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Bitcoin 2021: Miami

At Bitcoin Conference 2021 Miami

My Personal Take

Hello! My crew and I from the Latest Block drove to Miami this weekend and just returned back home.

For anyone triggered by the topics covered below, please don’t be! In my heart, I feel my role as a blogger is to inform and let you make your own decisions.

Bitcoin 2021 was the largest Bitcoin or Crypto convention in history, with over 12,000 paid attendees for the main event. In fact, in a world reeling from COVID-19 and government mandated lockdowns, this was one of the largest post-COVID gatherings in the US.

If I were writing this on Yelp, I would give it a five-star review. By no means was it perfect. On the first day, it took me two hours to get in (they got this under control on Day 2). I was cooked like a lobster in the sun. The lines to the men’s bathroom were not much better. Security had, shall we say, some incidents (see more below). Some people had some steam to blow off, which they did. Luckily, no one was hurt. Just like in life, sports, democracy and Bitcoin, it was not perfect. If it were, it wouldn’t be any fun. It was real and it was AWESOME!

This is my personal take of the event:
1. Networking
Miram Lores, Fran Bergeron, Claire Novotny, Alexandre Lores and Aubrey Strobel
Miram Lores, Fran Bergeron, Claire Novotny, Alexandre Lores and Aubrey Strobel

Personally this was my favorite part of the event. With over 12,000 attendees, it was difficult at best to connect with specific people that I had hoped for. However, there was a mix of companies, officials investors, entrepreneurs and attendees from all walks of life and all over the world.

I did manage to connect with some of the stars in the space that I look up to (above), as well as those in the Bitcoin mining industry for the first time. This of course includes Mati Greenspan, founder & CEO of Quantum Economics, where I proudly write as the NFT analyst.

But the best part was that by putting myself out there, I had the chance to meet dozens of incredible new friends from as close as Tampa, Miami and Alabama, and as far as China, Taiwan, Ghana, Kenya and Bulgaria. Hundreds of business partnerships, if not more, were probably born this weekend.

This, in and of itself, paid for our tickets.

2. The Bitcoin 2021 Conference
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez speaks at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez speaks at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention

The event was an unprecedented gathering with big-name speakers. Of course this included Miami Mayor Francis Suarez who famously asked Twitter “How can I help”? He has aggressively built Miami into a tech hub in the space of a year through his personal enthusiasm, genuine care and smart policies. He was the perfect opener for the conference.

I sadly missed the Mayor, former Congressman Dr. Ron Paul, Senator Cynthia Lummis and Rep Warren Davidson. Other big names included Bitcoin legends as well as celebrities such as Tony Hawk, Paris Hilton, Floyd Mayweather and NFL star Russell Okung. I am sure I missed many deserving mentions.

There were essentially three events going on simultaneously. This was a good balance for those who wanted to know more about Bitcoin to those who work in the industry. In my opinion, most of the speakers were great. Upstream Data, Inc. CEO Steve Barbour and Binance.US CEO Brian Bookswere my personal favorites.

They also used a panel format and many shorter events, which gave the attendees more exposure to some great talent.

This in itself was also well worth the fees we paid.

3. The Show

Doge Show at Bitcoin 2021 Miami

“When you’re born into this world, you’re given a ticket to the freak show. If you’re born in America you get a front row seat.” George Carlin

This is the best way I can describe some of the camp warfare in the space. From Twitter fights to some incidents on stage, this weekend did notdisappoint. The one beauty is that anyone being insulted has taken on the insults proudly and isn’t backing down. Toxic maximalists and shitcoiners. These aren’t just insults, they are brands and they are worn proudly.

Like I said above, I stay neutral and all I can say is that this is typical of human nature. In the game of life, we love to take sides and compete against another team. Some of us have more fight in us than others. It happens in politics, religion and sports. It is a sign of the maturity and importance of this space that people are willing to fight for, and embarrass themselves for the cause. For anyone who feels they are fighting a just cause, I may not agree with you but I respect your fire.

Highlights:
  1. Before it even started, “Shitcoin 2021” was put together on Thursday and Friday as a competing event, to stand up for the rights of self-proclaimed “shitcoiners”.
  2. On Day 1, Bitcoin pioneer and cypherpunk Max Keiser set the tone by screaming “F**K ELON!” on stage. This emboldened some maximalists. Many of them, as well as other crypto speculators have recently become quite upset with Elon Musk recently because a number of tweets by the controversial billionaire. The embattled billionaire who originally made headlines when Tesla bought $1.5 Billion of Bitcoin earlier this year. His constant tweeting about Dogecoin and criticism about Bitcoin mining’s energy use soured his relationship with Bitcoiners. Max’s words also generated sympathy for Elon and emboldened some Dogecoin supporters (see below).
  3. Later on Day 1, boxing champion Floyd Mayweather responded to roaring applause with one of the worst speeches I have ever seen. Whoever handles his appearances should be fired; it was as if he didn’t know which crowd he was speaking to. He was wearing an Ethereum shirt and declared that Bitcoin would be replaced by another cryptocurrency. He was then booed and got defensive and told the crowd he didn’t need crypto. After that, he proceeded to promote himself, his NFT’s and his upcoming fight (which he accepted Bitcoin at). He put in some inspirational words about believing in yourself and being independent. Factually that could have easily gone well if he knew who he was talking to and was prepared. A disaster for the champ.
  4. Late on Day 1, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square spoke. Square is a large holder of BTC and a real player in retail adoption with its Cash App. Jack said he believed there was “nothing more important in my lifetime” than to work in Bitcoin. I give him real credit for this, as much as I disagree with Twitter’s hypocrisy on de-platforming and censorship. Laura Loomer, an activist who I know very little about, took things to a different level entirely. She heckled Dorsey and called him a “giant hypocrite about censorship and freedom of speech”. Bitcoin 2021 emcee Peter McCormack handled the situation very smoothly and got her to quiet down and even later graciously offered her an interview on his podcast.
  5. On Day 2, things got ridiculous again with a young man interrupting with an “announcement”, then ripped off his shirt and slacks to reveal a Dogecoin t-shirt and declaring “Dogecoin to the Moon” before four individuals had to drag him off the stage.

Other than the above, frankly, much of the insults happened on Twitter. In real life, most of the attendees either didn’t bother to take sides, just hung out with the many like-minded folks, or found this all entertaining.

Special credit to Camila Campton and the Swan Bitcoin booth for sharing their passion, preaching Bitcoin, attracting Bitcoin maximalists and simply having lots of fun without doing so at the expense of others. If you’re into Bitcoin and you’re on Twitter, I encourage you to give them a follow!

Camila Campton from Swan Bitcoin with the team from the LatestBlock
Camila Campton from Swan Bitcoin with the team from the LatestBlock
El Salvador
President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador
President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador

At the end of Day 2, El Salvador made history. The final event was President Nayib Bukele, who’s message from a pre-recorded video announced that he would be submitting a bill to make Bitcoin legal tender later this week. Strike, a payments company built on Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, has been working with El Salvador to make adoption happen and will launch an “innovation HQ” in El Salvador. As of Sunday June 6, the bill still needs to pass through congress, though it’s likely that it will be approved.

Taking a cue from Mayor Suarez, the Central American nation’s President also took to Twitter, starting with his laser eyes in his profile. This was followed by 4 other Salvadorian government officials. In defiance of US President Joe Biden, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and their global tax plan at the G7 summit next week, President Bukele boldly invited crypto entrepreneurs from around the globe to move to El Salvador with some juicy incentives. Tron Founder Justin Sun already announced Tron’s base in El Salvador earlier today.

The ripple effects of this announcement are already being felt around the world. Congressman and the National Deputy of Paraguay, Carlitos Rejala, has called for Paraguay to take similar action on Twitter. The congressman also posted a photo of himself with laser eyes.

Summary
  1. Bitcoin 2021 shattered records with 12,000 attendees. The networking was epic.
  2. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez launched a star-studded convention with great speakers.
  3. It was not without controversy, drama and human nature. Entertaining to some, triggering to others.
  4. Bitcoin as a movement, a technology and a currency is rapidly spreading around the globe. It is unstoppable — the dominoes are already falling. It’s time to get on board the train — whether you are a normal person like me, a national leader, a billionaire, an investor, a computer programmer, or the CFO of a corporation large or small. Whoever you are, you are welcome. We are still early.
  5. Oh yeah, and the after party was lit.

Do you value these articles? Follow and share! You can also follow me on Twitter: @alexandre_lores

This content is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute trading advice. Past performance does not indicate future results. Do not invest more than you can afford to lose. The author of this article may hold assets mentioned in the piece.

If you found this content engaging, and have an interest in commissioning content of your own, check out Quantum Economics’ Analysis on Demand service.

Author

Alexandre Lores is a personal finance writer from Tampa Bay, Florida, with the goal to help one million people achieve financial freedom. He has spent over five years studying markets and economics, finding Bitcoin in 2017 and never turning back. He frequently appears on TV and in online news articles and is a regular Twitter spaces host.

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