What Was Up at the Tulum 2018 CryptoPsychedelic Summit?

It was introduced as “one of the strangest conferences ever, on the edge of the abyss,” held in Tulum Mexico on February 3, 2018.

The CryptoPsychedelic Summit met the challenge.

The crowd was an odd mix, definitely international (registrants were from 15 countries), clumps of mostly men but a good showing of women too. Psychedelic flags were flying but a lot of others too – well-heeled and otherwise of all ages.

The artwork that surrounded the seating included live painting, more psychedelic than crypto. There was a touch of eccentricity, like the gentleman in the full manor house regalia, on the beach in the taco line, polished designer leather shoes, shirted, blazered and pocket scarfed.

The conference billed the event as bringing together leaders in blockchain and psychedelic science to discuss new possibilities in research, innovation, and community building.

Buckminster Fuller’s arresting words were on the stage: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”

The fundamental premise of bringing together cryptocurrency and psychedelic seemed to be this. Two powerful modalities working to create change and empower personal autonomy. Decentralize your mind, decentralize your wallet. Or something like that.

Decentranet and Psymposia were the official sponsors, though the enthusiastic team behind the gathering included Sophia Hughes, Mike Margolies, Daniel Shankin, Matt McKibbin and Brian Normand. The official website lists a dozen varied Participating Sponsors from both the crypto and psychedelic sides (including MAPs, ComputeforCancer, Pineapple Fund) and a bunch of Media Sponsors too (Evolve+Ascend, Psychedelic Times). You can even shop for cool gear.

The panels started out with topics like maximizing the benefits from psychedelics and creation of a modern day Eleusis and mostly turned to crypto after lunch. The afternoon talk sometimes got crypto-esoteric. How many people in the crowd really spent time thinking about the crypto trilemma? A few specific crypto projects were mentioned (such as Presearch, the decentralized search engine and GuardianCircle.com, a decentralized 9-1-1) but the conversation was mostly high level, big picture.

The last panel tried to tie it all in a bow. By then, the rain had stopped and the crowd was growing noisy in the back , exchanging cards, laughing, chatting away. It was getting harder to focus.

Still, unifying ideas were offered. The crypto rich could help fund worthy psychedelic projects. The culture of connectedness that psychedelics can give us could be used in the crypto space so it’s not all about the lambo. Crypto can be a “radical experiment in community building.”

By the end, some were still puzzled as to what exactly was the topic at hand but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves in the warm evening air (and most agreed the logo was stellar).
We talked with friends new and old about, well, community, psychedelics and crypto. A strange success indeed.

Story by Deleta Namey for MindPod Newtork

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