Coronavirus Leave Seats Empty At London Blockchain Week

In 2007, Lebanese-American essayist, statistician and risk analyst Nassim Nicholas Taleb introduced the world to the notion of a “black swan.” A black swan is Taleb’s metaphor for large, unexpected events that wreak havoc across finance, science and technology. Thirteen years on, the world is reeling from its latest black swan in the form of coronavirus, with London Blockchain Week as the latest event in crypto to feel the effects.

With public events being canceled around the world and with many people reluctant to travel until the Covid-19 scare blows over, event organizers at the summit must adapt to keep the show on the road.

WeWork Blockchain Labs was set to host an evening event at their Canary Wharf site on March 9, but has now shifted to live streaming the event online in lieu of a physical meetup:

“Dear all, we have received communication from many people that because of the very short notice for this meetup they would have not been able to physically attend the presentation at the Wework labs, and because the presentation is going to be live-streamed from the USA, we have decided to make this our very first LIVE webinar!”

Aside from the short notice, it’s highly likely that coronavirus fears played into the event’s cancellation. Attendance at Finance WorldWide’s two-day summit on March 5th and 6th was remarkably low, both from panelists and audience members. Some speakers at the event had been placed under travel bans by their employers, while others had voluntarily self-isolated from the coronavirus. Several prominent speakers at the event told Cointelegraph that they had  travel bans enforced since they arrived in London for the event.

Despite the unique pressures of trying to organize an international conference in the midst of an emotionally charged public health crisis, the organizers managed to pack the roster with compelling and prominent speakers. Chris Gledhill, an independent fintech advisor, writer and speaker, told…

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