Party amid a rally? AusCryptoCon 2023
Updated: Nov 17
Amid the biggest crypto rally in 2023 which sent the Bitcoin price to a 12-month high, the Australian Crypto Convention was successfully held over the weekend of 11 and 12 November in Melbourne.
With over 10,000 attendees, 250 speakers and 250 sponsors/exhibitors, Aus Crypto Con 2023 created a huge buzz at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre by the Yarra river.
Presentors included industry heavyweights and prominent professionals, such as:
Michael Saylor, founder of MicroStrategy who famously bought 17,732 Bitcoins for $175 million
Justin Sun, founder of Tron
Ecowyn Chen, CEO of Trust Wallet
Sergej Kunz, co-founder of the 1Inch network
The agenda included a jam-packed list of presentations and panel discussions across two days. The following is a brief recap.
With an increasingly strong enforcement approach by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the release of the Digital Assets Platform consultation paper by the Treasury, regulation of the industry was at the forefront of many minds and the focus of several presentations.
These include: Binance's investigations team sharing their experience in protecting users' assets and cooperating with law enforcement; Michael Bacina from Blockchain Australia and Mark Monfort from NotCentralised explained Australia's new digital asset regulations in layperson's terms; Aaron Lane from the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Lab also discussed current cases and future trends of Crypto Law.
As the Bitcoin price reached 12-month highs, it could not have been better timing for Michael Saylor to show his unwavering belief in Bitcoin. Taking the audience on a deep dive into the crypto universe, Michael Saylor emphasised Bitcoin's
status as the best property in the world and how it has transformed MicroStrategy's approach to investment.
Saylor also offered his views on the highly-anticipated Bitcoin ETF and the challenges to educate the public about cryptocurrency.
The surge in the Bitcoin price also prompted discussions on mining. Will Wright, co-founder of the Mining Store, shared his views on the results of mining Bitcoin since 2014, and the strategies their clients have adopted over the years.
One cannot attend Aus Crypto Con without noticing PayPal (and their booth handing out an unbelievable loot of lollies), whose presence is not at all surprising given PayPal has demonstrated strong interest in crypto including issuing its own USD stablecoin and simplifying crypto purchases. PayPal discussed their continuous commitment to building consumer trust in crypto,
...at the intersect between 400m consumers and 30m merchants enabling $1.4T in transactions every year... PayPal can meaningfully contribute to the crypto landscape over the coming years.
Edward Wong, International Strategic Advisor from ASIC and Simon Callaghan, CEO of Blockchain Australia took the audience on a journey from traditional financial systems to a tokenised digital economy. They reflected on the position of the IMF-FSB joint policy roadmap and the IOSCO recommendations, dived into the latest innovation in banking and fintech, and envisioned the expansive future of the digital economy.
Jack Jiang from Wealth Pi and Brooks Huang from Joltify Chain also discussed how tokenisation of real world assets could enhance liquidity, increase accessibility and unlock new investment opportunities.
A dynamic panel which includes Darren Rogan, CEO of Horselink and Harrison Dell of Cadena Legal delved into the world of Web3 gaming and discussed how blockchain technology is reshaping the gambling industry.
Emerging talents from several Australian universities also provided insights on how to educate, engage and empower the student masses within Web3.
Justin Sun provided an expert analysis of the exponential growth and increasing adoption of DeFi, highlighting the dramatic rise in the user base and broadening array of services.
Blockchain and AI
You cannot have a successful conference on emerging technologies without mentioning AI a few times. Web3 Educator Danielle Marie presented on the convergence of blockchain and AI in the context of future identify management.
Compared with last year's Aus Crypto Con, the themes again demonstrated focus on regulation, compliance and exploring the way forward for the industry, probably thanks to the high-profile collapses of several crypto firms. However, one only needed to spend 5 minutes in the room to conclude that the enthusiasm from the attendees and industry participants has not wavered. By Michael Bacina, Steven Pettigrove and Jake Huang