W3B Takeaways: FTX Fallout Leads Conversation

What happens when an entire room of blockchain enthusiasts hangs on the words of a speaker detailing to them one of the biggest announcements of the year for the cryptocurrency market?

The world of cryptocurrency investments has been rocked to its core due to the fallout of leading cryptocurrency exchange firm FTX. The exchange was originally set to be acquired by competitor Binance, but ultimately the deal fell through causing turmoil in the entire space.

Here the Investing News Network (INN) offers a closer look at how the major breaking news affected the atmosphere of an entire conference room dedicated to this market.

The WEB3 & Blockchain World (W3B) offered a chance for blockchain experts to gather with those interested in advancing their businesses, creating connections and potentially establishing new opportunities with the developing technology solution.

Surrounding these discussions is the fast-paced world of cryptocurrencies, digital assets backed up by blockchain technology that have captured the attention of the world for their rapid introduction, revolutionary concept and at times extremely dramatic gains and losses.

Audience captivated by original news breaking

Alex Tapscott, managing director of Ninepoint Partners and an organizer of the event with the Blockchain Research Institute, outlined the original massive announcement between FTX and Binance to a surprised audience.

While outlining the struggles of FTX, Tapscott stressed the need for less reliance on front-facing corporations like this one.

“I think the bigger issue here is despite the fact that this technology does decentralize power control and trust, we still do rely on large intermediaries inside of the crypto asset industry probably more than we should or more than we really need to,” Tapscott told the surprised audience gathered for the talk.

As a crypto exchange, FTX and firm CEO Sam Bankman-Fried acted as the point of entry for a wide variety of investors and people becoming interested in cryptocurrencies.

The firm played a critical role in opening the doors of cryptocurrency opportunities to newcomers and those even remotely interested.

FTX also vied for a mainstream spot by securing several significant advertisements and branding deals for the arena of the Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association.

The company ultimately fell and Binance said it would come to the rescue. However, the competitor then walked away from the deal.

A Binance spokesperson told CoinDesk the following:

“In the beginning, our hope was to be able to support FTX’s customers to provide liquidity, but the issues are beyond our control or ability to help. Every time a major player in an industry fails, retail consumers will suffer. We have seen over the last several years that the crypto ecosystem is becoming more resilient and we believe in time that outliers that misuse user funds will be weeded out by the free market.”

Sidney Powell, CEO and co-founder of DeFi financial firm Maple and a speaker at W3B, told INN he views the FTX fallout as an opportunity to emphasize how “no one is too big to fail” in crypto.

Elliot Johnson, chief investment officer and chief operating officer with Evolve Funds, told INN the FTX fallout shows the need to back the more established digital assets, like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

“Ultimately this is a story of FTX growing way too fast and taking a balance sheet shortcut,” Johnson said. “In our view it makes no sense for a crypto company to hold on their balance sheet a token they themselves created.”

FTX dominates conversation at W3B

While the FTX demise dominated a large portion of the conversation, the W3B event offered attendees an opportunity to hear blockchain experts on a variety of topics, such as healthcare, investments, NFTs and even games in the mercurial Metaverse concept.

The event elected to go for a more relaxed design approach to its stage and entire conference show floor.

In previewing the event, Douglas Heintzman, chief catalyst with the Blockchain Research Institute, explained the team went with a campfire concept for the entire W3B conference. And they delivered.

The show floor allowed for camping conversation pods and an entire matching decor. On the main stage spectators were able to witness critical conversations between organizers and leaders of the blockchain industry.

Rob Carter, executive vice president of FedEx Information Services and chief information officer of FedEx (NYSE:FDX), spoke with Tapscott to discuss the role of blockchain on a broad level.

Beyond his words, the show of support from Carter reveals how corporations of the scale of FedEx are able to recognize the opportunity attached to blockchain solutions.

This thought was validated further by the addition of Clare Adelgren, global sales and operations leader for EY’s blockchain division.

The expert outlined the thought process of larger corporations when it comes to blockchain. She explained that these industry leaders want the improvements that come from this technology but need assurances of privacy and stable services.

Investor takeaway

W3B offered attendees an opportunity to catch up in person and see thought leaders demonstrate their enthusiasm for what lies ahead in the entire blockchain space, not just crypto.

Ultimately, the industry is still, at times, beholden to the progress of the cryptocurrency space, including its tumultuous downturns.

The FTX collapse taking place the same day W3B kicked off marked a funny coincidence and gave the biggest room of blockchain and crypto enthusiasts the opportunity to react together.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Technology for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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