The organizers of the Crypto Bahamas apparently did not notice the irony that took place when participants streamed through a resort to the crypto conference last week.
But if you turn past the blue glass chandeliers of Nassau’s Baha Mar resort and toward the end of the bright yellow promenade leading to the convention center, you’ll find a handful of crypto magnates who are not worried about the cynical critics who operate their gambling business. .
At the sea meeting, confidence in cryptocurrencies was clearly visible. The message sent by this event was that the change brought about by cryptocurrencies in the financial sector can not be stopped, so it is time to join this program. “The change is taking place, whether you like it or not,” Anthony Scaramucci, the White House communications director, said briefly in the early days of the Trump administration, whose event organizers, Salt Exchange, co-hosted the conference.
The large number of stars the two companies have managed to bring to the stage is proof of the growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies. Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the FTX Scholarship, sat next to Gisele Bundchen, the model with whom he will appear in an advertising campaign for Vogue. Bündchen’s husband, Tom Brady, joined the 30-year-old crypto-billionaire in a session entitled “Win”.
That night, in a lavish whitewashed suite, Bankman Fried and Scaramucci co-hosted crypto merchants for a private candlelit dinner with pop star Katy Perry and actor Orlando Bloom.
The next day, Bankman Fried re-entered the stage, this time with former US President Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, also former British Prime Minister. The audience – which included a 14-year-old decentralized financial developer and representatives of Wall Street investment banks and public pension funds – heard repeated rhetoric that regulators need to keep up with crypto, and that countries that could not see the future will go digital see asset innovations flee from them to Elsewhere.
Certainly, these wanderers whose only concern is cryptocurrency have received a warm welcome in other places like the Bahamas. A number of Bahamian police officers, in pristine white uniforms not fitted by slipper crackers, were watching a government delegation including the prime minister who opened the event.
“We were like pirates living in the past. We were always in the moment,” said one experienced Bahamas entrepreneur.
But the boasting that took place on this occasion soon turned into an exaggeration. German billionaire Christian Angermayer joined an interview by Scaramucci entitled “Stimulating awareness about cryptocurrencies,” which turned into a discussion about how people can use antipsychotics to stop worrying and love cryptocurrencies. Singer Liam Payne of One Direction was booked for the interview with Angermayer, but he apologized for not showing up the morning of the interview.
Many visitors to the Bahamas who danced to DJ Steve Aoki’s music at the resort until the early hours of the next morning found themselves in a state of exhaustion after last year’s onslaught of cryptocurrencies and speculation.
Total cryptocurrency market capitalization fell again 5 percent during this four-day rally, 40 percent off its highs last fall.
In their private conversations, which took place on the outskirts of palm trees while loudspeakers blew out Cool & The Jang’s “Celebration”, participants acknowledged that lean days await the industry. One manager predicted that the vast majority of current cryptocurrency projects would be ignored. Many of these old enough guests had the memory of echoes of the dotcom boom.
“There is going to be a period of radical change,” said one venture capital partner, noting that most projects that have raised money over the past two years, often at very generous valuations, have raised enough capital to sustain themselves for 18 to 24 years. . months. It will soon have to seek new funding in a more difficult environment, especially if it does not realize its ambitions. Even Scaramucci acknowledged that the markets were heading in a “chaotic period”.
“Everyone is a long-term investor until they suffer short-term losses,” he said. But crypto-believers are convinced that the most enduring projects will survive, as happened after the dotcom crash.
However, if the predictions of deflation are correct, the turmoil will be a test for true believers in cryptocurrency. Their bet is that enthusiasm for digital assets will enable them to survive a slump or a long period of flawed trading in the market.
As delegates pass by blackjack tables on their way to the conference, millions of people have also entered the crypto world through the resort, in the past 18 months of the pandemic-induced trade frenzy. But the question now is: If the losses worsen, will the bettors continue to play?