Two weeks ago, Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, played host to one of the most star-studded crypto events ever held. Second only to the Bitcoin Miami Conference held in April 2022, the Crypto Bahamas was a congregation of Web 3.0 proponents, blockchain developers and supporting infrastructure builders. The unique handshake led to globally acclaimed personas like ex-President Bill Clinton and former PM of the UK Tony Blair gracing the event.
The event was co-hosted by FTX founder & billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried and the global thought-leadership forum SALT, which was founded by Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital. The event ran from April 26 to 29, 2022, and discussed the adoption of digital assets.
According to Scaramucci, the former communications manager of the White House, the goal of the Crypto Bahamas event was to “bridge the generation gap between people that are transforming the world and traditional finance folks that need to see this and embrace it.”
FTX is a prominent crypto derivatives exchange that has gained significant traction since its inception in 2019, making Bankman-Fried a billionaire at 29. While Coinbase and Gemini have been at the receiving end of regulatory bodies, FTX has managed to navigate the crypto waters without too many hassles. This is primarily thanks to its overseas operations outside the USA.
Meanwhile, SALT has connected asset owners with investment advisors and managers through its biannual events since 2009. The global think tank focuses on “finance, technology and geopolitics” issues and has created a premium network of 2,000 such thought leaders. Some of their speakers are ex-USA Presidents and senior corporate leaders.
Ironically, the event barely saw the mention of Bitcoin, which is the father of all blockchains. Only one panel discussed Bitcoin and its part in running the Lightning Network. Probably the most noteworthy mentions of Bitcoin were the price predictions from Mike Novogratz, CEO of investment firm Galaxy Digital and Cathie Wood, chief executive of ARK Investment Management. They predicted that Bitcoin would hit the $500,000 and $1 million mark, respectively.
Forbes reported that Solana, also dubbed an ‘Ethereum killer’, garnered most of the attention during the Crypto Bahamas conference. With over $4 billion in Total Value Locked (TVL) across more than 60 decentralised finance (DeFi) protocols, according to DeFi Llama, Solana has quickly risen through the ranks among layer-1 blockchains.
Quite amusingly, soon after the day’s events concluded, Solana became the victim of a 7-hour-long outage caused by bots flooding the network and trying to mint new NFTs. The bots pushed the Solana blockchain to a record 4 million transactions per second (TPS). Unfortunately, this also raised a series of questions regarding the network’s reliability and security.
Parallelly, Solana also held its own ‘Solana Hacker House’ to unite the Solana developers’ community. It aimed to give participants a chance to gather insights and learn from other expert opinions at the forum. Gajesh Naik, a 14-year-old software developer, attracted many eyeballs upon joining Solana Labs as an intern at such a tender age.
Crypto regulation and legislation were the next big things to be discussed at the elite conference. Speakers deliberated on the crypto friendliness of other nations and explored possible countries that would foster the ease of doing crypto business.
Other panels discussed how cryptocurrencies could factor into modern investment options and their role in the broader financial markets in the future. The panels also had fun themes like “From Inspector Gadget to the Future of Banking” and “The Boomers Are Coming: How Crypto is Transforming Wall Street”.
Coming back to FTX, the crypto exchange has just moved base from Hong Kong to its $150 million headquarters in the Bahamas, thus allowing it to operate more freely than other exchanges that are compelled to comply with strict regulatory norms. Although celebrity speakers and dignitaries outshined this fact, the event helped establish the status of the Bahamas as the upcoming crypto haven.
The island nation became the first one in 2020 to adopt and launch its own CBDC – the Sand Dollar, encouraging other crypto firms to set up base there. “The Bahamas is not only open and ready for business but is moving to the forefront of this most exciting era of digital asset innovation,” said Prime Minister Philip Davis to Forbes after the event.
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