Bitcoin Miami 2022

Bitcoin Miami 2022 successfully gave a forum to those who have a passion for technology, finance and culture.  I arrived in Miami not really knowing what to expect from the conference.  After all, it has been my experience that Bitcoin is much like “Fight Club.” You buy it and then you never talk about it.  There is a silent rule that says, “Yes! You are doing something epic.  You are a part of a revolution that will truly make the world a better place.  But, you can’t talk about it.”  The reason you can’t talk about it is that generally, no one knows what you are talking about.  You can’t blurt out, “Bitcoin is digital gold.” That it is beautifully designed and limited in supply. That it is a hedge against inflation.  Again, no one in my everyday life usually gets the importance of Bitcoin.  At Bitcoin Miami 2022, however, approximately 25,000 attendees, which included retail investors of all ages, billionaire investors, celebrities and politicians all came together and all they talked about for days was the importance of Bitcoin and how it is making the world a better place.

The conference started with a panel composed of Odell Beckham Jr, Aaron Rodgers,  and Serena Williams.  These athletes are all into Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general.  They all see crypto currencies as the future and as a way to help people who are disenfranchised financially to build a financial future.  They all see a growing interest in Bitcoin in the coming years and some have opted to receive part of their salaries in Bitcoin.  It was interesting to see these athletes at the Bitcoin Conference as it added a certain level of pop culture cool to the event.

Another early panel was the Billionaire Allocator Panel which included Marcelo Claure, Ricardo B. Salinas, , Dan Tapiero and Orlando Bravo.  These are billionaires who are pro Bitcoin and see a bright future for those who invest in it.  Each explained their journey into Bitcoin and why they are firm supporters.  But it was Dan Tapiero who said, “If any of you are worried you are late to this only 2-3% have a Bitcoin Wallet and we have at least another 10X from here over the next 10 years!” 

The big news at last years conference of course was when Jack Mallers and the president of El Salvador Nayib Bukele announced that El Salvador was going to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.  Jack Mallers, for those of you who don’t know, is the founder of the app Strike a Lightning based payments platform for Bitcoin. This year @Excellion announced that three countries were progressing towards the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender: Honduras, Madeira and Mexico.  That bit of news energized the crowd and further opened up the conversation as to what is possible with Bitcoin.  The other big announcement came from Jack Mallers, who announced that Strike had officially partnered with Shopify, Blackhawk and NCR to provide payments using the Lightning Network.  For retailers used to paying that 3% fee to accept payments via credit cards, this was a huge announcement.  Some in the audience seemed disappointed by this announcement as they expected an announcement that Strike had partnered with Apple or with Amazon. The reaction on Twitter firmly confirmed that Mallers had indeed succeeded in bringing something much appreciated and needed into the market place. 

U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming attended the Bitcoin 2022 Conference and commented on Strike:

“If America wants to remain the global financial leader, we need to foster innovation. Strike’s announcement is a valuable contribution toward bringing America’s financial system into the 21st century. I am working to bring smart legislation to the digital asset space, so that innovations like this can be integrated into America’s financial services industry. By doing so, we can protect consumers and empower individuals and small businesses by encouraging responsible innovation.”

One of the funniest moments in the conference was when Peter Thiel called Warren Buffet, Jamie Dimon and Larry Fink members of a “finance gerontocracy.”  I couldn’t help but laugh when Thiel referred to Warren Buffet as a “sociopathic grandpa.”  But Gregg Foss succinctly put what he wanted everyone to take away from the conference, “Buy Bitcoin!”

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