It all started with a tweet and a cozy cafe.
Any Web3 founders, BUIDLers in Bangalore want to do a meetup? Planning something super exciting. Tag / DM/ RT for good karma 🙏🙂
— therealjpk.eth (@therealjpk) February 17, 2022
“We were just coming out of the 3rd Covid wave and getting back to working out of the office. I just wanted to catch up with some folks from the Web3 community to understand how the crypto space was shaping up.”
Little did Jayadevan P.K. (or JPK as he’s commonly referred to) know, his tweet would set a wave of meet-ups in motion, all over the country. Jayadevan is the Senior Director of Communications & Content at CoinSwitch.
Bangalore | February 27th, 2022
To JPK’s immense surprise, over 100 people registered for what was intended to be a small, informal gathering. So, on a bright Sunday morning, gather they did—at a small cafe in Bangalore.
“We met a bunch of interesting startups working in fractionalized real estate, DeFi and even music. And we realized it was a great way to surface real use cases for Web3.”
And it’s not just the Web3 developers that showed up.
“We had a great and varied turnout—everyone from artists, techies, BUIDLers and women in web3 too,” says Rozelle Laha. “It was an indication of the energy and potential of these gatherings, and a hint at what it could become.”
And this is where the name of these meetups was born. Block by Block (formerly Around the Block) became the moniker for these gatherings of blockchain and Web3 enthusiasts, helmed by CoinSwitch.
“It’s a nod at blockchain of course, but also how we’re building this event, one block at a time,” JPK quips.
Mumbai | April 22nd, 2022
“As the market leader, it’s our responsibility to give back and nurture the community, even beyond the borders of Bangalore. So while planning the next event in Mumbai, we let the theme guide us,” says Shashwath Janardhan, Project Manager at CoinSwitch. “Since Mumbai is the city of creators, we wanted to understand how Web3 is empowering them.”
And thus Enabling Creators through Web3 came to be the direction Block by Block, Mumbai embarked on.
“Many of the companies and large-scale unicorns that we know and love today were once spotted at tech meetups, back in the day. And we believe a lot of the Web3 startups we’ve met at Block by Block are poised to become huge too,” adds JPK.
And it’s not just Block by Block. Across the country, cities are seeing a surge in Web3 meetups, and it wouldn’t be surprising to walk into a cafe packed with Web3 enthusiasts on any day of the week.
“It’s reminiscent of the early days of tech, and that’s what makes it even more exciting.”
This thought hits close to home. Especially for CoinSwitch Co-founders Ashish Singhal, Vimal Sagar & Govind Soni, who found their first big break at a hackathon in Bangalore.
“Of course, the possibility of unearthing new talent and forging partnerships for the future makes it all the more interesting. But building the Web3 community in India, by creating a space for Web3 voices, both big and small to be heard and noticed, makes all of the effort worthwhile,” Shashwath admits.
Delhi | June 17th, 2022
How do we bridge the policy education gap?
…was the question that plagued the team as they planned the next edition of Block by Block. The answer came just as simply.
Delhi. Home to policymakers and the country’s biggest think-tanks, would serve as the perfect playground for these discussions.
Now, as the team was sending out invites, the crypto market was on a slow downturn. As Bitcoin plunged to its lowest ever price in over a year, the doubts began to bubble up.
“We were seeing a slow erosion of faith in Web3, so it was more important than ever to present a snapshot of the state of Web3 in India.” Shashwath emphasizes.
And that’s how the theme of Delhi’s Block by Block event was decided: The State of Web3.
“To get a snapshot of Web3 in its entirety, we wanted to speak to three personas: The founder, the investor and the policymaker. By engaging these factions of the audience, we hoped to be able to present a realistic picture of Web3 in India,” says Shashwath.
“With the people we invite, we’re keen to create a platform for sharing. Where people can candidly talk about their successes, mistakes and most importantly, lessons that others can learn from,” JPK adds.
Where to next?
With rising demand for Block by Block to go to cities like Hyderabad, Pune, Jaipur, Indore, Chennai and more, the team is now choosing where to make land next.
“Wherever we go next, we’re armed with a set of learnings on how to make these events a success, while also helping the Web3 community take pivotal steps forward,” says Shashwath.
“More than how much we spend, it’s about who we can enlist to address the audience, open up conversations and leave people with something to mull over. It’s even better when the speaker sees value in sharing their thoughts and experiences with the audience,” says JPK.
Whatever your experiences with these meetups have been, take this as our cordial invitation to join us at the next Block by Block event, in your city, very soon. And if you’d like to see us in your city soon, hit us up on Twitter, tagging @CoinSwitchKuber.