Crypto is not dead; rather, it is simply maturing.
Although prices have recovered from the terrible bear market that hit cryptocurrency in 2022, some markets, like NFTs, are doing far worse; a recent study revealed that 95% of the digital collectibles are likely worthless.
Numerous guests told this week that they thought the conference last year was more buzzy, dynamic, and enjoyable—though perhaps not necessarily more fruitful for the industry players who are still around.
It seems like a more monotonous situation would perhaps be advantageous.
According to Carlos Domingo, the CEO of Securitize, there is less hype, speculating, dressing up and boat parties and more serious debate about introducing real-world assets like private equity, private credit, fixed income, and other options to investors. While attention focused on the hype over the last few years, work to make this possible continued unnoticed.
No more get-rich-quick schemes
There is no shortage of snake-oil merchants who believe they are sitting on the next big thing when money is easy to come by and liquidity is high.
However, it becomes far more difficult to swallow a dubious alt-coin or half-baked idea during a bear market.
This week at Messari, the founder of Skybridge Capital and prominent Wall Street figure Anthony Scaramucci seemed to be the sole speaker to offer a forecast on a particular asset; the majority of speakers avoided discussing investments.
Instead, it appeared that the emphasis was on creating useful tools, regulations, and policies that may aid in bringing emerging technology into the mainstream. What’s the SEC’s End Game for DeFi?, “Crypto Tax and Accounting,” and “How to Make Crypto Actually Useful” were just a few of the panel topics covered.
Executives from Coinbase revealed a new messaging tool for digital wallets that intends to streamline communication for peer-to-peer transactions and demonstrated how to pay for coffee using cryptocurrency during a press brunch that was hosted by the company.
According to Jesse Pollak, the architect of Base, Coinbase’s layer 2 ethereum blockchain, crypto as a technology, and moving away from crypto as an asset and speculation, will encourage sceptics. More attention is being paid to how cryptocurrency benefits startups, eateries, and advocacy organizations. These use-cases, not another quick-money scheme, are what make a difference for everyday individuals.
He informed on Thursday that the cryptocurrency sector had entered a new phase. Whether there is a bear market or not, more businesses and products with practical uses are emerging.
The WalletConnect chief operating officer, Jess Houlgrave, told that the conference, which she thought was quieter than previous year but higher quality, represented the heads-down attitude.
The conference, which Jess Houlgrave, the chief operating officer of WalletConnect, believes was quieter than the previous year but higher quality, represented the heads-down attitude, she told me.
Significant company decision-makers are there, Houlgrave noted, and there is less background chatter and retail investment activity. Even in a slump, gatherings are still held, but they are smaller, more planned affairs rather than extravagant parties.
In discussions, the idea of “invisible technology” repeatedly up. The theory behind crypto apps is that once people start using them without realizing it, they will become widely used.
According to Houlgrave, less gimmicky items are present, which reflects the industry’s maturity. Since cryptocurrency won’t be consumer-facing anyway, the business-to-business emphasis we’re in today will endure. Consumers will eventually interact with blockchain every day without even realizing it.
Attendees remarked that the largest challenge facing the cryptocurrency industry right now has nothing to do with price fluctuations or investing in the next big thing, but rather with figuring out how to innovate while dealing with more strict US regulators.
The long shadow of Gary Gensler
Even though Gary Gensler, the Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, did not attend Messari Mainnet, his name kept coming up. Vivek Ramaswamy referred to the regulator as a government redundancy, while Scaramucci compared him to Jiminy Cricket.
Because Gensler has a lot of employees showing up to work who shouldn’t have jobs in the first place, Ramaswamy suggested in a fireside chat that the SEC should reduce its headcount to 25%.
After the SEC rejected its proposal for a bitcoin ETF, Gensler most recently fell short in a dispute with Grayscale. Participants claimed that the SEC chairman’s unwillingness to clearly communicate crypto policy is what bothers them most about him.
According to Ramaswamy, Gary Gensler is unable to say if ethereum is a security or not. Is a bank deposit a security for tomorrow? The US currency? You have a company that deliberately obscures.
According to Coinbase’s Pollak, uncertainty is what stifles innovation, especially in the US, and it limits the potential of those already working in the sector while keeping sceptics out of the picture. Destinations for cryptocurrency businesses aiming to expand and have an effect include Singapore, Hong Kong, and various European states.
For people to innovate, Pollak remarked, we need a clear set of policy guidelines. Entrepreneurs are relocating outside of the US to places where policymaking is more pro-active.
Up until that time, Token 2049’s Singapore conference took place days before Messari Mainnet. According to those who went, the celebrations and hype are in no short supply in Asia’s crypto sector.
The market is growing up and it appears that grown-ups are seizing the reins.