What role does cryptocurrency play in financial freedom?

Matthew Taylor's avatar
Matthew Taylor

At Web Summit Rio 2024, interviewed hundreds of attendees about cryptocurrency and financial freedom. Here’s what they learned.

Cryptocurrency has been a hot topic in the tech world for more than 10 years now, with booms, busts, and plenty of predictions on its potential.

So just how do Web Summit Rio attendees feel about crypto? We found out through a survey conducted by, which garnered more than 1,500 responses from attendees.

What does financial freedom mean to you?

Nearly 80 percent of respondents believe that independent income and the ability to choose their own investments are key components of financial decisions.

Attendees were given four options to answer this question: a) Having income independent of my job, b) Having residual income to invest in my priorities, c) Access to enough knowledge to make the right financial decisions, and d) The ability to decide where and how to invest my money.

There were two clear preferences for attendees, with eight out of every nine respondents choosing ‘Having income independent on my job’ or ‘The ability to decide where and how to invest my money’. 

The results clearly show a strong sentiment behind controlling one’s own finances, whether this means controlling the source or how finances are used. For the overwhelming majority of respondents, financial freedom involves some form of independence.

What is crypto’s role?

A clear majority of respondents felt that having cryptocurrency was an important or crucial aspect of financial freedom. On the other hand, just one-third of those surveyed felt crypto was irrelevant.

When asked if they owned any cryptocurrency, 55 percent of attendees said yes, be it Bitcoin, memecoins, or other crypto options. 

Exactly one-third of respondents chose Bitcoin in particular, the survey coming shortly before a reported ‘halving’ of the cryptocurrency – which takes place every four years, and is designed to cap supply at 21 million by 2140 – with Sky News reporting that “just 450 Bitcoin will now be created each day”.

In fact, for Web Summit Rio attendees, owning Bitcoin is as common as owning no currency at all, with memecoins perhaps surprisingly representing just 10 percent of the responses. elsewhere at the event

As a Web Summit Rio partner, also took part in multiple activities across the event in Riocentro, including hosting a masterclass entitled ‘Exploring the crypto world from within’ with co-founder and CEO Mel Gelderman, which offered an insider’s view into handling the ups and downs, tech challenges, and navigating the ever-changing rules of the crypto world. 

Mel also took part in a talk on our Web3 stage alongside Hashdex co-founder and CEO Marcelo Sampaio and BitGo founder, director and advisor Juliana Walenkamp. The three founders discussed the impact of Bitcoin ETFs following their long-awaited launch in January 2024. 

Main image of’s content survey wall: Paulo Liv/Web Summit ((CC BY 2.0))


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