Positivity Soars in a Bear Market: Blockchain Economy Istanbul 2022

Held at the Hilton Bomonti, a swanky hotel next to a refurbished and revamped beer factory in Istanbul, the fourth edition of the Blockchain Economy Summit 2022 (BE2022) proved to be a significant step up from its pre-pandemic predecessors.

The previous summit, BE2020, was held at the WOW Convention Center two years ago. As well as being located in a harder-to-reach part of Istanbul, the summit coincided with the COVID-19 outbreak, which further impacted overall attendance. Since the sole purpose of this venue was to hold large-scale events, the crypto community two years prior simply wasn’t big enough to fill the space. As a direct result of the aforementioned factors, BE2020 felt like a two-day trip to a ghost town.

Blockchain Economy Istanbul 2022 attendees described the summit as dense, lively and full of energy, contrasting sharply with BE2020 in almost every aspect. It was also the first international crypto and blockchain event held in the region since Turkey revoked travel ban restrictions. As a result, members of the crypto community – from western and eastern countries – could join in the celebration.

The list of events had a good balance between local businesses and global crypto players. While bigwigs like Binance, Huobi or FTX were noticeably absent from the event, the logos of big companies like KuCoin, Gate.io, Bitget, Bitmex and Uphold filled the main hall. Despite its recent troubles, Gari Network donned the title sponsor badge for the entire event.

For two days, the main hall was never dull: people were there mainly for networking purposes after two years filled with lockdowns and travel bans – and it’s hard to say they missed much- thing by not attending the main conference sessions.

The Cointelegraph ground crew enjoys a special Turkish ice cream made from goat’s milk called “Maraş dondurması”.

Of course, some exciting names like Michael Saylor of MicroStrategy (although he joined via video call) or Davinci Jeremie, the “Please just buy a bitcoin (BTC)” guy, were on the agenda. But, unfortunately, the program saw a larger turnout from more local or regional speakers than needed for an international event of this scale – and the overflow in the conference room didn’t help either.

People chilled, lost interest in the simultaneous translation, and returned to the main area where a giant-sized samurai dog statue from the blockchain-based battle royale game Katana Inu intimidatingly greeted them. The best part? Most of the keynote speakers made themselves available for a little chat in the main room after their stage performances.

Lou Yu, head of KuCoin Labs, explains the latest trends in Web3 development

Cointelegraph reached out to several speakers for quick feedback and in-depth conversations, including Lou Yu, Director of KuCoin Labs, and Ben Caselin, Head of AAX Exchange.

The BE2022 event was most beneficial for the young and talented developers in the community, of which Turkey is home to many. During the event, Ali Dursun was able to showcase his Ratic blockchain gaming ecosystem to an array of global exchanges and venture capitalists. Aybars Dorman introduced Metavest, a new approach to decentralized finance (DeFi), to attendees, and Yotta21 founder Yunus Cebeci made important industry contacts in the smoking area.

Zignaly co-founder Abdul Rafay Gadit explains his plan to Cointelegraph business development manager Anton Kabatov and editor-in-chief Erhan Kahraman

Two things were clear: First, the COVID-19 pandemic could not slow the growth of the crypto ecosystem. For many attendees, Blockchain Economy Istanbul 2022 was their first experience of networking with the rest of the industry, and they thrived on making the most of it. And second, no matter how bearish a crypto market becomes, price swings cannot shake the positivity of the crypto ecosystem.

Considering everything that happened during the event, the Blockchain Economy Istanbul 2022 Summit confirmed that regardless of market conditions, the crypto ecosystem is ready to invest time, money and the energy to stay positive.