Defying COVID-19: Blockchain events make an in-person return

The year 2020, for most of the inhabitants of our planet, was passed in lockdowns or quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic; many were forced to stay at home. Social events were canceled or postponed, and entire sectors of the world economy suffered huge losses. 

The start of this year wasn’t any better, as governments across the globe are still forced to restrict events and activities to combat the spread of the disease.

But there are industries that did not lose out over the past year. Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, in general, have benefited from the digitalization push, mostly because people do not need to leave their homes to use them. Since the start of the pandemic and the economic onslaught that followed, the two biggest cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), saw tremendous growth thanks to a renewed spike in interest toward the sector.

And when the interest in something novel such as crypto rises, the need for education increases. Despite all the restrictions, the crypto community continues to actively engage with new participants and ideas that need to be discussed on specific platforms. Now, some of the conferences of the crypto community will be able to start inviting participants to join the events in person.

Get vaccinated and book your plane tickets. Below are some of the events that have already announced their intention to hold a physical gathering.

AIBC Summit and AGS Summit

On May 25 and 26, the Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Summit will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on disruptive technologies, such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies, AI and quantum technologies.

Key individuals at the AIBC expo will include, Dubai Blockchain Center CEO Marwan Alzarouni, founder Roger Ver, SRAX board member Brock Pierce and many other famous figures in the blockchain industry.

The agenda of the event includes a series of panel discussions and reports on topics such as regulatory news in the Middle East, the spread of digital currencies, market trends in 2021, nonfungible tokens, the future of digital banking and AI-based solutions for trading platforms.

At the App Growth Summit, participants will discuss trends in digital marketing, emerging markets, the impact of content on culture and business, building an effective SEO strategy, localization and translation, branding, strategy for working with influencers, video marketing and social media in 2021.

The health and safety of the conference participants will be ensured by personnel who will constantly disinfect the conference rooms. Participants arriving in Dubai from any country will be required to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test done no more than 72 hours before arrival. Participants will also need to present the negative test to enter the event. At the official dinner, participants will have access to a contactless menu accessible through a QR code.

Bitcoin 2021

In the United States, the first major event will take place between June 4 and 5 in warm Miami — the Bitcoin 2021 conference. The event will be attended by many big names from the world of cryptography and digital currencies, such as Jack Dorsey, CEO and chairman of Square; Nick Szabo, cryptographer; Teana Baker-Taylor, general manager United Kingdom at; Jeff Horowitz, chief compliance officer of BitGo; and Tim Draper, founder of Draper Associates and co-founder of Draper Goren Holm.

The headliner of the conference will be Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis, who is the founder of the U.S. Senate Financial Innovation Caucus, which advocates for the development of innovation in the country’s financial system.

Other participants will include Tony Hawk, who is a renowned skateboarder and hodler. He will host a series of meetings and events for visitors and will be selling some of his exclusive skateboards as special merchandise.

To entertain the participants, a MintGox esports arena will be open where visitors can play world famous games like CS:GO, with Bitcoin integration. Visitors can also take part in the Atelier Bitcoin Rally Championship, with prizes up to 0.5 BTC.

Regarding health security at the event, the U.S. does not have the same health and safety regulations as Europe. For U.S. citizens who are vaccinated or got sick three months before the event, there will be no restrictions. Foreign citizens are required to present a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before arrival into the country.

Government Blockchain Week

Sticking with the U.S., blockchain regulation is still one of the most important issues for many countries, so it is worth paying attention to the Government Blockchain Week, which will take place in Washington D.C. from Sept. 27 to Oct. 2.

During the conference, participants will discuss the use of blockchain in government administration and international trade. Attendees are invited to join sessions on legal issues and cybersecurity. The headliner of the event will be Don Tapscott, executive chairman of Blockchain Research Institute, and Scott Stornetta, chief scientist at Yugen Partners.

Blockchain Expo Europe

Blockchain events will return to Europe no earlier than toward the end of this year due to strict lockdowns in many countries. Nevertheless, it will be possible to visit Amsterdam on Nov. 23–24 to attend the Blockchain Expo Europe 2021.

This event hopes to bring together many experts from the blockchain world who will discuss four global topics: the Internet of Things, cybersecurity and the cloud, artificial intelligence and big data.

In addition, the conference will also delve into the legal aspects of regulating the use of blockchain technology in the areas of financial services, insurance, real estate and retail. Representatives of various large banks, such as Societe Generale and Eurobank, are expected to speak on these topics.

In terms of health safety, the organizers have not yet provided rules for attending the conference, but any citizen entering the Netherlands must have two negative COVID-19 tests: one PCR test, which the visitor must take no more than 72 hours before entering the country, and an express test four hours before entry.

Future Blockchain Summit

At the end of October, the blockchain world will again be focused on Dubai for the Future Blockchain Summit. The purpose of the event is to organize a global dialogue for the development of blockchain technology.

The summit will host a series of tailored programs, including a program for investors, in which participants can find partners, venture capitalists and startups, a program concerning ​​regulating the sphere of blockchain, a Cryptovesting 101 program, in which participants will discuss investments in blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and more.

The list of speakers has not yet been fully determined, but singer and well-known fan of cryptocurrencies Akon is expected to be a speaker at the summit.

The event is certified by the Veritas SafeGuard Label, which verifies compliance with stringent safety and hygiene requirements. The event will employ the norms of social distancing, for example, contactless ticket sales. During the event itself, face masks will be mandatory, and exchanging business cards is strictly prohibited.

Not to go but watch

Unfortunately, many major events this year still have been unable to gather participants in person due to the pandemic and were transferred to the online format. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be interesting. Here are some honorable mentions.

Blockchain Economy, a conference that was supposed to take place on May 22 in Istanbul but due to the critical situation in Turkey, has been postponed indefinitely. Nevertheless, the event has attracted representatives from more than 60 countries who will gather to discuss the financial technologies of the future and cryptocurrencies.

The second significant event will be the Global DeFi Investment Summit, hosted in Dubai on June 2 to 3. The purpose of the event is to connect global investors and DeFi industry participants — including new startups — with regional businesses and leaders from key industry verticals.

The summit will host an exhibition of technology and business application innovations for the industry. Among the most prominent speakers at the summit are Tim Draper, DeFi Yield Protocol CEO Michael Nikolas and others.

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