How Titans of Industry Handle a Bear Market Behind the Scenes
A gentle night breeze carries the sounds of the ocean waves through the tropical resort patio and into the lobby. Muffled by the clinking of glasses, and clacking of poker chips, a silver food cart draped in while linen rolls past the crowd and stops on the patio. The waiter reaches underneath the cart and pulls out a total of nine tomato and pepperoni pizzas. Heads spin on a swivel, and the entire audience erupts in a roaring appreciation.
At 4 AM on a Saturday night, it didn’t matter if you were the CEO of a major crypto exchange, the manager of a fund who just stepped away from a nearly 9 BTC poker game, or a developer who got lucky enough to be early in the industry (🙋♂️). What mattered was that everyone got a slice of cheesy, late-night, all-inclusive pizza.
In an industry ravaged by sub-par conferences, Satoshi Roundtable is exceptional because it feels like it’s designed for smiles over sales; friendships over partnerships.
To many of the returning attendees (several of whom had made it to all 5), there were no goals or expectations. It was a chance to have a good time with outstanding people.
What Happens at SRT Stays at SRT
A big part of what made SRT so comfortable for an audience of highly-public personas was the understanding of the Chatham house rules. What was said can be shared outside the event, but no names or pictures can be shared without explicit permission of those mentioned (A rule I became particularly familiar with quite quickly).
What was Discussed at the ‘Unconference’
I was a big fan of the ‘unconference’ style of event, where attendees submit their own topics of conversation to lead. There are some photo’s of last year’s agenda floating around, but unfortunately this year’s contained the names of the session leaders. Here’s a very small sample of the topics discussed:
- 👨👩👧👦 Mainstream Adoption Brainstorming Sessions
- 🤫 Grin and Privacy Coins
- 📜 Security Token Offerings and Exchanges
- 💵 Stablecoins
- 🛰 Blockchain Satellite Node
- 👩⚖️ Regulation in Wyoming, Bermuda, and more
- 🌍 Blockchain vs. Climate Change
- ⛓ Sidechains and Scaling
- 🍄 Psychedelics and Crypto
- 🃏 And of course: Naked Twister (nobody showed up to it this year either)
Arguably, more could be learned after-hours by the pool than in the conference rooms themselves. Some interesting insights I’m walking away with include:
- Most either sold near the top or are actively fundraising. This one honestly scared me a little bit regarding the state of the industry. It feels like the war-chest bearing ICOs are going to continue to dominate the industry, while smaller groups scramble for investment and investment groups are tightening their belts.
- Blockchain developer talent is in abundance like never before. The growing interest in distributed tech, in conjunction with the massive industry layoffs, there’s a lot of tech talent out there looking for outlets where they can earn a steady paycheck.
- The “death” of Quadrigacx CEO looks quite a bit like an exit scam, and comes at a very poor time for policy makers in Canada. Keep on eye on how this unfolds.
- The STO market is a little hyped. There’s a healthy acknowledgement that just because an asset is tokenized, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s substantially more valuable. It was reassuring to hear people deep in the industry able to speak so rationally on the subject.
- Grin is in a Bubble. It is one of the coolest projects to come out in quite a while, but the inflation rate is absolutely insane at around 1% a day (do your own research). The inflation rate and incentives will balance out, but not likely for a couple of years. Feel free to continue to ride the bubble, but don’t plan on mining it sustainably for too much longer.
- There’s a lot of support for the “Creative Crypto” community. There was a number of talented crypto themed artists and musicians. Part of the push for mass-adoption means capturing the public’s interest, and the attendees of SRT knew it. Special shout-out to Cryptograffiti and DJ Abstract for helping me hit the DJ decks!
My Personal Take on Satoshi Roundtable
I was raised by a single mother, since my father passed away when I was just a baby. We didn’t have much, but my mother moved us into a wealthy neighborhood, so I could get zoned into a high-quality school district. My peers there talked incessantly about Country Clubs, private ranches, and resort vacations. I’ve spent my life with a strong distaste for “upper-class” experiences.
My lizard brain initially rejected the all-inclusive life of luxury as something I refused to identify with. This sort of imposter-syndrome led me to tweet some hurtful things that I deeply regret. Feeling like I had alienated myself by just the second day, I was amazed by the outpouring of love, advice, and hugs I received from my fellow attendees.
As if determined to effortlessly prove me wrong, the open arms and understanding of people who make headlines with their tweets warmed my heart and quite literally changed my view of the world. They saw me and treated me like a person, and a lot of them went out of their way to empathize with me.
If you are fortunate enough to get an invitation to SRT, accept it. The price tag is high, but I’m walking away with friendships that I can see lasting much longer than any Bull or Bear market.
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