Everyone can feel money in the atmosphere. You can hear words buzzing, like BTC, NFT, BTD, blockchain, token. There was wild energy.
And there was the warmth – a sticky, humid South Florida heat; the type all the Californians and New Yorkers who relocated to Miami during the pandemic’s winter tool were warned about. The type is produced by tens of thousands of individuals meeting to glorify at the shrine of the cryptos.
This was the vibe at Bitcoin 2021, an occasional gathering of digital currency enthusiasts run by a magazine named after the cryptocurrency. Organizers had postponed last year’s event. The weekend, at least 12,000 people came to Miami, flocking to the most prominent Bitcoin convention in the world and the first major in-person business conference since the pandemic began.
The Heat Is On – Bitcoin
The vitality of being in person, indoors, in a crowd for the first time in more than a year was electric. Everyone hugged; no one was masked. The money is whizzed between e-Wallets. The conference goodies included festival bracelets, neon fanny packs, and even a Lamborghini. The lingo: stablecoin, peer-to-peer, private key – flowed. So did liquor.
The place was a wild powerhouse of finance, technology, and joyful anarchy for a few days, of unfathomable wealth and desperate striving. Then, finally, Bitcoin 2021 announced the decrease of the pandemic, with reassuringly familiar and routine part of a trade conference: the branded plastic shades, brightly colored sponsor booths, lanyards, and panels.
Another sign was that the often ridiculous universe of cryptocurrencies was sneaking its way toward widespread adoption; or at least general interest. Bitcoin has been on a crazy ride, setting price records. So everyone’s buying the dip (BTD). Investors, Traders, and Wall Street bankers all came to Miami.
A chance to be a millionaire
There’s a purpose we were in Miami and not New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. The city went on full crypto.
Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami, said this year the city would accept tax payments in cryptocurrency; let its employees collect their paychecks with it, and try holding some on its balance sheet.
As the crowd flowed into the air-conditioned warehouse, a conference host introduced Mayor Suarez as “probably the most irresponsible politician in all of America, the mayor of the mecca of freedom.” He stated that,
“I’m here to tell all the haters and all the doubters that this is not a moment, this is a movement,” he said. The crowd erupted in whistles and cheers.
Moishe Mana, a real estate tycoon who owned the place, strolled the packed concourse of booths and crypto art with a small entourage. After working for years to bring the community and innovation to the city, he have a warm Miami ascent.
New York and San Francisco’s appeal was waning, Mr. Mana mentioned.
“Every city has its own golden age,” he further added.
Nothing stays forever
Mr. Mana was not a big crypto guy, but he acknowledged its power, comparing the devotion of its followers to a religion. He said that,
“The more you fight religion, the more holy it becomes and the stronger the movement becomes.”
Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler and entrepreneurs and cryptocurrency billionaires, evangelized to the choir. Cameron Winklevoss wore a T-shirt with a picture of the Federal Reserve building captioned “Rage Against the Machine,” a reference to how a central government or bank did not control cryptocurrency.
“If you own a Bitcoin today, you will be a millionaire in the future. For sure. Congratulations.”
Later, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and payments company Square, shared his support stating that,
“If I were not at Square or Twitter, I would be working on Bitcoin.”
The conference presented a video of Nayib Bukele, president of El Salvador. He announced a bill to make Bitcoin legal tender in the country. The audience leaped to a deafening standing ovation.
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