In brief

  • Major blockchain events have been canceled.
  • One PR firm transitioned to a virtual conference, BlockDown.
  • Akon will be attending via livestream to discuss his Akoin project.

The coronavirus pandemic has canceled major crypto conferences. But it can’t keep Akon away.

The global rapper and crypto entrepreneur will attend a virtual blockchain conference, BlockDown, in mid-April to discuss his ambitious crypto project, Akoin.

Turkish crypto PR Agency EAK Digital set up BlockDown after it had to postpone its own conference, Istanbul Blockchain Week, due to the coronavirus pandemic, company founder Erhan Korhaliller told Decrypt.

Akon is currently on lockdown with his family in Atlanta. Like all attendees, he will attend this new conference virtually. He will live-stream into a panel discussion and press conference. Other speakers include Roger Ver, executive chairman of Bitcoin.com, and Bitcoin evangelist Jimmy Song. Both were due to attend Istanbul Blockchain Week.

Akon will speak about Akoin, his crypto network that, according to Akoin’s website, will be used as “a common medium of transfer between Africa’s 54 countries (each with its own volatile currency).” He will also launch a competition for dapps to pitch their project for the Akoin dapp ecosystem, said Korhaliller. 

Akoin’s first integration is BitMinutes, a company that tokenizes airtime minutes for mobile phones. Akoin will also power Akon City, a city currently under construction a few hours outside of Senegal’s capital, Dakar.  

 

Second Chance

Korhaliller said the conference “compensates for the absence of all of the...conferences that we have seen cancelled over the coming months, including Paris Blockchain Week, Istanbul Blockchain Week, and Korea Blockchain Week.”

For Istanbul Blockchain Week, “EAK Digital had already completed a lot of the work that goes into creating a conference in relation to content,” he said.We decided to utilise all of those months of hard work in order to fasttrack BlockDown 2020 and create a virtual blockchain conference that provides both the ultimate content and ultimate networking experience for attendees,” he added. 

During the conference, attendees can watch live illustrations, visit virtual exhibition booth areas, and network and share business ideas in “dedicated online spaces,” according to a statement. It will also be possible to attend virtual “fireside chats” with 3D renditions of top speakers (though not Akon), said Korhaliller.

“We decided to shift our focus to an online event as we knew that in these uncertain times, people will need a fun and sociable environment and we could use our network to bring the community together.”

Korhaliller expected lots of journalists to be there—“making it the perfect platform for new projects to share major news announcements,” like those about Akoin.

Decrypt will be there, in a shirt, jacket, tie, and sweatpants.