Despite recent events, it is still an exciting time to be in web3
Head of Marketing & Brand
5 min read
Late last year, we held a meeting of the Australian DeFi Association in Melbourne to discuss the aftermath of FTX’s fall from grace. At the time, we had no idea that more economic uncertainty was looming on our horizon; many community members wanted to understand what long-term effects this could have and how far it would reach.
Undoubtedly, some were directly affected, while there was no impact for many. But the repercussions are that the market is now that little more cautious about web3.
Luckily our DeFi community is a resilient bunch. So apart from the after-effects of FTX, Government Bonds on the blockchain were among the many topics debated at our meetup.
The panel comprised our own Sensand CEO and Co-Founder Peter Moulton, Fireblocks ANZ Sales Director Shane Verner, law firm Stirling & Rose Managing Director Natasha Blycha along with James Myint, who is Managing Partner of the firm, and Francois Schonken, the CEO of BlockFold.
As Peter pointed out, the former CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, had relied on the FOMO of investors. “No one wanted to be the one who missed out on the next eBay. There was a lot of money around, but no one put in enough to get a seat on the board. There was so much demand to get in that no matter what you were offered, you would pay it.”
The panel agreed that VC money had dried up after the FTX collapse, but as Natasha said: “You will still get funding if your product is good. It is just that the pool of VCs investing in Web3 is small, partly due to a lack of understanding and education-sounding our sector.”
Natasha also spoke about the regulatory environment. “You speak a different language here at these meetups. There has been a lag time between regulation and regulatory enforcement as regulators got up to speed”. FTX has changed that. Regulatory enforcement for non-compliant crypto businesses will increase.
“The real literacy sits with juniors. It sits with digital natives. From the boardroom to the year 6 classrooms, everyone generally asks the same questions about the Metaverse and blockchain. It is the younger ones though, that are playing games like Fortnite and are more digitally literate and digitally intuitive.”
There was also considerable talk on the panel about the skills shortage. “Yes, we work in an area that is hyper-specialised,” said Peter, “so there are going to be gaps.” Francois agreed that there was a skills shortage as a gap in the Web3 learning curve. His advice was to get your cohort to think like end-testers. “There is a steep learning curve, and this will help.”
Shane, from Fireblocks, an enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets, reminded the group that our industry was still young and developing. “The first tokenised wallet issued was in 2018. We are still building the rails today, regulators are only human, and we all must collaborate in the industry to achieve a good outcome.”
During their conversation, James and Natasha talked about the progress they had made on smart contracts. “Digital assets are incredible,” Natasha said. “Smart contracts will be able to send notifications in real-time if a contract is breached – it is a fascinating time to be a part of the evolution of the digital realm!”
Want to learn more and watch the event footage: https://sensand.com/aus-defi-melbourne-meetup-22nd-november-2022/
If you’re interested in web3/blockchain and want to stay up to date with the latest developments, be sure to follow the Australian DeFi Association’s upcoming events in Melbourne: https://www.meetup.com/aus-defi-association-melbourne/
Our events bring together some of the most innovative minds in the industry to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing web3 today. You’ll have the chance to network with other professionals in the industry, learn about new technologies and trends, and gain valuable insights from experts in the field. Also, please be sure to visit our website www.defi.org.au to sign up for our weekly newsletter, connect with us on Discord and be part of our growing community.