Forget about price! Polkadot Decoded 2023 says bear markets are for building

The recently concluded Polkadot Decoded 2023 conference boasted more than 100 speakers and 100 blockchain projects in attendance.

The advantage of crypto bear markets is that they prompt a shift in outlooks and goals.

All the covert advantage has disappeared and much of the conjecture has vanished.

SBF has departed.

Kwon is no longer here.

Three Arrows Capital, Su Zhu, Kyle Davies, and a few other charlatans and peddlers of fraudulent goods have been banished.

Goodbye to all the hype and unrealistic expectations. The cryptocurrency industry does not need any more messiahs, populists, or dream peddlers; instead, what we need are innovators, new ideas, solutions that can be applied to the real world, and products that are market-ready.

I really enjoy attending blockchain conferences, especially during a bear market.

The overall atmosphere of Polkadot Decoded was one of a ‘buidl first’ mentality. For two days, a close-knit group of developers, investors, ambassadors and a few inquisitive journalists, including myself, gathered at the Øksnehallen conference center, which is located away from the hustle and bustle of Copenhagen’s cobblestone streets.

The locale is almost poetic, as it is a tranquil area tucked away in the middle of a bustling city center, and this same atmosphere was reflected in the conference activities, which emphasized:

Hardly anyone is discussing airdrops, token prices, memecoins, Bitcoin (BTC) reaching a new record high, or any of the typical topics of conversation that make up the majority of crypto conversations.

It’s bigger than a dollar sign

Rather than focus on price, the panel discussed the difficulties and occasional successes of aiding traditional finance and Web2 companies in their transition to Web3, the measures being taken to make venture capital funding of projects more transparent, and the necessity for all the crypto terminology and complexity to be shifted to the back end of DApps with a more seamless frontend user experience.

Many people even proposed that terms such as “blockchain,” “crypto,” and “Web3” should not be included on websites, applications, roadmaps, and so on associated with projects.

Giulia Maresca, CEO of Public Pressure, stated that…

At Polkadot Decoded, I moderated the opening panel which discussed the use of on-chain entertainment in music and film. It was an interesting conversation, as many creators and developers agree that music and film have the potential to drive user growth, retention, and the widespread application of NFTs in daily life. This is due to the need for crypto to have a better product-to-market fit and connection to real-world assets.

At the panel, Maresca elucidated why she thinks there is an inherent harmony between creative industries and Web3 philosophy:

Maresca is also convinced that phygital NFTs and experiences will become firmly established in the realms of fashion design, the movie business, and all elements of the music industry.

Maresca illustrated how fashion labels such as Diesel were entering the Web3 realm with a practical example, saying:

Ed Hill, the senior vice president of media services at Beatport, highlighted the importance of Web3 not just being a mere buzzword, but rather a tangible and actionable ideology that is implemented within the corporate structure of the entertainment industry.

When questioned regarding the gap between what consumers want, creators’ goals, and the products and experiences the entertainment industry currently offers, Hill remarked:

A new Web3 ID application enables users to locate each other based on established interests.

Community members are stakeholders, not just consumers

From the point of view of myself and many other conference attendees, cryptocurrency is about the collective, and the most successful initiatives generally have a grassroots approach in which the community is a stakeholder and their needs are taken into consideration when deciding the project’s trajectory. Whenever the crypto sector deviates from this ethos and succumbs to the whims of those seeking financial gain or who are trying to manipulate the masses, investors and community members are deprived of their influence within the project.

For corporations to successfully transition to Web3 and achieve beneficial outcomes, creators, consumers, and community members must be seen as more than just a working class within a system that is solely focused on generating revenue and appropriating culture while transforming creator intellectual property into corporate promotional products. Furthermore, crypto media should also be mindful of this, but I digress.

Finn Martin, founder of Define Creative, echoed similar views, concluding with an upbeat outlook for Web3, declaring:

Blockchains should stop aspiring to be a jack of all trades

Generally, expansive blockchain ecosystems often have a disconnected atmosphere where numerous goals and beliefs lead investors and supporters to feel adrift. These endeavors usually have difficulty articulating their aim, and this has a consequential influence on the effectiveness of their market fit.

At Polkadot Decoded 2023, the age-old crypto problem is still a challenge, which involves creating solutions for issues that are not really issues for the general public. What stands out the most to me is the unified aim of making the chain simpler to use for developers, investors, and users.

No matter if the project is an AMM, DEX, lending market, blockchain-gaming startup, IPFS storage solution, or a cross-chain bridge, each panel has mentioned the need to make components composable, interoperable, and to make Web3 a reality by constructing the infrastructure necessary for projects to flourish.

I cannot stress enough the importance of venturing out from behind the computer and TradingView token price action charts and connecting with others at conferences. Nobody is an island, and it is beneficial to find a secure place to communicate, brainstorm, experiment and refine one’s investment strategy and thoughts on the progress of blockchains.

I want to give a shout-out to Polkadot Decoded for accurately telling the story this year.

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