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Our key takeaways from Web Summit Rio 2023

This year saw the first-ever Web Summit Rio, for the industry to come together in Brazil to network, see what’s new and trending in the market, and sign deals to grow their business

*This article is not intended to be financial, investment or trading advice. This article is solely for information and education purposes. It does not protect against any financial loss, risk or fraud. Cryptocurrencies are unregulated in the UK. Capital Gains Tax or other taxes may apply. The value of investments is variable and can go down as well as up.

The Web Summit Rio is part of the roster of international events organized by Web Summit, taking to the world stage alongside Web Summit in Lisbon, Web Summit Qatar in Doha, Collision in Toronto and RISE in Hong Kong. In 2023, Web Summit Rio gathered more than 21,000 people at Riocentro. It was its first edition in Rio.

Our team was there in person at the event, and it proved to be a highly valuable and engaging experience. By bringing together industry leaders, tech enthusiasts, and visionaries from around the globe, the summit provided a dynamic platform for exchanging ideas, debating innovation, and showcasing emerging technologies. The diverse range of topics covered, including Artificial Intelligence, Web3/Blockchain sustainability, and digital transformation, enabled participants to broaden their perspectives and deepen their understanding of the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Additionally, the networking opportunities offered during the event have forged new connections and collaborations, further propelling the industry forward. As I reflect on the impact of WebSummit Rio 2023, it is clear that the event has not only strengthened the global tech community but also left an indelible mark on its future trajectory and there were there were certain key moments and insights that truly stood out during the event. Here are some of the highlights we identified from Web Summit Rio’s inaugral show.

Latin America’s Web3 and crypto boom

It was very evident that the Web3 & Crypto markets are experiencing a significant boom in Latin America. A confluence of factors, including economic instability, growing tech-savvy populations, and increasing smartphone penetration, has led to a vibrant and burgeoning crypto ecosystem in the region.

And the economic instability in Latin American countries is one of the key drivers behind this trend. This has prompted citizens to look for alternative methods to preserve their wealth and hedge against currency devaluation. Cryptocurrencies have emerged as a popular choice due to their decentralized nature and relative stability compared to local currencies. Moreover, the ease of cross-border transactions has made cryptocurrencies an attractive option for remittance services, reducing the need for expensive intermediaries.

A new population of early adopters

Another contributing factor to the surge in crypto adoption in Latin America is the region's young, tech-savvy population. With a median age of around 31, this demographic is not only familiar with technology but also eager to adopt new innovations. High smartphone penetration rates have further facilitated the growth of the crypto market, allowing people to easily access digital wallets and exchange platforms. As a result, Latin America has seen an explosion in the number of fintech startups and companies focusing on blockchain technology, digital assets, and decentralized finance (DeFi) solutions.

The rise of Web3 has also played a significant role in the Latin American market. Web3 platforms enable users to have more control over their data, privacy, and assets. In a region where data breaches and fraud have been persistent issues, the shift towards Web3 offers a promising solution for greater transparency and security. Furthermore, the decentralized nature of Web3 platforms has spurred the creation of new business models and opportunities for entrepreneurship, empowering people to become active participants in the global digital economy.

Open Finance is driving change

I also had a fantastic opportunity to join a panel discussion about Open Finance with some top-notch folks from other key payment players. We had a lively chat about how Open Finance can shake things up in Latin America, covering everything from getting more people into the financial system to working out the rules of the game, and how traditional banks and fintech startups can team up.

With all of us coming from different corners of the financial world, it was really cool to see how we could come together and share our ideas to create a more open and transparent financial scene. As Latin America's crypto and Web3 markets keep growing, having conversations like these will help make sure that everyone gets a piece of the pie and enjoys the benefits of these awesome tech breakthroughs.

Ultimately, the value of shows like Web Summit Rio will become clear in the form of benefits for both consumers and the industry. There’s no doubt that the talk of the event provides an indication of things to come. From partnerships, to technological innovations, to industry consolidation – the event provided a hub of opportunity. I am excited to see where we will be for Web Summit 2024. Looking forward to next year.