Highlights from Day 2 of Web Summit Rio 2023

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Marie Boran
A person (GitHub CEO Thomas Dohmke) walks across a stage. Pictured from the knees up, Thomas is wearing a headset mic and holding a presentation clicker in one hand. Thomas's arms are outstretched. Thomas appears to be speaking.

Day 2 of Web Summit Rio 2023 has come to a close. To catch you up, here are some of the highlights from the day.

OnlyFans is growing in Latin America, crypto has a new home in Brazil, and the classic mobile game Snake can be built in less than 15 minutes if you handle stage pressure well enough.

That, and more, in the highlights of Day 2.

Snakes on a stage: The future of coding?

“Imagine 10 days of work done in a single day, 10 hours of work done in a single hour, and 10 minutes of work done with a single prompt command.”

This is the future of programming, according to GitHub CEO Thomas Dohmke. Thomas claimed that, on average, 46 percent of code can be written by GitHub’s new GPT-4 enabled AI assistant Copilot X.

And it’s not just talk. Thomas set a timer for 15 minutes and set a challenge to build a working app using Copilot X, live on stage, as time ticked away.

The GitHub CEO took the audience through all the steps of recreating the classic game of Snake, fully playable within a web browser, before adopting the code to enable it for mobile devices. Before the timer ran out, Thomas uploaded the link to an online repository for everyone to try out.

Are we in the era of the 10x developer, or will we need 10x fewer of them by the end of the decade?

Crypto isn’t dead yet

An image of Kathleen Breitman, co-founder of Tezos, on the Crypto Stage during day two of Web Summit Rio 2023.
Tezos co-founder Kathleen Breitman on the Crypto stage during Day 2 of Web Summit Rio 2023. Image: Eóin Noonan/Web Summit (CC BY 2.0)

Is the crypto winter ever going to end? It depends on who you ask. While Tezos co-founder Kathleen Breitman talked about a humbled industry that “desperately needed” a wakeup call after a series of scandals, Bitso co-founder and CEO Daniel Vogel pointed to significant growth in emerging markets.

“There were two big scandals that plagued the industry over the last year – one being Terra Luna, which was basically a Ponzi scheme … and that phenomenon was exacerbated by FTX collapsing,” explained Kathleen, who noted that stories like these have, understandably, put many people off the entire industry.

Meanwhile, due to comparatively fast and cheap transaction fees, crypto has been gaining ground as a means for US users to transfer money to their families in Mexico.

“In 2021, we did about US$1 billion in cross-border transactions from the US to Mexico. And, in 2022, we did US$3.3 billion in transactions. More than five percent of the remittances that go from the US to Mexico now go through crypto,” Daniel told the audience.

Crypto might have found a new home in Brazil

“Crypto usually thrives in jurisdictions where there are problems that need to be solved,” said Thiago Cesar, CEO at Transfero. “South America has that.”

It’s not just South America. Brazil specifically seems primed to be the new home for crypto speculation and development. With new regulations cycling through the Brazilian legislative system, the future of one of the most volatile trading environments in history might be rocking up to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, et al.

“What’s happening in Brazil is very unique,” said Global Blockchain Business Council CEO Sandra Ro.

Sandra highlighted the ongoing creation of regulations, which is benefitting from the fact that actual regulators have have been working on different parts of the crypto ecosystem for years. “That is very powerful.”

But does that just mean the next crypto disaster will simply have a Brazilian soundtrack? Apparently not. “Brazil, risk management-wise, is one of the strongest financial systems on the planet,” said Marcelo Sampaio, co-founder and CEO at Hashdex. “The way we’re structured, it is very unlikely something like FTX would have happened [had it been in Brazil].”

AI will make phishing attempts more realistic

Jeff Shiner, CEO of 1Password, on Center Stage during day two of Web Summit Rio 2023.
1Password CEO Jeff Shiner seated on Center Stage during Day 2 of Web Summit Rio 2023. Image: Vaughn Ridley/Web Summit (CC BY 2.0)

Most phishing attempts are some version of ‘Your bank card has been blocked. Click here to unblock it’. This might not fool most but, according to 1Password CEO Jeff Shiner, AI is beginning to make these kinds of scams sound more realistic.

“We ran a research report about a month ago. Two-thirds admitted that, in the last year alone, they’ve received a phishing text or email. My personal opinion is the other third just didn’t realise they had, which is the scary part.”

How can password management services fight back? By removing the reward: personal information. “If they’re after your credentials, instead of trying to continually combat against the increase in sophistication, if we can remove you from knowing your credentials, then there’s nothing left to give,” said Jeff.

OnlyFans sets sights on Latin American market

OnlyFans is active in more than 100 countries, and has seen a recent uptick in the number of creators and subscribers in Brazil. According to OnlyFans CEO Amrapali Gan, that’s true across the wider Latin American market, too.

“We’re looking at growth for the business, and Latin America is a huge part of that,” said Amrapali.

Citing Brazilian American mixed martial artist Cris Cyborg’s account as an example, Amrapali said that some recent growth areas within OnlyFans – aside from what she refers to as “spicy content” – include combat sports, comedy, and cooking.

There’s plenty still to come at Web Summit Rio! Catch further highlights by following #WebSummitRio across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Main image of GitHub CEO Thomas Dohmke on Center Stage during Day 2 of Web Summit Rio 2023: Vaughn Ridley/Web Summit (CC BY 2.0)

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