Around 2,500 crypto-curious blockchain devotees descended on Barcelona’s Hyatt Tower conference suites last week as part of a networking bonanza. The 8th European Blockchain Conference and the fourth occurrence in Barcelona also coincided with Bitcoin (BTC) it sits just under $25,000.
Over the end 60% cryptocurrency withdrawal, the conference was packed with a reported 2,500 attendees from banks, blockchain companies and cryptocurrencies soaking up the sights and sounds of the cosmopolitan capital of the Spanish region of Catalonia. However, the crypto scars of 2022 are still tender and raw; many participants expressed real concerns about regulation and rules.
Among the clear calls for regulation were bankers from major European institutions: Santander, HSBC and Société Générale shared the podium, rubbing shoulders with crypto natives and blockchain maximalists.
Contrary to expectations, however, it was the crypto-native camp that quickly did recognize the issues of 2022 and who was the first to demand clearer guidance from regulators.
Stef Wynendaele, a crypto native who leads commercial strategy for KeyRock, told Cointelegraph that he is “wildly in love with Bitcoin” and that “questioning the establishment” is an important principle of cryptocurrencies. This means that a collaborative environment between institutions and disruptors may be the most productive way forward:
“Everybody says, ‘We don’t want to talk to the banks, we don’t want to know what they’re doing, etc.’ But they’ve actually been around for 300 or 400 years. They have a lot of experience in how to actually do things, or how not to do things.”
In such an environment, Wynendaele explains, it is no longer a question of “us vs. them”, i.e. crypto vs incumbents, especially when the market ultimately decides the best outcome.
Patrick Heusser, Chief Commercial Officer at Crypto Finance, echoed his comments. He told Cointelgraph: “I would say that not everything that is done in traditional finance is bad. Regulation is not always bad.”
Cathy We, Investment Associate at NGC Ventures, offered a contrary view on regulation, at least in the short term. She told Cointelegraph that “The type of scrutiny we’re seeing in the market from regulators is something that’s clearly not a good thing to see in this bear market in the short term.”
“In the long run, it’s really going to create a much better environment for everybody, for liquidity, for a lot of new ideas to be created safely, and for talent,” she added.
“You want your best talent to work in a very accommodating environment so they don’t get caught and go to jail or whatever. So I think regulation has been very helpful in the long run.”
Really light in a bear market he likes FTX, Luna, Celsius and BlockFi blacked out the cryptocurrency John Murillo, who has spent decades in traditional finance, the industry’s reputation, succinctly summarized the industry’s needs:
“The regulation brings transparency. Ultimately, transparency brings credibility, and credibility is what everyone is looking for.”
While regulation was the mot du jour, there was enthusiastic talk of innovation and disruption of the traditional financial space.
Related: Market Makers in the Crypto Industry: Party Planners or Bartenders?
A new phrase, “recycle and earn” was coined during the conference. This phrase is the slogan of the blockchain company Circularr, which participated in and then won the ČT accelerator award.
Circularr is a blockchain-based recycling pioneer that hopes to restore trust to recycling. The team won a $35,000 grant courtesy of Cointelegraph after a slick one-minute pitch on stage during a start-up pitch competition. The startup pitch brought the conference to a climax, reminding the audience of the roots of the Web3 industry, the roots of disruption, innovation and ownership.