Blockchain Economy Istanbul Summit was hosted by Blockchain Economy Istanbul, held on July 27-28, and is known as Eurasia’s largest blockchain event. The organizers of the conference informed that 3,000 people took part alongside 50 speakers, including Alex Bornyakov, the face of war-ravaged Ukraine’s cryptocurrency movement.
However, the absences were also highly noticeable. Huge names from exchanges, including Binance, FTX, and Coinbase (COIN), did not have exhibitions at the event. Binance founder Changpeng Zhao did make his appearance in Turkey, with a virtual meeting with the finance minister of the country on the same day of the conference. At a conference referred to as the “meeting place for the world’s top crypto companies and blockchain entrepreneurs,” 4 fireside chats, six panels, and 20 keynote addresses were spotted with vacant seats, as per attendees.
Given that the bearish crypto market was still storming, no-shows should likely have been expected.
“The way they marketed it paints a different picture,” said Tony Dhanjal, Koinly’s head of tax, a company that helps traders track and report taxes concerning crypto. “When you look at it empirically, that did not look like 3,000 people – rather, no more than 1,000. Perhaps, the lack of attendance was reflected in the fact we are in a bear market.”
Others, including Didi Wiboonma, Bitazza.com’s chief communications officer, applauded the diversity of the attendance but said she had taken “a long way from Thailand and so was expecting a little bit more advanced content.”
“The conference is less crowded, welcoming and interactive than I anticipated,” said Kimia Hosseinpour, 25, who reached the event with higher expectations after resigning from her mechanical engineering job, selling her car, and leaving her apartment in Washington, D.C., so that she could explore. “I enjoyed some of the panels more than the walking around.”
“One may have seen dotted empty seats in the main hall because the attendees were in the expo area,” said Teklip organizers, pointing to the post-event report showcasing a sharp decline in on-ground attendance after lunch.
“Attendees decide for themselves whether they would like to listen to speeches or explore exhibitions and network. Also, the smoking area at the venue’s entrance was crowded the whole time. The workshop was also carried out.”
Of all speakers, long-awaited Bitcoin evangelist Michael Saylor was the biggest draw. India-based attendee Fahad Th informed CoinDesk that he would rather not turn up if he knew Saylor would only be speaking virtually.
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