Thousands of visitors and financial tech industry leaders are expected in Miami this weekend for what is being called “the largest Bitcoin event in the history of cryptocurrency.”
The Mana Convention Center in Miami’s artsy Wynwood neighborhood will host bitcoin 2021 on June 4 and 5.
The event was originally scheduled to take place last year in Los Angeles, but it was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release from the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID).
The conference planners said, “Our decision to move Bitcoin 2021 from Los Angeles to Miami was not an easy one, but given the circumstances regarding availability in the State of California, we feel the move is necessary this year. The show must go on!”
If Comic Con married Wall Street, the wedding’s guest list would look like the speakers list for bitcoin 2021.
Keynote speakers include Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey, former U.S Congressman Ron Paul of Texas and U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming.
But then there is also Wiz, Money Man and Heavily Armed Clown scheduled to speak.
One expert with 35 years in the financial industry who wished not to be named explained, “What you see in this speaker’s list is the small disrupter investors, the Goth kids who want to be different. And then there is also the pinstripe pirates there, ready to take advantage.”
Others see them as innovators and champions of the financial tech industry.
Either way, even the conference planners acknowledge the paradox with a breakout session called, “When counter-culture goes mainstream.”
One of the champions for bitcoin is Miami’s Mayor Francis Suarez. Suarez helped attract the world’s largest Bitcoin conference to Miami and is scheduled to give a keynote address.
Bitcoin Magazine says the mayor recently purchased “his first modest bitcoin stash.” The article says, “Since then, he set a personal goal to turn his tropical city into a bitcoin-savvy economy before 2022.”
“Our City Commission voted to explore three things: paying city employees in bitcoin, residents being able to pay taxes and fees in bitcoin, and the possibility of using city funds to invest in bitcoin,” Suarez said. “My efforts revolving around bitcoin, and more particularly, my efforts revolving around the tech ecosystem as a whole are all geared towards making Miami a city that works for everyone and historically underserved communities are the ones who stand the most to gain from this disruptive technology.”
Suarez told the New York Times DealBook, said, “We want to be on the next wave of innovation.”
The article said, “To make that happen, Mr. Suarez said he was ‘refashioning’ the city’s ‘fun in the sun’ image. Thanks in part to the mayor’s marketing efforts, tech and finance titans have flocked to Miami during the pandemic.
“The pandemic prompted people to relocate to Florida from Silicon Valley and New York as Bitcoin gained legitimacy and value.”
The mayor told DealBook he sees the trends as interrelated, and he is seizing the moment. “People come here and start realizing that there’s way more tech talent than they thought,” he said.
And Wynwood BID is thrilled to provide the venue for that realization.
“Wynwood’s tech scene has grown exponentially in the past decade and being selected to host the largest Bitcoin conference to date solidifies the neighborhood’s evolution into South Florida’s hub for artists and innovators,” according to Albert Garcia, chairman and co-founder of the Wynwood BID. “Wynwood’s residents and businesses have shown their resiliency in the face of this pandemic, and we are ready to safely welcome back visitors for the first major in-person event in the last 16 months.