-themed billboards, and parties rage all night, with events promoting everything from generative art NFT collectibles to royalties solutions for artists and creators. General Admission tickets cost $599 and $1,499 for VIP Access, with prices set to go up over time. Guests can book a room at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square for exclusive NFT.NYC deals.
Blockchain Expo brings in talent from across a myriad of industries. The event is geared at networking, linking individuals from blockchain with those in other sectors of the economy which stand to benefit from its use cases. Big brands like BBVA, Pfizer, Nestle, Coca Cola, BP, and many more sit down to hear the brightest minds discuss the future of finance and emerging opportunities in the space.
The event is split into two focused days: Blockchain for Enterprise, and Digital Asset Tokenization. The trade expo is free to attend, but access to the VIP Lounge and networking sessions run from €199 for attending a single day, €339 for both days, or €479 for the “Ultimate Pass” including access to several exclusive conference tracks like IoT, Edge Computing, Cybersecurity, AI and Big Data, and the Digital Transformation track.
Launched in 2018 by the Dubai government, the annual conference has brought together Fintech thought leaders, startups, remote workers and investors, solidifying the city’s reputation as a Fintech and crypto hub. Similar to Blockchain Fest in Singapore, Dubai will host another of the more affordable events on this list. Tickets cost roughly $50 at the time of publication.
Last year, a strong and impressive lineup of speakers and attendees descended upon Dubai for the Blockchain Economy Summit. Appearing once again will be MicroStrategy co-founder and CEO Michael Saylor, Bitcoiner Tone Vays, and Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwa. The speakers, of course, will be discussing everything crypto. To see the full lineup, see the full list here.
With crypto assets moving freely without regards to space and time, it is easy to neglect ourselves and the importance of our connections to like-minded individuals. What’s more, networking difficulty over the past few years has been exacerbated by travel restrictions and the uncertainties involved with hosting physical events throughout that time period.
With 2022 shaping up to be a year of increased clarity and confidence that things will return to normalcy, events this year should have a sense of heightened excitement about them. As NFTs, GameFi, the metaverse, and Web3 more broadly gain traction in the mainstream consciousness, the ticket offerings have to be increased exponentially each year to meet the increased demand.
Choosing which event to attend is a personal choice and could most practically be decided upon by considering two main factors. First, attending an event where an admired keynote speaker is speaking is probably a good place to begin. Perhaps even more important is geographic location and the time of the year. Having said that, attending too many of these events could get rather costly considering the ticket prices and travel costs, so do choose wisely.
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