The first AusCryptoCon (which took place on the Gold Coast 17-18 September 2022) was a huge success. Two full-on days crammed with presentations, exhibits and networking, all based around a common theme – what is the future of crypto and where is blockchain heading?
I was delighted to represent Moulis Legal as part of the legal panel, helping to map out the regulatory and legislative landscape to a packed audience. I also got to meet some seriously clever people, hear about some truly innovative projects, and see some amazing tech in action.
Like everyone, I left AusCryptoCon with a headful of new ideas and information. Now that the buzz has subsided slightly, here are my main takeaways from the event:
Even in the depths of a cryptowinter, thousands of people are passionate enough to invest their time and money to investigate this technology further. From sophisticated institutional players to individual “hodlers”, there was a genuine and palpable appetite to better understand how blockchain can impact society and the environment.
With apologies to W. H. Davies, there’s simply no time to “stand and stare”. Over the weekend I met people working on processes and protocols that just didn’t exist at the start of the year. And as soon as you feel you’ve caught up with the pack, there’ll be something new to learn. If you’re involved in any way with blockchain, get used to that feeling!
The heady days of last year’s overheated market are over, but one of the benefits of a downturn is that it helps sort the wheat from the chaff, the chancers from the serious players. With projects taking longer to build and deliver, investors are no longer being stampeded into backing the nearest one for fear of missing out. Instead, they’ve got time to carry out the proper assessment (what we lawyers call “due diligence”) which is vital before taking on any commercial risk. Good projects based on strong communities are still doing well; lazy projects built on shaky foundations are being seen for what they are.
While there may be money to be made from chaos and anarchy, a productive economy requires a rules-based approach in order to attract reliable long-term investment and innovation. National governments are in a race to seize the initiative in shaping the future of regulation and to set their mark on international standards for blockchain. Even if the prevailing winds are blowing from the USA, the EU or China, Australia needs to be at the forefront of devising appropriate regulatory frameworks. What’s the right balance between privacy and transparency? Decentralisation and accountability? Freedom to trade and consumer protection? These questions are too important to leave to foreign governments or corporations to decide.
Common law systems in the Anglo tradition are well placed to accommodate the technological advances of blockchain. But, even with additional legislation, there’s only so far the law can go before practical enforcement and compliance become meaningless. Despite the protestations of some purists, blockchain and crypto will have to meet regulation somewhere in the middle.
All that “wen lambo?” in Discord channels may be pretty cringe, but there’s no denying it – these cars do look amazing!
If you’d like to discuss anything related to blockchain or crypto, we’d be delighted to help.