First Mover Asia: Taipei Blockchain Week Endangered by COVID-19 Government Quarantine

Taipei Blockchain Week Organizers Explore Use of Residence Visas for Potential Attendees, Optimistic for Event Success; ether rises to around $ 1.5,000.

Good morning. Here’s what happens:

Price: Bitcoin has rebounded above $ 20,000; the ether rises.

Insights: Taipei Blockchain Week faces major obstacle in Taiwan’s COVID-19 quarantine.


  • Bitcoin (BTC): $ 20,285 + 3.1%
  • Ether (ETH): $ 1,547 + 7.7%
  • S&P 500 Daily Close: 4,030.61 -0.7%
  • Gold: $ 1,751 per troy ounce + 0.9%
  • Ten-year daily closing Treasury yield: 3.11% +0.07

Bitcoin, Ether and Gold prices are taken around 4:00 PM PT. Bitcoin is the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBX); Ether is the CoinDesk Ether Price Index (ETX); Gold is the COMEX spot price. Information on CoinDesk indices can be found at

Bitcoin returns to its $ 20,000

By James Rubin

After taking a short dip on Sunday, bitcoin has returned to its new support level above $ 20,000.

The largest cryptocurrency by market cap was recently trading at around $ 21,250, up around 3% in the past 24 hours. BTC’s resilience has offered a small boost to investors who thought the cryptocurrency’s drop to $ 19,500 was a harbinger of a major decline stemming from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s vote to continue monetary policy. US central banks.

“Macro has been in the lead all year and this week, and after Jackson Hole, the market was reminded that the same kind of inflationary headwinds persist with strong labor markets,” Luke Farrell, a cryptocurrency trader for the GSR ranking company. , says CoinDesk TV. “You are seeing a small reassessment of the optimism that came after the release of the CPI last month and some oversold conditions that began in June.”

Ether has reverted to its bitcoin outperformance model, rising more than 7% recently. ETH is now trading well above $ 1,500 after falling well below this psychologically important level over the weekend. The second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap has risen more sharply than BTC in the past couple of months as the Ethereum blockchain approaches a merger, which will change the protocol from proof-of-work to more efficient proof-of-stake. energetic. .

The rest of CoinDesk’s top 20 altcoins by market cap were in green, most of them firmly, with the ATOM and LRC recently gaining 12% and 8% respectively. AVAX rose more than 5%, regaining lost ground after a self-proclaimed website of “whistleblowers” on Sunday accused Ava Labs, the company behind Avalanche’s Tier 1 blockchain, paying attorneys to harm competitors and hold on to mind the regulatory authorities. On Monday, Ava Labs CEO Emin Gün Sirer denied that the company was involved in a behind-the-scenes smear campaign.

Equity markets pointed to the downside with the technology-focused Nasdaq and S&P 500 indices down 1% and 0.7% respectively. US Treasury yields rose as nervous investors sold government bonds. On Tuesday, the Conference Board released its monthly consumer confidence index, a widely monitored measure of sentiment towards the economy. The group’s latest report in July showed a decline in confidence, albeit at a more moderate pace than in June, when inflation hit 9.1%.

In its weekly fund flows report, CoinShares noted a third consecutive week of outflows totaling $ 46 million. The report states that $ 29 million in bitcoin outflows made up the bulk of that sum. ” [O]Our latest fund flows report @CoinSharesCo in two words: investor apathy. no short-term catalyst on the horizon and so we’re waiting… ”tweeted Meltem Demirors, CoinShares Chief Strategy Officer.

GSR’s Farrell said volatility is expected to remain “heightened” in the near term as markets await the release of next month’s consumer price index (CPI), the merger, and the upcoming Federal Open Market Committee meeting, which it now appears to yield another 75 basis points. increase in interest rates. “There are a lot of different data points that the market needs to consider and this indicates a little more short-term volatility,” she said.

The biggest winners

Good Teletypewriter Return DACS sector
Cosmos ATOM + 12.8% Smart contract platform
Loop CRL + 7.9% Smart contract platform
Ethereum ET + 7.7% Smart contract platform

The biggest losers

There are no losers in CoinDesk 20 today.


The COVID Problem of the Taipei Blockchain Conference

By Sam Reynolds

Taipei – not Hong Kong, Singapore or Seoul – has already hosted the largest blockchain conference ever. COVID-19 restrictions in Taiwan in the form of a mandatory quarantine and an entry ban for non-residents could prevent the next.

In the pre-COVID heyday of 2019, the Asia Blockchain Summit was a star-studded event that began with the “Tangle in Taipei,” a debate between NYU professor Nouriel Roubini and former CEO Arthur Hayes of BitMEX. Moderated by Andrew Neil, then a major BBC broadcaster, the exchange was lively and informative and in complete contrast to the boring billboards at present-day conferences hosted by stock-pumping venture capitalists. Hayes’ quotes from the conference led to the indictment against him, which is a sure sign of a 10x event.

Fast forward to 2022 and another team wants to bring blockchain – now “Web3” – back to Taipei in the form of Taipei Blockchain Week. But as the world of cryptocurrencies has changed since 2019, there are now more considerations for international travel and conferences: COVID.

While Taiwan’s neighbors like Singapore and South Korea push beyond pandemic-induced restrictions, Taiwan, despite its 90% vaccination rate and 50% recall rate, still has mandatory quarantine for all international arrivals. (plus a mandatory mask on the outside).

The current quarantine regime provides for three days of self-isolation followed by four days of soft quarantine, where nothing but the essentials are prohibited. Seven days after arriving in Taiwan, you can fully reintegrate into society, which is not exactly a good time for conference attendees.

The government has long promised a reduction in quarantine, but continues to shift targets. Last year the opening of the borders would have taken place when the vaccination rate for the first dose would have reached 70%. Earlier this year, the criteria were changed to raise the childhood vaccination rate to 50%.

There is now talk of an “opening” of the border to tourist groups by October, but nothing of a significant reduction in the quarantine. A local official from Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center said there were “political considerations” at stake: a spike in coronavirus cases caused by a policy that allows inbound travel would be a responsibility for the incumbent party while the country he heads for his version of the mid-term elections in November.

“Golden Map of Taiwan”

For their part, the organizers of Taipei Blockchain Week don’t seem disheartened.

“Taipei Blockchain Week will take place regardless of the reopening of borders! We expect the borders to be loosened by the end of December, “organizer Tiffany Lai said via Telegram.” As a backup, we will work with travel agencies and the government to help process business visas for speakers and attendees. “

One option organizers are considering is for attendees to apply for a Taiwan Gold Card, a specific type of residency visa that a person can qualify for by proving they have more than $ 67,000 in income.

The program was designed to allow companies to easily attract high-caliber foreign talent to help diversify the production-intensive economy. But it became a favorite of digital nomads looking for an island of normalcy during the height of the pandemic in 2020. Since then, the program has struggled to keep people who have received these cards, mainly because Taiwan is lagging behind. rest of the world in the post-coronavirus reopening.

A conference attendee pass was not the intended use case of the Gold Card, but the presence of the Gold Card logo on the Taiwan Blockchain Week website implies a tacit endorsement.

Eth Taipei, part of an Ethereum-focused global event network, was scheduled for December but was canceled and moved to India due to uncertainty over COVID quarantine rules in Taiwan.

“The travel situation was unclear and we need five months in advance to raise funds and manage the logistics, so we decided to focus on India and swap seats,” his organizer said in a tweet.

Taipei Blockchain Week organizers have three and a half months to book speakers, obtain visas, and convince the world to come to Taiwan in costume for their event. It is not an impossible task, but it will certainly be a herculean effort to achieve.

Important events

17:00 HKT / SGT (9:00 UTC): European Commission’s Consumer Confidence and Business Climate Indices (August)

21:00 HKT / SGT (13:00 UTC): US House Price Index (June / month)

22:00 HKT / SGT (14:00 UTC): Consumer Confidence (August)

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