“This is not a moment. This is a movement,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said in his opening remarks at Friday’s Bitcoin 2021 conference.
The conference took place in the city’s Winwood neighborhood, a cultural mecca north of downtown, where plaster, cement and brick walls are painted with colored graffiti.
The conference organizers estimate that 50,000 participants will come and go for the two-day conference (or three-day conference for those who had full access to Whales and started things on Thursday), where speakers, investors and scientists gathered together to we are talking about the rapid growth of Bitcoin and a potentially promising future.
“Sorry, I’m not so sorry, Los Angeles,” Suarez said during his speech at 9 a.m. The conference was originally scheduled to take place from April 30 to May 1 in Los Angeles, but was changed to Miami due to concerns about tougher California. COVID-19 policies. Suarez called Miami the crypto capital of the United States, as well as the “capital of capital.”
Abolish the Federal Reserve?
Despite the long food lines – and the very long toilet line, especially for men – it seemed that most of those present had fun talking and networking with like-minded people about everything from crypto to politics. Removing the Fed or not removing the Fed was a popular topic of conversation.
“Freedom” and “freedom” were two other frequently repeated points of conversation at the conference.
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“If you’re my friend, you’re a friend of freedom,” Ron Paul, a former Republican from Texas, said in a speech Friday, adding that the United States currently has a “lack of freedom,” but people at conferences were very much in line with the principles. of freedom. ”
This is because bitcoin, like other cryptocurrencies, is decentralized, which means that investors deal directly with each other and not through a central bank.
“Everyone wants monetary freedom, I hope,” Paul said. “But … I want to clarify this title because some people want free money and it’s different. And today there is a lot of free money, and it’s all fake and it’s all political corruption … It makes the country more poor, no matter how many people get richer in the meantime. “
“If you know anything about me – and I’ve been in politics for a few years – I have a solution,” Paul continued. “… We don’t need the Federal Reserve. It’s built on corruption. So what we need to do is repeal or get rid of the Federal Reserve.”
Calls on Congress to catch up
Throughout the weekend, various speakers agreed or disputed Paul’s comments, which were met with loud applause, but he was nonetheless popular. Colleagues of Republican politicians, including Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Loomis and Ohio Representative Warren Davidson, also discussed the importance of bitcoins to American freedom and free markets.
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Loomis, who has served as state treasurer in Wyoming for eight years, has expressed concern about China’s plans to create a digital yuan by the 2022 Winter Olympics and called on US politicians to “catch up.”
“We need to teach our colleagues about the digital currency – what its advantages are, why it will keep the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency – and why it is important to have bitcoin, which is the basis of the US dollar as a stock of value, just as gold used. be, “she said.” … I hope Congress will respond in a way that keeps us competitive around the world and keeps us the currency you want to hold if you’re in Venezuela … or China. “
Loomis added that the beauty of bitcoins is that anyone with a “mobile phone” can be their “own banker.”
“This is one of the big egalitarian things about bitcoins that I’m so excited about,” she said.
The senator also said he was trying to set up a financial innovation team to draw attention to the subject of Capitol Hill’s cryptocurrency.
Earlier on Friday, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss – double billionaire bitcoin investors known for their dispute with Mark Zuckerberg over the creation of Facebook – argued that the Fed’s bad reputation actually helped increase the popularity of bitcoins. Tyler referred to the US dollar as the “ultimate sh-tcoin”, while Tyler wore a “Rage Against the Machine” T-shirt.
Elon Musk malice
Another common topic, especially among Bitcoin conference participants, was voting – or tweeting – their frustration Tesla and CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk.
The billionaire technical entrepreneur has written heartbroken emoticons for bitcoins, which some investors have linked to cryptocurrencythe fall in prices on Thursday.
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Max Kaiser, host of the Kaiser Report, began his chat by the fire on Friday, repeating “F-ck Elon!” Several times.
A number of conference participants posted on social media their disappointment with Musk, who recently announced that Tesla would stop accepting bitcoins for vehicle purchases due to environmental concerns that were credited with sending markets lower in May.
NFL and Bitcoin fan Russell Okung launched a billboard campaign on Friday in Miami just in time for the conference, as well as in Brownsville, Texas, and Santa Clara, California, near the headquarters of SpaceX and Tesla. The billboards say, “Stick to space, Elon.”
“Bitcoin does not have a marketing department or a dedicated public relations team to counter false information,” Okung said in a statement. “This campaign aims to correct false public accounts of Bitcoin’s energy use and encourage Elon to stick to what Elon does best.”
The cryptocurrency approached $ 40,000 before the first day of the conference, but fell to just over $ 35,500 late Thursday night. Musk posted a tweet with a broken heart around 9pm EDT.
The billionaire technical entrepreneur has expressed environmental concerns about the bitcoin mining process or the cryptocurrency creation process. Bitcoin extraction is done by solving mathematical puzzles on powerful computers that require large amounts of energy.
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But other cryptocurrency experts disagree with Musk’s assessment. Michael Sailor, co-founder of business intelligence firm MicroStrategy and a staunch advocate for Bitcoin, said at the conference that he believed “Bitcoin is the most energy efficient use that the human race has yet to invent.”
Jack Dorsey’s views on bitcoins contrasted with Musk’s views when the founder and CEO of Twitter and Square spoke at the conference on Friday.
Dorsey, who bought more than $ 200 million in Bitcoin through Square last October, said Friday that if he no longer works for his two technology companies, he will spend the rest of his life developing Bitcoin.
“If I weren’t on Square or Twitter, I would be working on Bitcoin,” Dorsey said at the conference. “… Whatever I can do – whatever my companies do – to make bitcoin accessible to everyone, I will do it for the rest of my life.”
Dorsey said he believes bitcoin in particular will be used by “more and more people” in the coming years.
“It’s an amazing asset,” he said. “The Internet needs a native currency.”
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He added that he believes that people around the world will have to “make deals” with bitcoins “every day” in the future, which is why his companies do not work with cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin, he explained at the conference.
Tony Hawk speaks crypto
Pro skateboarder and early bitcoin investor Tony Hawk was a big focus of Saturday’s conference.
Hawk, 52, told conference attendees in an interview with actor Jeremy Gardner on Saturday morning that his interest in bitcoins was reviving for the first time after news of the Silk Road, which was a dark web, spread. a market that allows consumers to trade bitcoins for drugs online. Federal officials shut down the digital market in 2013.
“I was fascinated by the payment program they had,” he said. “… There was an anonymous country, but also just the idea that it is very fast, international and it seems to me that this is the future of finance. So I immediately researched:” How to buy bitcoin? ‘I wasn’t on the Silk Road, but I bought bitcoin in 2012. “
The iconic skateboarder announced in March that he would sell shots of himself, completing the trick trick “Ollie 540”, which he first mastered in the late 80’s, as an indispensable marker or digital collecting, made possible by blockchain technology, according to on his Instagram page.
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“In 1989, I started trying ollie 540’s for fun, as there seemed to be no way to keep a skateboard on your feet all the time. [and-and-a-half] revolves in the air. But at some point, I started rowing my tail with my back holding my legs in place for most of the turn, “he wrote in an Instagram post on March 17.” … Today I decided to do [the trick] one more time … and never again. “
Hawk added that the video will be sold as NTF through Eternality Chain, a fast-growing blockchain-based trading platform NTF.
Later, the skateboarder demonstrated a demonstration to the conference participants, using a ramp located right in front of the indoor facility of the conference center.
Bradford Betz of FOX Business contributed to this report.