The cryptocurrency space was also high on our minds on opening night as Binance Founder and CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao brought the ecosystem to the fore in front of a packed house at Altice Arena.

CZ breaks down Binance’s $500 billion investment in Twitter, its long-term view of the growing value of cryptocurrencies and the growth of blockchain-powered Web3 capabilities. It was the first time that a figure from the crypto space spoke during the opening ceremony of the event, highlighting the growing influence of cryptocurrency and blockchain in the global tech ecosystem.

Cointelegraph’s Gareth Jenkinson along with Binance CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao at a community get together in Lisbon.
A dedicated Crypto section of the Web Summit app guided attendees to the various stages around the vast Altice Arena grounds, complete with stadium and five massive marquees featuring exhibitors and presentations from the world’s leading technology companies and emerging startups.

Related: The Sandbox co-founder explains how the metaverse for brands has evolved: Web Summit 2022

He attended some of the most notable projects from the field of cryptocurrency and Web3. Yuga Labs CEO Nicole Muniz was on hand to get an inside look at the explosion in popularity of the Bored Ape Yacht Club on the main stage inside Altice Arena:

“What we’ve done with BAYC and then with CryptoPunks and MeeBits, is granting commercial intellectual property rights so that exclusive ownership is something unique to this space that enables consumers to become owners, which is a paradigm shift.”
Cointelegraph also stepped onto the platform alongside another notable metaverse as COO and co-founder Sebastien Bourget delved into the history and future of The Sandbox in a wide-ranging conversation on the Content Makers platform.

Sandbox COO and co-founder Sebastien Borget on stage with Cointelegraph’s Gareth Jenkinson at Web Summit 2022.
Devin Fenzer, CEO and co-founder of OpenSea, the world’s largest non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, also weighed in on the popularity of NFTs and the importance of their impact on creators’ economies. Finzer emphasized that NFTs are a general tool that appeals to a different segment of the market apart from people interested in traditional cryptocurrency:

“These are people who are passionate about art and collectibles and interacting with creators. NFTs, particularly in the creator economy, allow creators to create digital items that can be instantly monetized and associated with a fan.”
Web3 and NFTs are already well established in the sports world. Cointelegraph sat down for a one-on-one interview with Jorge Urrutia del Pozo, Vice President of Football at Dapper Labs, to break down their involvement in Spain’s LaLiga and the recently launched Golazos video platform.

After building out the hugely popular NBA Top Shots platform, which produces NFTs for video highlights from America’s top basketball league, Dapper Labs is looking to increase adoption of blockchain-powered Web3 collectibles by the world’s most popular sport:

“It’s a really interesting opportunity for us to get tens of millions of people onto the blockchain. This is how we see sports in general and football in particular. There is a huge reach and fan density – it’s a huge opportunity.”
Another major player connecting blockchain technology and sports featured prominently at the Web Summit. Socios.com CEO Alexander Dreyfus took to the main stage inside the Altis Arena alongside former Italian soccer player Alessandro Del Piero to disentangle the impact of blockchain on the fandom in modern sports.

Socios.com and Chilliz CEO Alexandre Dreyfus and Cointelegraph’s Gareth Jenkinson inside the panel at Web Summit 2022.
Cointelegraph caught up with Dreyfuss after the panel discussion, who highlighted the main reason Socios has created a fan-powered token ecosystem to bring together teams and their supporters:

“The question was, what can you create that’s useful for the fan and scalable for the team? We think there are two things that are important for a fan. One, being recognized, and two, having a voice. That recognition, that social status, we thought we could power with symbols.” “.
Web3 games have been another hot topic on the content creator stage. Cointelegraph moderated another panel featuring Bozena Rezab of Gamee and William Quigley of WAX, who explored the promise and difficulty of building Web3 games built around play-for-profit mechanics.

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