Polygon co-founder gives Devcon 2022 Bogota a miss over safety concerns
Bogota, Colombia is singled out as a potentially dangerous location for foreign crypto community members during conference season.
Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal said he won’t be attending Devcon 2022 in Bogota, Colombia, “due to safety concerns.” He expressed regret over missing the opportunity to meet with friends from the ETH community.
Devcon, Bogota is a technically focused conference for Ethereum devs, researchers, and builders. It will run from October 11-14 and features talks from prominent figures, including Ethereum Foundation Researcher Danny Ryan and Ethereum Executive Director Aya Miyaguchi.
“Devcon is an intensive introduction for new Ethereum explorers, a global family reunion for those already a part of our ecosystem, and a source of energy and creativity for all.”
Polygon co-founder has safety concerns
Shortly after tweeting his original message, Nailwal retweeted a post from Rok Capital Researcher @Crypto_Mckenna, who mentioned rumors of a Solana engagement team member being mugged at Bogota airport.
He mentioned that the victim wore Solana branded clothing, implying he stood out as a cryptocurrency holder.
Heard someone from the Solana eng team got robbed at Bogota airport (they were wearing Solana merch lmao).
Think ETH devs should value safety for me bringing no crypto stuff at all.
Picking up and new laptop and phone tomorrow. Taking zero chances.
— McKenna (@Crypto_McKenna) October 3, 2022
@Crypto_McKenna cautioned conference attendees to exercise common sense when out and about while also requesting Devcon be held in a safer location next time.
The Solana Colombia Hacker House event takes place in Bogota between October 4-8. It is billed as an educational gathering focusing on DeFi, NFTs, and getting started with Solana.
How safe is Bogota, Colombia?
Regarding Colombia in general, the U.K. Foreign Office warned about the potential for political demonstrations to turn violent. It further added that the region suffers from high crime due to armed groups and criminal gangs that operate in the country.
“Illegal armed groups and other criminal groups are heavily involved in the drugs trade and serious crime including kidnapping (for ransom and political purposes), money laundering and running extortion and prostitution rackets.”
Bogota, Medellin, Cali, and the Caribbean coast were named as prevalent centers for street crime, including pickpocketing and violent robberies.
A Trip Advisor post from five years ago titled, “Bogota is NOT safe or a tourist destination,” which was removed at the OP’s request, contains a mixed response from commenters.
Some said Bogota is no different from big European cities, such as Paris, from a crime perspective. Others echoed the OP, with one poster claiming the murder rate is ten times that found in European capitals.
However, the same poster pointed out that statistically, things are moving in the right direction with improved security and a growing middle class.
Macro Trends showed a general decline in crime and murder rates from 2016 to 2019. Nonetheless, numbeo.com still ranks Bogota as a high-crime city with a score of 65 (out of 100) and low for safety, especially when walking at night.