With its relaxed regulations, tax-free zones, and a rich tech community of locals, expats, and recent migrants, Georgia has emerged as a hub for numerous startups, exchanges, miners, and highly skilled developer teams. In 2023, the country once again found itself in the spotlight: courtesy of Binance’s new Georgian blockchain center, Tether’s MOU with the local government to develop blockchain and peer-to-peer infrastructure, and Tbilisi topping international cities with Bitcoin ATMs per $10 billion GDP.
Building upon this momentum, on October 7-8, Tbilisi’s Sheraton Metechi Palace played host to this year’s DeGameFi — the largest Web3 event in the Caucasus region. The conference gathered approximately 1,000 international visitors and over 60 speakers, including representatives from Mastercard, Polygon, Tether, Hacken, fastex and more.
“DeGameFi is a must visit conference for Web3 professionals and enthusiasts alike. Tbilisi is just beautiful and the event organizers know how to make guests and attendees feel welcome all the time. A sure way to learn, have fun, and meet amazing new people,” says Dominic Rohde, Head of HR at Coinvesting & Chairman at wCard.
Defining Web3, In Real Time
DeGameFi 2023 offered a dynamic mix of activities, including panel discussions and keynote speeches, a start-up competition, cybersport battles, and raffles. The discussion topics spanned virtually every facet of Web3, ranging from the role of cybersecurity in the new web’s success to strategies for winning the favor of venture capitalists, and from digital asset integration to the keys to GameFi sustainability.
The event boasted an impressive and diverse speaker line-up. Antoni Martin, Polygon Co-Founder, introduced a new-gen Web3 identity infrastructure solution; Ilan Alon, Professor of Business Administration and Economics at Ariel University, shed light on the Israeli Startup Ecosystem, while Vit Jedlicka, the President of Liberland, shared insights on how the Republic utilizes blockchain technology — and these were just few of the many.
Oliver Silvey, Head of Crypto & Digital Assets at Mastercard, once again voiced Mastercard’s commitment to staying “focused on building in the crypto, blockchain and digital assets space and continuing to provide solutions that further progress adoption, whilst ensuring safety, security and trust.”
Simultaneously, as one of the milestones in crypto adoption, Tether and Polygon announced that CityPay.io, a leading cryptocurrency payment system in the region, would now support Tether (USDt) transactions on the Polygon PoS network.
Smart Regulations are Welcome
The topic of regulation took center stage in many DeGameFi conversations, both on and off the stage. There was a general consensus: regulations are crucial to mass adoption — but they should be enabling, not forbidding. “Many people in Georgia love crypto, and have no objection to seeing some kind of regulation. What they want is to be regulated in the right way, so it’s not crushing the innovation,” said Cal Evans, an award-winning digital asset lawyer and the author of the ‘Little Book of Crypto.’
Emre Yetişkin, General Manager at WhiteBIT Türkiye, highlighted the role of regulations in the sector’s growth: “There is the 900-trillion-dollar asset sector; we had reached 3 trillion and then went back to 1.3 trillion. We need to get a part of these nine hundred trillion. It will happen through regulation: it cannot be [achieved] with unregulated tools.”
Reward, Innovation, Knowledge, and Adoption
In 2022, a study conducted by Dilanchiev et al. at Black Sea University showed a positive relationship between future reward, innovativeness, knowledge, and adoption. In alignment with that, I trust that we will keep making good progress towards Web3 — both in Georgia and globally — as the industry continues to educate the general public on the advantages of new technologies, encourages knowledge-sharing, creates nurturing environments for innovation, and poses the right inquiries.
What do we do to achieve the kind of regulation that won’t stifle progress? Which of the real-world physical problems can Web3 solve? How can we strike a balance between transparency and anonymity? Where do the primary gaps in crypto education lie? These are just a sampling of the many questions raised during the latest DeGameFi. Let’s meet at the next event — and explore the answers we will have found.
About DeGameFi 2023
The DeGameFi Web3 conference is the largest in the Caucasus region, bringing together experts, thought leaders, and innovators in the blockchain and Web3 space. The conference attracts a diverse audience of developers, investors, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts, all eager to learn about the latest trends, technologies, and applications in this exciting and rapidly evolving field.
The event featured keynote speeches, panel discussions, a start-up competition, dedicated area spaces, and networking opportunities. Topics of discussion included decentralized finance, non-fungible tokens, governance, identity, privacy, cyber security, law adoption, AI, and so much more.
Masha Tankushina, CCO at INPUT Agency