Lisbon in 2022: Crypto Is Still Thriving In Europe


November 1 2022
3 minutes
Words: Michael Joyce

Isomer returned to Lisbon in October to soak up the crypto vibes in addition to some extra sun. We spent a few days meeting new managers and meeting with ones that we remain close to for updates and market intel. Below are a few bullet points highlighting our key takeaways and insights.


The city is alive and well with crypto developers and, of course, crypto conferences. The end of October is host to ETH Lisbon, NEARCON, IPFS, Fil-Lisbon, StarkNet CC (Isomer portfolio company), Solana Breakpoint, among other small events. Of course, there’s also Web Summit, but that’s for everyone else. The mood is sanguine compared to last year, but, participants and investors have welcomed the break in FOMO and billion dollar seed rounds. It’s easy to find the signal when the volume on the noise dial is turned down.

Is Crypto dead?

No. But this year’s events were not as heavily attended as last year. There are plenty of developers and engineers making the trip, despite the FUD (fear, uncertainly, and doubt). American funds made the trip again, but not as many as last year, it seems. The latter bodes well for better pricing across Europe, in our opinion. We met some new managers who are raising first time funds, but the bar remains very high to make it into the portfolio.

Are tokens dead?

Perhaps in their current form. Our discussions with investors this year called into question the utility of tokens. Can value really accrue to them in their current form? Some investors feel that it’s hard without greater regulatory clarity (is it a security?). Many of the best investors remain bullish on tokens in the long-run, but not in their current iteration. Crypto is all about experimentation, so watch this space closely as new primitives are created and old ones evolve. Hopefully, fewer Doge coins and more Maple tokens.

Infrastructure is fashionable (again)

Speed and scaling is back and top of mind for many builders and investors, at the expense of applications (another DEX? How many do we need?). Can the space onboard many more millions without significant scale? No. Check out some scaling solutions in our portfolio like StarkNet ( Watch their videos on YouTube under the handle @starknetcc.

If we build it, they will come…? Right?

Many investors we spoke to have turned their attention away from the newest engineering to scrutinising customer demand and product market validation/fit. i.e., will anyone eventually come to use these applications? Many investors spoke to us about the disappointment in some customer numbers. However, many felt that the infrastructure needs to improve before non-crypto people onboard into the space. Crypto people building for crypto-natives only doesn’t help anyone in the long term.

Are we still early? Yes.

Scaling and UX still need to improve, but we are confident that these will evolve in the right direction (security UX has been top of mind at some events). The space continues to attract very bright engineering minds from all over Europe. As such, crypto as a space will continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible in distributed compute, cryptography, and finance in our opinion.


Michael Joyce