5 things we learned at CryptoPro 2018

Hello everyone! Welcome back to another article from your friends at Ngaged. I’ve got a special treat for everyone today.

While I absolutely love being able to interact with everyone globally through the internet, my boss and I came to a pretty swift agreement that I’ve been cooped up way too long.

It was time to take Ngaged’s great brand of community management on a road trip.

That train of thought was what led me on a nearly eight hour adventure down the west coast of Florida to cut east through the Everglades straight for the Crypto Pro Expo networking event set during the world famous Miami Art Week.

In hindsight, I should have taken a plane. That drive was rough! Thankfully, there were plenty of stops on the way to let me stretch my legs and meet some of my fellow Floridians.

Once I reached the event, I was happy to see we had some time to unwind with a social hour. I met some great friends, like Erik and Rafael, and had the opportunity to meet and greet with a lot of others at the event while learning all about the projects braving the headwinds in the crypto seas.

Once the event was underway, the sheer amount of knowledge on display made me glad I was taking notes. Peter Sinkevich, the organizer of the event, had created panels of greatly varied and respectable opinions regarding crypto-based hedge funds, companies within the crypto space, and art’s marriage with blockchain. They shared their outlooks, recognizing the short term volatility of crypto would give way much like the dotcom bubble to new and exciting projects. It was refreshing to see actual discussion among the panels.

It really helped to display the balance of the differing ideals within the space. Much of the space could benefit greatly from level-headed discussions like the ones with our panelists.

In order from left to right: Peter Sinkevich, Andrew Romans, Ken Lang, Chris Eberle, and Shyam Kamadolli

One comparison made throughout the event was that most successful companies of the dotcom bubble were built after the initial rush. This led to a hope that we may see a similar effect occur, though in a personal statement I would argue that we will see these successful companies emerge both from existing companies and those that have yet to surface.

The first opinion that really struck me was that of Andrew Roman’s “Push, don’t Pull” mentality when it came to discussing crypto with his clients.

He spoke of how he would choose to discuss crypto with clients, however they seemed unimpressed. When he chose blockchain instead of crypto, they immediately would perk up and grow excited.

This simple rephrasing really highlights the immense consequences of our words and ability to phrase marketing properly. To those savvy in the crypto field, we understand that crypto and blockchain can sometimes be synonymous. To those not in the know, the stigma of crypto and investors wounds are still fresh.

If you’re looking to market to traditional crowds, remember things like a simple word or two can make all the difference.

Also among the panels were some very clear indicators that ICOs should take heed of when determining the strength of their project. If you’re truly ready to ICO, the panelists made their comments well known for both investors and projects alike.

In order from left to right: Dr. Richard Swart, Saul Hudson, Frank Amato, and Alexander Lopatine

1. ICOs are highly volatile in ways that traditional markets are not.

Steps and measures should be taken to limit just how much downside any token holder is susceptible to. If your token holders make a purchase only to find it’s bottomed out, then it breeds bad relations with present and future efforts. Limiting downside through various methods increases the level of trust with holders of your token.

2. Token governance and accountability should be made crystal clear.

More and more projects these days are beginning to look away from the more decentralized ethos that crypto started as and, as such, companies should understand that they are accountable for their products. Many will shy away, stating that they are not a security, but as Frank Amato clearly laid out, “There is no such thing as an unregulated asset.”

Having accountability and governance means that when regulations are put in place, companies under scrutiny can show they were acting in good faith.

3. Companies entering the blockchain space should first and foremost understand that good business sense will take them farther than just having a shiny new toy.

A good majority are going out of business or hanging by a thread simply due to the price of the Ethereum in their wallet. Those who only held onto the crypto they received during ICO without ensuring they have made their business stable with a reserve in fiat are now paying the price.

4. We are seeing the writing on the wall with many companies going up in smoke by tokenizing revenue/profit and loss that they simply did not have.

Companies should consider their platform and product first before considering ICO, as then they will be able to set up good, future potential while having some extra funding to lean on. Having an initial product or a viable source of income prior to tokenization will see your company’s chances of survival dramatically increase in the blockchain world.

5. The current level of trust in the space right now is at an all time low.

With supposedly legitimate projects dropping off the map, bringing your community together is more important than ever before. This is why it is imperative for your developers to bring a working product to the forefront. Your front end teams and your community management should focus on not only raising moral, but educating your customers on the product and features.

Painting a Full Picture

The pièce de résistance of the Crypto Pro event was the discussion of blockchain’s interaction with art. As the event was set during the Miami Art Basel (of which several times we were reminded it was pronounced baa-zil, not basil for our American friends) Peter assembled a top notch team of panelists to discuss their thoughts on utilizing blockchain both as collectibles featuring artwork and non-fungible tokens used to possibly get a control over the counterfeit market.

Derek Clauson with Brian Kelly

The event panels officially concluded with an excellent keynote speech by Brian Kelly, the Founder & CEO of BKCM, one of the premier crypto hedge fund companies.

He told the story of going live on CNBC acting as a detractor of bitcoin as a knee jerk reaction to its popularity. However, in a twist fit for theatre, he began experimenting with it, slowly coming to realize the sheer potential of blockchain technologies. After the realization hit him, he proceeded to write The Bitcoin Big Bang and has become one of the leading supporters of blockchain and crypto.

Over the years, Brian has even built his own investment firm for bitcoin and blockchain technologies. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time now on CNBC, so to see him on stage was a great experience. While I sadly forgot my copy of his book at home and couldn’t get it signed, I was ecstatic to get a picture in with him.

Sushi and Edamame by Blade at Fontainebleu

Alas, all good things must come to an end.

The event wrapped up with a cocktail party to relax in and I snuck off to enjoy a fine sushi dinner at Blade. As the day wrapped up and I finished writing a few more notes, I realized I would definitely have to make more efforts to get away from the desk. Coming out to Miami Beach to talk with fellow crypto enthusiasts was an absolute delight. Thank you to both our amazing panelists and everyone who came out to join in the festivities.

If you’re a fellow visitor and I didn’t get the chance to meet you, I’d love to connect with you and discuss more about the experience! I’ll leave my LinkedIn below so we can touch base with each other.

For now, this is Derek Clauson, signing off.

This event coverage was brought to you by the community experts at Ngaged. If you’re looking to nurture a great community of your own for your crypto or blockchain company, be sure to check out Ngaged.io and get in touch. To learn more, take a look at one of our recent articles on why community management matters.

About the author: When not chasing down the latest news and strategies in crypto marketing, Derek spends his time helping build up successful blockchain companies through Ngaged.io and with his pet dogs.