When crypto conferences and coronavirus collide

When crypto conferences and coronavirus collide

It isn’t only the markets that are being affected by the coronavirus. This image of the main stage at the CryptoCompare Digital Asset Summit in London tells a thousand words. As mass events and gatherings are canceled around the world, the CCDA Summit may well be the last major event of the industry this year. And beyond the explosion of crypto derivatives, DeFi, and the old chestnut of mass adoption, the main topic du jour is the coronavirus.

CryptoCompare – the numbers are down but business goes on (sort of) as usual

Of course, some of the keynotes were better attended than others. However, there was still an entire round table per person, noticeably self-distancing by about a meter. Anyone who’s ever attended a Q4 conference in a bear market will tell you it’s kind of a sad story. But attending a cryptocurrency conference amid a climate of media-induced psychosis and suggested self-isolation with nearby countries on mass lockdown is next-level bizarre.

Crypto Compare Digital Assets Conference
The coronavirus is having a detrimental effect on the conference industry.

The delegates meet, shake hands, then immediately laugh awkwardly realizing they shouldn’t have. Hand sanitizer is passed around at once. Someone coughs and a horrified expression appears on the faces of those nearby. Familiar faces bound towards each other then quickly check themselves before exchanging a hug. These are strange times indeed.

With so much uncertainty gripping the world, even opinions handed out or responses to a question are tapered off with “well, depending on how long this lasts,” or something similar.

On the plus side, business is still being done. The exhibitor hall is quite busy — but not exactly thriving and it’s probably because it’s also a very small space, presumably designed that way to make it look as if more people are in attendance.

Exhibitor hall at CryptoCompare Digital Asset Summit
The exhibitor hall at CryptoCompare Digital Asset Summit

No one wants to pick up the free merchandise that’s usually grabbed in the first few minutes as they remember the virus can live for days on hard surfaces and clothes.

Cryptocurrencies are more correlated to the stock markets than we thought

Of course, the other topic of conversation is the downward spiral of cryptocurrency prices and how Bitcoin is not, in fact, the safe-haven asset we may at one point have thought it to be.

The general vibe at the CryptoCompare conference? That the outlook for the crypto industry is bullish long-term, but there are some turbulent headwinds on the horizon.

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