Crypto hits the main stage at Web Summit in front of record crowds

Web Summit attracted over 71,000 attendees to Lisbon for the renowned technology summit, with cryptocurrency and blockchain taking a more central role in 2022.

Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon has established itself as the spiritual home of one of the world’s largest technology events. Web Summit has called the Altice Arena home since 2016 and attracted a staggering 71,000 people in the latest edition of the conference.

The effect of the event on the city was palpable. An estimated 540,000 people call Portugal’s captivating, hilly capital home and the influx of attendees from around the globe made for a busy week on its smaller cobbled streets and busier roads.

Crypto hits the main stage at Web Summit in front of record crowds 1
Crypto hits the main stage at Web Summit in front of record crowds 4

It is not surprising that the event is a focal point for the city, which continues to establish itself as a tech hub in Europe. Web Summit continues to play a role to that end, with Lisbon rated as an Alpha-level global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.

Global industry leaders from a wide range of sectors were joined by prominent politicians, celebrities, actors and sportspeople that are at the intersection of tech and their respective spheres of influence. Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska delivered a keynote speech on opening night as the country continues to battle against Russia’s invasion.

Crypto hits the main stage at Web Summit in front of record crowds 2
Crypto hits the main stage at Web Summit in front of record crowds 5

The cryptocurrency space was also top of mind on opening night as Binance founder and CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao brought the ecosystem to the fore in front of a packed house at the Altice Arena.

CZ unpacked Binance’s $500 billion investment into Twitter, his long-term view of the growing value of cryptocurrencies and the growth of blockchain-powered Web3 capabilities. It was the first time a figure from the crypto space spoke during the event’s opening ceremony, signaling cryptocurrency and blockchain’s growing influence in the global technology ecosystem.

A dedicated Crypto section of the Web Summit app guided attendees to the various stages around the expansive Altice Arena grounds, with the stadium and five massive marquees housing exhibitors and presentations from the world’s foremost technology companies and emerging start-ups

Some of the most prominent projects from the cryptocurrency and Web3 space were in attendance. Yuga Labs CEO Nicole Muniz was on hand to give an inside look at the explosion in popularity of the Bored Ape Yacht Club on the mainstage inside the Altice Arena:

“What we’ve done with BAYC and then later with CryptoPunks and MeeBits, is giving commercial IP rights so that exclusive ownership is something unique to this space that empowers consumers to turn into owners, which is a paradigm shift.”

Cryptowallcity also took the stage alongside another prominent metaverse platform as chief operations officer and co-founder Sebastien Borget delved into the history and future of The Sandbox in a wide-ranging conversation on the Content Makers stage.

Devin Finzer, CEO and co-founder of OpenSea, the world’s largest nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace, also weighed in on the popularity of NFTs and the importance of their influence on creator economies. Finzer stressed that NFTs are a generic tool attracting a different market segment away from people interested in traditional cryptocurrencies:

“These are people who are excited about art, collectibles and engaging with creators. NFTs, particularly in the creator economy, allow for creators to create digital items that can immediately be monetized and connected with a fan.”

Web3 and NFTs have already become well-ingrained in the world of sports. Cryptowallcity sat down for a one-on-one interview with Jorge Urrutia del Pozo, Dapper Labs’ vice president of Football, to unpack their involvement with Spain’s LaLiga and the recently launched Golazos video collectible platform.

Having built the hugely popular NBA Top Shots platform, which produces NFTs of video highlights from America’s top basketball league, Dapper Labs is looking to drive further adoption of blockchain-powered Web3 collectibles through the world’s most loved sport:

“It is a really interesting opportunity for us to onboard tens of millions of people onto blockchain. That’s the way we see sports in general and football in particular. There is massive reach and the intensity of the fandom — it’s a big opportunity.”

Another major player bridging blockchain technology and sport featured prominently at Web Summit. CEO Alexandre Dreyfus took to the main stage inside the Altice Arena alongside former Italian footballer Alessandro Del Piero to unpack blockchain’s influence on fandom in modern sports.

Read more: Bitcoin could become the foundation of DeFi with more single-sided liquidity pools

Comments (No)

Leave a Reply