In brief

  • Crypto conferences are shutting down as travel bans prevent social gatherings.
  • Many crypto conferences are relaunching virtual versions.
  • Here's the latest info on them.

The coronavirus pandemic has seen governments worldwide issue quarantine and social distancing orders that have collectively locked down over three billion people

The bans on mass gatherings and travel have, unsurprisingly, had a massive impact on the conference industry, and crypto conferences are no exception. Paris Blockchain Week, Seoul’s NiTROn2020 and the Texas tech summit South by Southwest have all been canceled or postponed. 

But cryptocurrencies and blockchain are digital and decentralized—so why should crypto conferences require in-person attendance? The crypto industry has been one of the first to jump onboard the virtual conference bandwagon, with live-streamed keynotes and panels, avatar-based networking and virtual fireside chats replacing their in-person counterparts. 

We’ve rounded up the best upcoming virtual crypto conferences that you can attend from the comfort of your own home. 

Mainnet by Messari

Slatted for June 1-3, Ryan Selkis, CEO and cofounder of crypto-database Messari, has been working hard with his team to put on their flagship virtual event Mainnet by Messari. The event focuses on furthering discussion and problem solving for the various struggles in driving industry adoption and collaboration despite the current hurdles of in-person gatherings. 

The 24/7 programming will accommodate attendees from around the globe and features a line up of speakers such as ConsenSys Founder Joe Lubin, CoinShares CSO Meltem Demirors, Electric Coin Company Founder Zooko Wilcox, Nakamoto Founder Balaji Srinivasan, Chainlink Cofounder Sergey Nazarov, Circle Cofounder and CEO Jeremy Allaire and 100+ more. 

You can reserve a place at the event online through the virtual event platform Hopin. Additionally, 50% of profits will be donated to impact partners Binance Charity and The Giving Block.

Consensus: Distributed

Consensus is a three-day virtual conference organized by crypto news outlet CoinDesk, beginning on May 11. It’s been running since 2015 as a paid event in New York, but its virtual rendition, “Consensus: Distributed” is free to anyone who signs up. 

Consensus: Distributed is intended to be a broad platform for discussion for voices from across the cryptocurrency industry, “all coordinated by CoinDesk’s experienced journalists and moderators in a rolling live TV-like experience,” according to an announcement. 

No word yet on who’s attending, but CoinDesk has previously hosted illustrious names such as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and the head of the SEC, Jay Clayton. 

The conference itself will address what comes next when the crisis is over and how it’ll relate to cryptocurrencies. Those who’ve paid to attend the live event will receive a refund by May 18, 2020.

Ethereal Summit

Ethereal Summit is another conference that’s moving online in response to the coronavirus lockdown. The virtual conference, which will replace Ethereal NY, will take place between May 7 and May 8. Ethereal NY has now been postponed to Fall 2020. The online summit will be free, and refunds for the original conference will be issued by May 1. 

The conference agenda explores the next steps for the development of Ethereum, and the wider blockchain world. This year’s themes include ethics, futurism and art, alongside presentations introducing the fundamental concepts of blockchain to the unfamiliar. 

Speakers include Taylor Monahan, founder of MyCrypto; Sergey Nazarov, CEO of Chainlink; and Ethereum Core Researcher Danny Ryan. The conference will be broadcast in “familiar formats such as keynotes, fireside chats, and panels, but with even more engagement via virtual roundtable discussions and VR meetups,” according to an announcement

Blockdown 2020

BlockDown 2020 is a conference set up as a direct response to the COVID-19 outbreak, running for two days from April 16. Tickets to access the conference are priced around $25. 

Headlining Blockdown’s list of speakers is Akon, the rapper-turned-blockchain entrepreneur. 

The five-time Grammy nominee has plans to launch his own cryptocurrency, Akoin. The cryptocurrency will be the “central currency” of Akon City, a “100% crypto-based city” situated a couple of hours out of Senegal’s capital Dakar.

Other speakers at BlockDown include Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, Roger Ver, a venture capitalist who specializes in Bitcoin startups, and Nicholas Merten, who runs the largest crypto-related YouTube channel, DataDash.

Attendees can watch live illustrations, head to virtual exhibition booths, and network and share business ideas in “dedicated online spaces.” BlockDown will also feature virtual “fireside chats” with 3D renditions of top speakers, Erhan Korhaliller, founder of BlockDown organizer EAK Digital, told Decrypt.

Messari Mainnet

On March 17, Ryan Selkis, founder of crypto-database Messari, announced a series of virtual events called Mainnet Events. The flagship event, The Mainnet, will run from June 8 to June 10. Currently, there’s not much information about the event available, but apparently over 100 speakers have already committed to the conference. 

You can reserve a place at the conference online, though ticket prices have yet to be revealed. Messari has committed to donating half of all profits to “third-parties most negatively impacted by the economic challenges stemming from the coronavirus.”

DeFi Full-Stack

For those interested in exploring the burgeoning field of decentralized finance (DeFi), a good place to start is this year’s DeFi Full-Stack Conference. It’s a free virtual conference that teaches developers new skills to facilitate the development of better DeFi apps. 

It will run from May 1 to May 3, with featured speakers including Coinbase Custody executive Luke Youngblood, and Benedict Chan, CTO of digital insurance company Bitgo. The event is hosted on Crowdcast, and viewers will be able to submit questions live to speakers in a Q&A session.

Tickets are available here. They are limited due to “bandwidth issues.” 

Crypto Asia Summit

The five-day-long Crypto Asia Summit begins on March 18. Tickets that would normally cost $497 are now being offered for free by crypto news outlet ChainTalk, while lifetime access to the talks costs $67. 

This conference is themed around building a profitable cryptocurrency portfolio. There are also options for networking; attendees can join a Telegram group set up for the event, and there’s a live-streamed Q&A session. The conference will also provide information about how to avoid crypto scams, as well as how to obtain market data.

The British Blockchain Association’s Virtual Corona Summit

The British Blockchain Association is a non-profit blockchain advocacy group. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, it has announced a virtual COVID Summit, where speakers will discuss the effect of the outbreak on education and work, and how blockchain can offer solutions to the crisis. 

The conference will take place on April 22. Tickets vary in price, but cost between $33 and $77. Among the speakers at this event are Cornell Professor Dr. Emin Gün Sirer, and Katrina Donaghy, CEO of Civic Ledger.