Once again the Solana community got together for a tremendous 3-day conference in Lisbon, Portugal, to discuss the latest trends and perspectives in the world of crypto. 200+ speakers and 3,500+ attendees, including industry leaders, builders and innovators from around the globe shared their experience across several locations in Lisbon while enjoying the best that the city has to offer.
Breakpoint is the official Solana (SOL/USD) conference, put on by the Solana Foundation. This time, it was decided to spread venues across the city of Lisbon and get around them via a fleet of private shuttles. Each venue focused on various directions of the crypto world so that every attendee could choose what suits him best: The Laboratory, The Acropolis, The Forum or The Square.
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After reviewing WebSummit for Invezz audience (check here the daily reviews of the day one, two and three of WebSummit), I surely couldn’t help attending Breakpoint.
The Laboratory was located in Páteo da Galé and became the perfect location for Web3 developers, as it represented itself as a home of technical workshops and tutorials on the Solana network.
Starting in the morning, it dived deeply into the Solana data structure, provided coding tutorials, organized a workshop on how to build an xNFT with the help of Coral representatives and covered many other things, including the use of Token22 – a new standard that is coming to the Solana network. It was also amusing to hear the latest Solana news about bringing the Helium Network (HNT/USD) to Solana, and SPL governance.
In The Laboratory, probably the most exciting topic was covered by Metaplex and Solana Labs speakers and addressed compressed NFTs, a new piece of technology that allows minting an enormous amount of NFTs on Solana cheaply (imagine minting a million of these tokens for just 5 SOL!) and can probably change the entire gaming and NFT landscape in the near future.
The middle section of the day was allotted to The Acropolis which was located in Carlos Lopes Pavilion. Generally, this was the venue for hearing big thoughts about the future of blockchain, as well as some of the biggest blockchain news announcements from companies deciding to build on Solana: from organizations that are bringing new frameworks to the network to updates on things like the Metaplex protocol.
Among other things, Breakpoint speakers touched upon the subjects of the future of monetization for NFT projects, Stripe adopting Solana-friendly payments due to their fast transaction speeds, and some of the hard problems that engineers are solving on the network today.
Beyond that, updates from Solana Mobile were announced: in January 2023 Solana is launching its own dApp Store with no fees. The conversation came down to Google’s striving to facilitate the development and delivery of dApps, as well as changing the mentality of users who cannot yet accept Web3.
Going further, a demo of the Fire Dancer project run by Jump Crypto was shown. This project is the implementation of the Solana validator client built by a completely independent team – Solana is the first network after Ethereum (ETH/USD) to have this capability. It’s not yet launching unfortunately, these were just demos of code improvements that bring massive performance increases in testing environments that people will soon see coming to the network.
Among the solutions designed to integrate with traditional fiat methods that people still use today, a project called SmartRamps from Wyre stood out. It has the ability not only to on-ramp into a smart contract, but also provide a metadata layer where it is able to interact with a smart contract and execute its code exactly how it should be.
Usually, when you’re on Uniswap or other dApp, you need a leading cryptocurrency wallet to be able to interact with a smart contract, but Wyre provides the ability to take your fiat payment method and actually execute that smart contract transaction for you. Imagine staking and buying assets, or buying an NFT from OpenSea directly with your debit card!
If some of you are familiar with the Solana Hacker Houses, this venue needs no introduction. When organizing Breakpoint, it was decided to use their 24th Hacker House as The Square venue, located in Teatro Capitolio.
During the conference, this location became a community showcase and a space to hang out, have open conversations, as well as to potentially have some work done. Moreover, it offered open mic opportunities for everyone.
The final location wasn’t set to have big announcements but The Forum, which was located in Convento Do Beato and opened in the evenings, covered things that a lot of people are thinking about nowadays, as well as gave time to focus on the fundamentals that set crypto enthusiasts up for success over the next number of years.
Among many various discussions on stage, the theme of wallets entering the “browser wars” era was highlighted by Phantom, Solflare, Ultimate and Glow speakers. Lots of things were said about ecological concerns, including ReFi and how Degens can save the Earth – this topic was hosted by Gain Forest, Regen Network Development PBC and Toucan. In addition, Web3’s role in protecting human rights became another important issue within The Forum section.
Another fascinating subject here was crypto for Wordcels covered by Wordcel Club and Dispatch Protocol, which looks forward to implementing Web3 technologies to the communications we have on social media in a Web2 world. There was also a discussion about the kinds of products and services that are not only designed for developers, but also for a broader audience.
If we put it all together, the primary direction and challenge facing a crypto community these days and widely discussed at Breakpoint was integration and mass adoption in the absence of a qualitative user experience. This is why a lot of things were said about the importance of offline events, collaborations with big Web2 companies, building high-quality UX for users from the Web2 world, and onboarding teenagers and students into the world of crypto and blockchain.
Alex Andryunin, CEO of Gotbit, shared his thoughts about the current state of crypto projects and what trends he sees in the market:
As a market maker, we see an enormous number of institutional investors on the market who are looking for projects that have been launched over the past few years and that have completed their development. Moreover, we trade on Solana’s DeFi and see the essential interest in the DeFi infrastructure in general in terms of capital management – Radium, for instance.
After 3 days of active networking, a closing celebration was organized where attendees could enjoy live performance from Ben Böhmer and other artists in Pavilhão De Agronomia.
Breakpoint 2022 left its participants and observers with a lot of impressions. Alina Chepurchenko, a leading crypto analyst, pointed out the importance of ever-growing offline events like Breakpoint that bring together a growing number of crypto professionals:
While FTX’s collapse has exacerbated the current bear cycle, it shouldn’t distract us from crypto adoption that is rising exponentially. There has been a huge influx of investments into the industry, and the transition from web2 to web3 is already underway. Crypto enthusiasts gathering at events such as Breakpoint show how mass adoption is taking off. This wheel will continue to roll forward despite headwinds and we’ll see more bull runs – no doubt about it.
Breakpoint 2022 became a great experience for everyone who participated, including speakers, attendees and organizers as well. A lot of issues and hot topics were addressed at the conference that cannot fully be covered here, but the main line is striking and very promising, as it aims at building the path that will lead Web2 users and developers into a new, exciting Web3 world.
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