Crypto Fest 2023 | Cryptopia

24 November 2023 | Cabo Beach Club, Cape Town, South Africa | 5th Edition

Crypto Fest made a triumphant return to Cape Town on November 24, 2023, as the fifth edition at the stunning Cabo Beach Club, nestled in the popular Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.

The day was filled with joy and festivity, offering a plethora of activities such as educational workshops, panels, speaker sessions, a startup pitch competition, a dynamic exhibition area, a yacht excursion and an after-party. Attendees were treated to a delightful beach-like setting, with the majestic Atlantic Ocean serving as a picturesque backdrop behind the speakers’ stage.

The event provided ample opportunities for networking and socializing, and attendees seized every moment to make meaningful connections and engage with the vibrant crypto community.

Hannes Wessels, General Manager of Southern and Francophone Africa at Binance – the Title Sponsor of Crypto Fest 2023 was this years Keynote Speaker. His Keynote address titled “The Opportunities and Roadblocks of Crypto Mass Adoption in Africa”, provided valuable insights into the state of crypto in Africa.

The startup pitching competition was hosted in partnership with CV VC, NODO and MZANSI WEB3 ICP.HUB SA and Paie, a fully formed user-friendly app for accessing global financial services, received recognition as the winner of the start-up pitch competition. 

“Bitcoin dominates cryptocurrencies in sub-Saharan Africa because its seen as a better way to preserve wealth as a store of value,” Chainalysis Senior Solutions Architect Zakaria Ellaoui explained during his market insights session focusing on the company’s Crypto Adoption Index.

“Nigeria has seen a nine percent year on year increase in crypto transactions and there is significant demand for stablecoins across the continent because people see these as safer options. There is an appetite for risk, though. We‘ve seen a surge in altcoins in the region.”

Ellaoui had high praise for South Africa’s efforts in establishing crypto regulations and said that the country is a leader on the continent in this regard. “It was a great move to license crypto businesses because we’re seeing a migration of fintech startups to South Africa.”

Nonkululeko Musa Ntuli, Consultant at IQbusiness and Governor of H.E.R. DAO South Africa, echoed her sentiments during her session which unpacked the Evolution from Web2 to Web3 in an easily accessible way. “Regulators want to control crypto because that will bring compliance and create stability. It is not necessarily bad for the market.”

While South Africa’s recognition of crypto financial products was a big step in the right direction, there is still work to be done in legitimising the asset class as legal tender.

Gideon Rossouw, Web3 Enablement Executive at Nedbank  stated on the Future of Stablecoin Regulation panel discussion:

“We as banks can’t take the risk because if we go bust, the economy will certainly be affected. Regulators are looking at it from the perspective of applying a level control in proportion to the effect on the market.”

Cryptocurrencies do not have widespread status as legal tender, but they are regarded as assets in South Africa and can be tendered to a creditor as a valid and legal offer of payment, if you can find a vendor who accepts crypto.  

The Lightning Network and related payment technologies have managed to plug the gap in retail acceptance of crypto, there is a lot of development happening in anticipation of future regulatory landscape shifts. 

Rossouw also addressed the challenges of creating a single stablecoin for the continent, suggesting that it may be a utopian idea, but the practical implementation would quickly become dystopian.

“There are currency blocks that you can look at around the world, like the Euro. Each country has different political and fiscal processes, and it makes it difficult to establish a single currency to trade in. Even in Europe it’s not working that well.” 

In the heart of Cape Town, Crypto Fest 2023 emerged not only as a celebration of digital assets but as a testament to Africa’s unwavering commitment to innovation.

While global headlines may focus on the challenges faced by crypto giants, the thriving attendance at this premier industry gathering paints a different picture—one of resilience and determination within the African crypto community.

Beyond the challenges, the crypto community stands united, poised to turn discussions into reality and usher in a digital utopia that extends far beyond the Mother City’s shores. 

Cryptopia’s presence in Africa is not just a momentary affair; it is a burgeoning force that promises to grow stronger.

The Sponsors

Welcome to Cryptopia



Exhibition Booths



The 3 workshops were sponsored by Web3 Sanctuary, The Graph and Chainalysis.

Crypto Sportsbet Catamaran

Sponsored by, this was a one of a kind experience as VIPS were treated to a 3 hour luxury cruise around the beautiful Cape Town Waterfront.


Master of Ceremonies and Keynote Speaker

Kieno Kammies (Master of Ceremonies) Co-founder of Innovation City

Kieno is a media veteran, having been part of the commercial media

Hannes Wessels General Manager of Southern and Francophone Africa at Binance

Hannes Wessels is the General Manager of Southern and Francophone Africa for

Other Speakers Included

Adrian Hope-Bailie CEO of Fynbos

Adrian is the Co-founder and CEO of Fynbos. He is originally from

Yvonne Kagondu Co-founder Kushite ICP Hub

Yvonne Kagondu is a Kenyan Blockchain expert, mentor, and speaker. She plays

Zakaria Ellaoui Senior Solution Architect at Chainalysis

Zakaria Ellaoui is a data analytics and machine learning expert with over

Michael Burke Sales Director at Fireblocks

Michael is an experienced professional with a strong track record of developing

Christo de Wit Country Manager South Africa at Luno

Christo de Wit serves as the Country Manager for Luno in South

Nolwazi Hlophe Senior Fintech Specialist at Financial Sector Conduct Authority South Africa

Nolwazi Hlophe is the Senior Fintech Specialist with FSCA South Africa and

Nonkululeko Musa Ntuli Consultant at IQbusiness and Governor of H.E.R. DAO South Africa

With a background in finance and data science, Nonkululeko is passionate about

Nick French Founder of MetaCap

Cayla Murray Member of the Provincial Legislature for the Western Cape Provincial Parliament

Murray worked as an assistant researcher at Brunel University from November 2013

Wesley Diphoko Editor In Chief at Fast Company SA

Wesley Diphoko has been working at the intersection of technology, media and

Devon Krantz Founder and CEO at Web3 Sanctuary

Devon Krantz is an advocate for Web3, with a career spanning back

Gideon Greaves Managing Director for Africa at CV VC

Gideon Greaves, Managing Director at CV VC & CV Labs Africa, is

Gideon Rossouw Executive: Web3 Enablement at Nedbank

Norbert Amankwaa Adomako Chief of Communications at Metis

Norbert is the Communications and Community lead at Metis and Founder of

Badi Sudhakaran Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at

Badi Sudhakaran is a dynamic and visionary entrepreneur with a remarkable journey

Rob Downes Head of Digital Assets, CIB Africa at ABSA

Rob has over 20 years’ experience in financial services in Europe and

Aeryn Quarmby COO and Co-Founder at Xion Global

Aeryn, who grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, started his working career

Grey Jabesi Founder of Crypto University

Grey Jabesi is an entrepreneur, blockchain enthusiast, cryptocurrency evangelist, analyst, and investor

Dominic Obojkovits Chief Engineer at Dark Fusion

Dominic is the Chief Engineer at Dark Fusion, which is the first

Monica Singer Strategic Advisor and South African Lead at ConsenSys

Monica was the first CEO of South Africa’s Central Securities Depository (CSD),

Mic Mann CEO at Africarare, Ubuntuland

Mic is a storyteller, futurist, entrepreneur and speaker on how exponential technologies

Zulekha Cara Head of Liquidity and Trading at Yellow Card Financial

Zulekha Cara is a dynamic and accomplished entrepreneur with a diverse background

Rikki Barnes Head - Blockchain Enabler at FNB South Africa

Rikki Barnes has been with FirstRand for 12 years, predominantly in Foreign

Startup-Pitch Competition

Panel and Judges

Shaheer Karrim Co-Founder of Mzansi Web3 ICP.Hub SA

As the Co-Founder of Mzansi Web3 ICP.Hub Southern Africa, Karrim is deeply

Pascal Marguier Sales Director - France and Africa at Fireblocks

Sowmya Raghavan Head of Product at NODO

As Head of Product at NODO , Sowmya possesses a proven track

Brenton Naicker Principal and Head of Growth at CV VC Africa

Brenton has been a key proponent in bringing blockchain technology and its

Gideon Greaves Managing Director for Africa at CV VC

Gideon Greaves, Managing Director at CV VC & CV Labs Africa, is

Speaker Videos

View all the speaker talks and panels on our YouTube channel.


View the full Crypto Fest 2023 programme in pdf format.


Title Sponsor

Premium VIP Yacht Sponsor

Energy Drink Sponsor