Blockchain and Crypto

Bitcoin 2022 Miami: Has Bitcoin taken over the world yet?

  • Earlier this month, Miami hosted a major 4-day conference, Bitcoin 2022 -- spilling crypto and Bitcoin-focused insights.
  • While some people found the event productive, others reported that it was as much a social, networking-based event as one where people shared commercially actionable information.

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Bitcoin 2022 Miami: Has Bitcoin taken over the world yet?

Earlier this month, Miami hosted a major 4-day conference, Bitcoin 2022. From the “Sound Money Pass” of $110 to the VIP “Whale Pass” of $21,000, the conference attendees got in-depth crypto and Bitcoin-focused insights from major industry leaders, investors, analysts, blockchain developers, crypto podcasters, YouTubers, and influencers.

A recap of the highlights from Bitcoin 2022 Miami

Bitcoin conferences are organized by the Bitcoin community to mark cryptocurrency's future ambitions - and show how far Bitcoin has come since it launched in 2009.

Day 1 or “Industry Day'' of this year’s event kicked off with the Miami mayor Francis Suarez unveiling a new robotic bull with laser eyes to celebrate the beginning of the conference. He also discussed the city's plans to "become the Bitcoin, blockchain, and mining capital of the world". 

This was followed by discussions from speakers around crypto, stablecoins, and the Lightning Network – a decentralized network using smart contract functionality to enable instant Bitcoin transactions across a network of participants.

“The event was a gathering of great minds and leaders in the crypto space. It allowed us to connect with experts and founders as well as up-and-coming teams innovating crypto and other areas,” said Karim Nurani, chief strategy officer at Linqto – a platform for investors to access pre-IPO opportunities. “The energy at this year’s Bitcoin Miami reminds me of what we saw in Silicon Valley 15 years ago, which has been missing so far in regards to Web 3.0 and the metaverse. The Miami Bull was a thing of beauty, and if we see the energy and enthusiasm that follows that Bull through, there will be innovative companies that will be built all around the world through collaboration in the community.”

Some big announcements were made by participating companies at the event. Jack Mallers, CEO of Strike, announced a Shopify integration allowing shoppers to use bitcoin privately, and merchants to save on processor fees. Cash App, the biggest sponsor of the event, announced three new products, enabling users receiving payments in Bitcoin to invest a percentage of their paychecks in cryptocurrencies. Crypto exchange Robinhood also announced its support for the Lightning Network, as well as a reduced carbon footprint. 

Additionally, Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis shared details on a bipartisan bill designed to propel Bitcoin innovation in the U.S, ASIC manufacturer Canaan announced a new mining machine in addition to green mining standards for energy, mining, and infrastructure. CEO and co-founder of Blockstream, Adam Back and Jack Dorsey's Block will be partnering with Tesla on an open-source solar-powered Bitcoin mine – the facility will be powered with Tesla’s 3.8-megawatt Solar PV array and its 12 megawatt-hour Megapack.

What role do influencers and icons play in the ascent of Bitcoin?

While Bitcoin is still laying the foundations for its more widespread use, connecting the currency to influencers and celebrities is one way to bolster its mass adoption. 

“Influencers in Bitcoin, much like in any other online market and industry, play a pivotal role in transmitting messaging to the public through social media platforms, thought leadership pieces, and general optimism for Bitcoin and other cryptos,” said Grant Gerber, Chief Governance Officer at Kaddex – a gas-free decentralized exchange built on the Kadena blockchain. “While there are clearly some dubious actors in the crypto space, some of the most prominent influencers work closely with crypto projects to amplify their messaging and convert individuals to their cause.”

This year’s guest-list featured psychologist and YouTube personality Jordan B. Peterson, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, TV presenter Kevin O’Leary, Paypal and Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel, athletes like the Super Bowl champion Odell Beckham Jr., tennis player Serena Williams, and football player Aaron Rodgers who choose to be paid in Bitcoin. Crypto influencers like Anthony Pompliano, and the founder of the Barstool Sports blog, Dave Portnoy, whose pandemic-era trading live streams made him a popular figure in the crypto world, were also among the guest speakers.

This year’s Bitcoin conference stood out from previous ones in terms of scale. While some of the early conferences only attracted dozens of attendees, this year’s event had 30,000 attendees and exhibitors.

“At the conference this year, there was a large presence of venture capitalists and funds, a volume that simply stood out as opposed to previous years,” said Kaddex’s Grant Gerber. “There is clearly a desire among “smart money” to get involved in the development of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the associated blockchain technology, and the overall adoption of products being brought to life within the space.”

Key takeaways from Bitcoin 2022 Miami

Bitcoin 2022 turned out to be a mixed bag that attracted varied reactions from attendees. While some people found the event productive, others reported that it was as much a social, networking-based event as one where people shared commercially actionable information. Many of the biggest occasions during the weekend were the parties that were held after all the talks had finished – with some people supposedly coming only for them and not buying a ticket to the actual event. 

However, Linqto’s Karim Nurani feels differently. 

Sharing his experience with Tearsheet, he said,It is very dynamic and fast-moving. There is still a lot of opportunity in the industry for new applications of the technology. The industry is not hobby-centric; it is extremely engaging and pushes innovation in the space. Mixing together this entrepreneurial energy, throwing in great food, art, music, and cultural vibrancy, along with the money being made from crypto and we will continue to see this industry and Miami thrive.”

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