It was not the ideal time for a celebration of the cryptocurrency industry. But the hall was booked, the guests had arrived, and so the show went on.
On Wednesday, shortly after Sam Bankman-Fried gave a livestreamed interview to The New York Times seeking to dispel the notion that he was the Bernie Madoff of the blockchain, a few hundred people piled into the Faena Forum in South Beach for the Crypties, an awards ceremony billing itself as the Oscars for Web 3.0.
By night’s end, they would learn the winners in 10 categories, including NFT Project of the Year and Metaverse Project of the Year. The event was organized by Decrypt Studios, a film and production company financed by Joseph Lubin, a co-founder of the cryptocurrency platform ethereum.
In June, when the Crypties were announced, bitcoin and ethereum had lost about half their peak value in an industrywide crash that caused nearly $1 trillion to go up in a puff of virtual smoke. That was followed by the recent crumbling of Alameda Research and FTX, Bankman-Fried’s trading platforms, a multibillion dollar implosion that has further shaken the industry.