30 September 2022 | Hybrid Edition (Grand Africa Café & Beach, Cape Town, South Africa and Virtual) | 4th Edition

The bustling and vibrant Crypto Fest 2022, hosted at The Grand Africa Café and Beach venue at the Cape Town Waterfront in September 2022, was a spectacular convergence of visionaries, enthusiasts, and experts in the world of cryptocurrencies, NFTs, DeFi and blockchain technology.

Nestled against the picturesque backdrop of Cape Town’s iconic waterfront, The Grand Africa Café and Beach provided the perfect setting for this extraordinary gathering. Its lively ambiance and scenic location served as a fitting backdrop for the dynamic discussions, captivating presentations, and vibrant networking opportunities that unfolded throughout the event.

Under the theme of ‘Don’t Look Up’, based on the satirical movie,  ‘Don’t Look Up’, the event saw about 1,000 entrepreneurs, traders, investors, developers, and pundits alike gather both in-person in Cape Town and virtually, to explore the vast opportunities that cryptocurrencies and their related innovations are creating in the African economy.

In addition to the captivating talks and presentations, the event offered a plethora of enjoyable activities that added an extra layer of excitement.

Attendees were treated to a luxury yacht cruise around the picturesque Cape Town harbor, immersing themselves in breathtaking views while connecting with like-minded individuals.

The NFT gallery showcased a captivating array of African digital art, providing a glimpse into the vibrant world of non-fungible tokens. For gaming enthusiasts, the Metaverse Gaming Zone provided an immersive experience where cutting-edge technology and virtual worlds converged, allowing participants to explore and engage in the future of gaming.

The event also featured engaging exhibitions, offering attendees the opportunity to interact with the latest advancements and innovations in the digital asset space.

Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth in the City of Cape Town, Alderman James Vos opened the event and expressed that – as Africa’s Tech Capital – Cape Town was an ideal host city for the continent’s leading gathering of innovators, affording them an unmatched opportunity to connect, inspire and accelerate the impact that crypto technologies can have on advancing socio-economic growth in South Africa and abroad.

Proceedings then continued with a keynote address by Mandla Magagula (Chief Technology Officer of Libex), who gave insight into the driving forces and conditions needed for greater crypto adoption in South Africa.

Toward meeting African consumers at the community level, Nolu Mashologu (Business Development at FTX Africa) shared that this was the foundational principle that the leading crypto-exchange, FTX, took when scaling to the African continent.

On the future of DeFi in Africa, Michael Jordan (Business Development for Polygon Enterprise), explained that: “Africa is set to be the largest market globally, and to ensure sustainable and inclusive socio-economic growth, we need solutions that empower producers and consumers to do business and to do so with a high level of trust. This is where blockchain and DeFi come in”.

Audit Partner and Digital Asset Lead for Mazars South Africa, Wiehann Olivier, stressed the need for the national government and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to implement a regulatory framework, to promote consumer protection, combat fraud, and ultimately support greater adoption.

South African rugby player, Kyle Brown, and former South African soccer player turned athlete manager, Sean Roberts, unpacked how cryptocurrency is revolutionising the world of sport.

Looking at the impact of cryptocurrencies on gaming was a panel between Devon Krantz (Chief Executive Officer of Linum Labs), Glenn Gillis (Chief Executive Officer of Sea Monster Entertainment), Wayne van Niekerk (Business Development at Linum Labs), Michael Deon (Web 3 | Unity Game Developer | Artist) and Michael Jordan (Business Development for Polygon Enterprise).

Shifting the focus to artists and musicians, a discussion between Yaliwe Soko (Chairwoman of the United Africa Blockchain Association), Craig Chitima (Freelance Designer), Anushka Soma-Patel (Product Manager of Ecosystems for Atala Prism at Input Output), Jan Hendrik Viljoen (AKA Portchie), and Stephen Young (Chief Executive Officer of NFTfi) found that, with the uptake of cryptocurrencies and NFTs, African artists are able to explore new revenue-generation opportunities.

This was followed by a panel which looked at how investors could manage risk with decentralised finance, featuring Sebastian Stent (Product Marketing Manager for Web3 at Opera), Michael Jordan (Business Development for Polygon Enterprise), Daniel Kimber (Co-Founder of Bakari AG), and Hannes Wessels (Country Head for Southern Africa at Binance).

Proceedings continued with a panel that explored the future of investments in NFTs and the Metaverse between Llew Claasen (Managing Partner at Newtown Partners), Gideon Greaves (Managing Director for Africa at CVVC), Devon Krantz (Chief Executive Officer of Linum Labs), Ahren Posthumus (Chief Executive Officer of Momint), and Dirk van Loggerenberg (Chief Executive Officer of FutureFin).

Next was a the discussion around the rise of the metaverse and Web3.0 in Africa was the penultimate panel of the day between Ernest Mbenkum (Founder of the Bantu Blockchain Foundation), Wesley Diphoko (Editor-in-Chief at Fast Company SA), Norbert Adomako (Chief of Communications at Metis), and Modibe Matsepane (Community and Education Manager for Africa at Paxful).

Concluding proceedings was an expert discussion into whether the future of payments lies with stablecoins between Badi Sudhakaran (Chief Product Officer at VALR), Rikki Barnes (Head: Crypto and DLT Centre of Expertise at Firstrand), Rayn Derksen (Head: Blockchain and Special Projects at Nedbank), Adele Jones (Lead Architect: Information Security and Blockchain at Nedbank), and Tobie van der Spuy (Co-Founder at Block Markets Africa).

Overall, Crypto Fest 2022 in Cape Town was a dynamic and insightful festival type event that brought together a diverse range of professionals, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts from the crypto and blockchain space.

The Title Sponsor was Polygon and the Premier Sponsors were Binance, FTX and Mazars.