Blockchainreporter sat down with Christopher Strauch, Co-host of TOKEN2049, to discuss the much-anticipated upcoming TOKEN2049 conference which holds in Hong Kong on the 13th to the 14th of March 2019.
Q: The attitudes towards crypto in Asia are quite varied. On one hand, you have China that has largely banned the use of crypto in their country. You also have South Korea where the crypto trading volumes are on track to compete with Malta, the Blockchain island. What would you say is responsible for this striking difference in attitudes?
Answer: Crypto falls under the umbrella of innovation, as such it is not uncommon that countries have different stances on the evaluation of risks and opportunities from innovative technologies and emerging industries. Singapore as an example is known to focus on the consolidation of top talent in the region and therefore has aimed to be accommodating to new technologies and industries. However, every new and immature industry carries potential risks and governments need to assess and react to these risks, by implementing legal frameworks that protect their citizens, as seen recently in South Korea. It’s a balancing act to allow a new industry to mature and flourish, while setting boundaries to protect the parties that are affected by it.
Q:Your attendance for the 2019 conference is double what you had for this year. Do you take that as a sign of a growing interest in crypto or simply the Industry itself becoming even more collaborative?
Answer: We see this as a clear sign of a growing industry. It is apparent that the industry has expanded from initially only technology focused participants to a much wider range of backgrounds. We now see people from established careers (consulting, banking, etc) move into the space to build or support existing projects. These are typically the first signs of a wider adoption. Furthermore, a more diversified industry will lead to better products/solutions, which in turn will lead to faster adoption and hence to an overall growing industry. Having said that, we sold out the 2018 event 2 weeks before the event – so the increased attendee number reflects partially a demand that we have seen already in the past.
Q: Do you think the recent slump in the Bitcoin price will put a damper on the mood for the upcoming conference?
Answer: While the price movements might affect people emotionally, from a business and industry perspective, companies need to continue to build and grow, acquire talent, investors, and customers. Hence we continue to see strong demand from the market. Especially in a new and fast-moving market like crypto, events like TOKEN2049 are essential to promote the growth of the community and streamline information flow.
Q: Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, will be your keynote speaker. What can we expect from him?
Answer: What can we expect from him? Charlie will address the latest topics of the space. As one of the early adopters and most prominent figures in the industry, he will put the recent price developments into perspective to the positive fundamentals of the industry. Further, he will discuss some of the key trends for 2019 and how they will shape the future of the crypto market.
Q: When coming up with the idea for TOKEN2049, why was Hong Kong chosen for the venue?
Answer: We have personally spent the last many years in Hong Kong and across Asia-Pacific, and hence have a strong network in the region. With Asia being a significant driver of the global crypto industry TOKEN2049 was created as the first truly global crypto event in Asia. Hong Kong as a location made sense, as it is a very international city and due to its strong link to the financial industry a great starting point for overseas projects to enter the Asian market.
Q: Next year’s conference will feature an appearance by Sophia, the AI robot. How much progress do you think has been made between the AI and Blockchain industry and do you feel that there is the potential for more?
Answer: Both industries grow at an exponential rate and it is clear that AI will be part of every industry in the future. Accordingly, as the technology matures further, we will see more integrations with the blockchain industry and it will be interesting to see how AI can promote the goal of a more decentralized world.
Q: With 2019’s conference being only your second, you have managed to attract a very impressive roster of speakers and guests. What can we expect from TOKEN2049 in the future?
Answer: For us, the key differentiator amongst the growing number of crypto conferences, is the quality and relevance of speakers and attendees. As we grow awareness for TOKEN2049, we are able to attract more and more of the leading voices in the industry, which allows us to cover the most pressing topics in even more detail and from different angles. We gain significant learnings from each event we host and will continue to improve the experience for our participants.
TOKEN2049 is the premier event for decision makers in the global crypto ecosystem to connect, exchange ideas, and shape the industry. Attendees will gain valuable insight into the global crypto ecosystem, with a chance to exchange ideas with an established list of thought leaders, by learning about the future of the token-based economy and the possible impacts on industry and society while being the first to know about market-moving news, partnerships, and product launches.
TOKEN2049 is an unrivaled global meeting place for like-minded entrepreneurs, industry insiders, investors, and those interested in how the token economy will transform their businesses and lives.