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At the European Blockchain Convention in Barcelona, ​​regulation stole the show

At the European Blockchain Convention in Barcelona, ​​regulation stole the show

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Around 2,500 crypto-curious blockchain believers descended on Barcelona’s Hyatt Tower conference suites last week in a networking bonanza. The 8th edition of the European Blockchain Convention and the fourth event in Barcelona also coincided with Bitcoin (BTC) trading just under $25,000.

Despite a crypto drawdown of over 60%, the conference was packed and reportedly 2,500 attendees from banks, blockchain companies and crypto soaked up the sights and sounds of the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region. Nonetheless, the crypto scars of 2022 are still tender and raw; Many participants expressed real concerns about regulations and rules.

Cointelegraph’s Hall spoke to EBC co-founder Victoria Gago. Source: Jose Val Bal

The clamor for regulation included bankers from major European institutions: Santander, HSBC and Société Générale shared the stage rubbing shoulders with crypto natives and blockchain maximalists.

Contrary to expectations, however, it was the crypto-native camp who were quick to spot the troubles of 2022 and were the first to demand clearer guidance from regulators.

Stef Wynendaele, a crypto native who leads commercial strategy for KeyRock, told Cointelegraph that he is “in love with Bitcoin” and that “questioning the establishment” is a key tenet of crypto. However, a collaborative environment between institutions and disruptors can be the most productive way forward:

“Everyone says, ‘We don’t want to talk to the banks, we don’t want to know what they’re doing, etc.’ But actually they have been around for 300 or 400 years. They have a lot of experience with how to actually do things and how not to do them.”

In such an environment, Wynendaele explains, it is no longer about “us versus them”, i.e. crypto versus incumbents, especially since the market will ultimately decide the best outcome.

Patrick Heusser, Chief Commercial Officer at Crypto Finance, echoed his comments. He told Cointelgraph: “I would say that not everything that has been done in traditional finance is wrong. Regulation is not always wrong.”

Heusser during one of the panels at EBC. Source: Jose Val Bal

Cathy We, an investment associate at NGC Ventures, took a contrarian view of regulation, at least in the short term. She told Cointelegraph that “the kind of scrutiny we’re seeing in the market from regulators is something that’s obviously not a good thing to see in this short-term bear market.”

Cointelegraph’s Yana Prikhodchenko introduces the CT Acceleration Price. Source: Jose Val Bal

“In the long term it will actually create a much better environment for everyone, for liquidity, for the safe development of many new ideas and for talent,” she added.

“You want your best talent to work in a very compliant environment so they don’t get caught and go to jail or something. So I think regulation will be very helpful in the long run.”

In the face of a bear market in which companies like FTX, Luna, Celsius and BlockFi smeared the crypto industry’s reputation, John Murillo, who had spent decades in traditional finance, summed up the industry’s needs succinctly:

“Regulation brings transparency. Ultimately, transparency brings credibility, and credibility is what everyone is looking for.”

While regulation was the mot du jour, there was excited talk about innovation and disruption in traditional finance.

Related: Market Makers in the Crypto Industry: Party Planners or Bartenders?

A new phrase was coined during the conference: “Recycle to Earn”. The phrase is the slogan of blockchain company Circularr, which participated and then won the CT Accelerator award.

Circularr took home the $35,000 prize. Pictured Daniel Salmeron (EBC), Eric Vogel (Circularr), Victoria Gago (EBV) and Prikhodchenko. Photo: José Val Bal

Circularr is a blockchain-based recycling pioneer that hopes to bring back trust in recycling. The team won a $35,000 grant courtesy of Cointelegraph after a smooth one-minute pitch on stage during the startup pitch competition. The startup pitch brought the conference to a climax and reminded the audience of the Web3 industry’s roots of disruption, innovation and ownership.

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