August 25th, 2022 at 9:19 am UTC · 6 min read
Conflict in Europe and skyrocketing interest rates in the US have put cryptocurrencies in the midst of one of the worst market crashes in the technology’s history. Bitcoin and Ethereum dropped more than 70 percent since the peak of last year’s bull run, while several high-profile crypto companies shut their doors as the size of the industry fell below US$1 trillion – a significant decrease from just a few months prior when the industry was worth more than triple that.
While market volatility might deter some investors, those with an appetite for high-risk, high-reward innovation can see the opportunity on the horizon – and nowhere else is this greater than in Africa, where crypto transactions have increased by more than 2,500 percent over the past year, while funding for African crypto startups increased eleven-fold over this same period. Evidently, crypto is no longer a distant concept for African investors to indefinitely ignore.
Which begs the question: for how long will sceptics and technophobes continue to keep their head down?
To help seasoned investors, novel bag-holders, and no-coiners alike harness the opportunities in African crypto, Bitcoin Events is excited to announce the return of Crypto Fest 2022 – the largest gathering of crypto industry leaders, entrepreneurs and experts on the continent, taking place both virtually and in-person at the Grand Africa Café & Beach on 30 September 2022.
Now in its fourth year, this year’s event will be a one-of-a-kind experience for crypto crusaders and deniers alike. Under the theme of ‘
Don’t Look Up’, an array of entrepreneurs,
traders, investors, developers, and enthusiasts will engage in hard-hitting conversations, sparking critical debates into the opportunities that crypto, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), Decentralised Finance, Web 3.0, and the Metaverse have on the worlds of finance, investment, art, music, sport, gaming, entertainment, marketing, governance, and more.
Says Sonya Kuhnel, Co-founder & Director of Bitcoin Events and organiser of this year’s festival:
“Change is inevitable, and the world is – slowly but surely – realising the impact that crypto and crypto-related technologies are having on the future of industry. Yes, the world of crypto has had its fair share of ups and downs, but the proof of concept is there; it’s only a matter of time before the sector bounces back. Now’s the time to look up and explore where opportunities lie. Now is the time to learn as we prepare to leap into a new era.”
With this in mind, attendees can look forward to a jam-packed day of keynotes, presentations, competitions, product exhibitions, and performances from more than 30 global innovators and thought leaders in the cryptocurrency, NFT, DeFi, Web 3.0 and Metaverse space.
Among others, this includes a keynote address by Michael Jordan, South African Business Development Lead at Polygon; an exploration into crypto innovation and regulation by Wiehann Olivier, Partner and Digital Assets Lead for Mazars; routes towards mass crypto education and adoption across Africa with Nolu Mashologu, Business Development at FTX Africa; a panel discussion hosted by Bakari’s Daniel Kimber, who will lead a conversation outlining how to best manage risk with your DeFi investments; and a discussion presented by Kyle Brown (rugby) and Sean Roberts (football) defining Crypto and the role it’s going to play in South African sport.
For the first time ever, Crypto Fest 2022 will also feature an NFT Gallery and a Metaverse gaming zone, featuring NFTs from various local artists. The NFT Gallery will be showcased by Libex, a South African-owned NFT Marketplace.
The NFT gallery will host “Lightning Talks” where attendees can interact, network, and win prizes in the NFT Gallery and experience the world of virtual reality at the Metaverse gaming zone.
Renowned South African musician and fine artist, Arno Carstens will be hosting a 15 minute “Lightning Talk”, discussing his latest collection of minted artworks.
“I’m excited to be part of something that is still developing, and being able to connect with people who are as excited as I am. The human mind is drawn to the possibilities of what can be, and it’s the potential of this that I am excited about. NFTs and the Metaverse are technology in its infancy. Crypto Fest 2022 is a place where developers, artists and collectors can come together on this voyage of discovery. The idea of being self-sovereign is such a light at the end of the tunnel for a lot of people.”
Commenting on this year’s programme, Michael Jordan, at Polygon, says:
“The world of cryptocurrencies can be a complex one to navigate – more so for those with limited exposure to the ecosystem and understanding of the technology’s impact potential. For this reason, we’re excited to be partnering with Crypto Fest 2022, to provide a platform for more people to learn, explore and understand how they can get involved with one of the most disruptive developments in finance and industry since the abandonment of the gold standard fifty years ago.”
Bitcoin Events was established in 2014 by Sonya Kuhnel and Theo Sauls to address the lack of education and information available to individuals and organisations in Africa on the opportunities and challenges that blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies offer. The duo are early adopters of cryptocurrencies and passionate about the exciting future of blockchain technology and its use-cases in addressing some of Africa’s biggest challenges such as financial inclusion, economic development and creation of job opportunities.
Over the past 8 years, Bitcoin Events have hosted events, workshops and educational meetups, successfully hosting over 15,000 attendees from 165 countries. Having engaged with some of the most prominent and respected individuals and companies in the blockchain space, Bitcoin Events’ reach is far and wide, and are committed to further empowering Africa with world-class events.
In 2015, Bitcoin Events hosted the inaugural Bitcoin Africa Conference in Cape Town. The event was renamed to the Blockchain Africa Conference and is now in its 9th year.
Bitcoin Events created its second annual event called the Crypto Fest in 2019, which was hosted in Cape Town and returns for its fourth edition on 30 September 2022.
In 2019, Bitcoin Events hosted its inaugural Crypto Fest in Cape Town. As a first-of-its-kind, the event saw over 250 attendees from 10 countries come together to talk about, present on and learn everything related to the crypto industry.
In 2021, under the theme, ‘Rumble in the Crypto Jungle’, the virtually as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, included 1649 attendees from 79 countries, 43 speakers, 20 free sessions, panels, Q&A sessions, 2 workshops, a Crypto Battle and fireside chats and focused on the emerging NFT ecosystem, Africa’s financial inclusion, and some of the industry’s leading projects.
Now in 2022, the fourth edition of the Crypto Fest, under the satirical theme ‘Don’t Look Up’ can be defined as people’s inability to deal effectively with climate change. It uses the metaphor of a comet threatening to destroy planet earth, and, instead of looking up and responding to the imminent danger, people prefer to be distracted by pop culture and goofy memes. Change is coming to the crypto-DeFi-NFT-Web3 space too, and now is the time to ‘look up’ and see the changes – but also the opportunities.