The 2021 Bitcoin Conference took place this weekend, and it was a place for people to celebrate Bitcoin’s success, but also to think about the future and meet people who can help build Bitcoin’s future.
What was different this time?
The CEO of the OkeX exchange explained why this Bitcoin Conference is different from the others. She said, “At the last few conferences, we talked more about price, but now we’re talking more about technology and fundamentals.” Although many people on social media said the conference was immature and “cringe”, there was a shift away from the topics that had been brought up at older conferences. Panels often talked about the importance of open-source development, sustainability, and working together with banks while staying decentralized. Also, a topic that came back often was the weakness of the dollar and the role Bitcoin can play for any economy with a weak currency.
The role of Miami in the crypto space
The Bitcoin conference transformed Miami into a city of wealth created by “magical internet money” and filled with people mostly talking to each other online. Clearly, the conference benefited Miami businesses and the attendees gave the city a different vibe than usual. Even Bitcoin’s sudden drop in value from a high of $64,000 in April to $36,000 did not destroy the optimism and enthusiasm of the attendees.
The first speaker at the Bitcoin conference was Francis Suarez, the mayor of Miami. While he is aware of the fact that Bitcoin could be a disruptor, he has decided to brand Miami as a Bitcoin-friendly city. The reason why the Bitcoin Conference is taking place in Miami is because the city plans to turn the Wynwood neighbourhood into a tech and cryptocurrency paradise, like what Silicon Valley was for companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter. They hope Wynwood can compete with San Francisco to become that playground for FTX Sushiswap and other blockchain-related initiatives. During the conference, the mayor announced that he hopes to explore ways to conduct some of his financial transactions with cryptocurrency, including paying salaries to employees.
Ron Paul slams the Federal Reserve
Another political speaker at the Bitcoin conference was former presidential candidate Ron Paul. He slammed the Federal Reserve, saying that Bitcoin needs be “considered seriously”. The former Republican congressman for Texas also discussed the U.S. government stimulus package initiated last year to counter the economic impact of lockdowns and quarantines as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. His view on Bitcoin is relevant to his concerns about the American economy. He hopes to spread awareness about the importance of Bitcoin and solve the problem of the hyper-inflation he expects will happen in the U.S.
To watch the full speech: click here
Founder of Silk Road spoke at the conference
The first day of the Bitcoin conference ended with a special keynote address from the founder of Silkroad, Ross Ulbricht. Silk Road was an online black market and the first modern darknet market. It was also the place where Bitcoin had its first use case. From 2011 to 2013, individuals were able to use Bitcoin to buy mostly drugs on the market. Ulbricht’s message was important because the founder of Silk Road was previously arrested for creating the market and sentenced to a double life sentence plus forty years without the possibility of parole.
The pre-recorded message was a touching moment during the conference. The businessman explained how he felt during his eight years in prison and how he dealt with the situation. He explained that what happened to him was due to the media and the government, who he believes lied about who he is and how dangerous he is. Later in his speech, he also talked about how grateful he is that people continue to believe in Bitcoin. He believes Bitcoin is the only way to keep freedom sustainable. He pointed out that many people have told him that if it wasn’t for him, there might not be as many people using Bitcoin.
For more information about this topic, you can visit his website: https://freeross.org/
To watch the full speech: click here
Other iconic moments that took place at the conference
The conference was a venue of Bitcoin maximalism at its peak. One iconic moment was when Bitcoin’s “high priest”, Max Keiser, opened his interview with Microstrategy’s Michael Saylor while shouting “We’re not selling,” and adding “Fuck Elon”.
— 𝗣𝗟𝗔𝗡 ₿ (@titodurriz) June 5, 2021
Floyd Mayweather was also at the conference to promote his fight with Logan Paul. He spoke about his views on Bitcoin. At one point during the interview, Mayweather mentioned that he thinks there will eventually be a cryptocurrency bigger than Bitcoin. This was something that didn’t sit well with the audience, which was mostly filled with Bitcoin maximalists. It caused his interview to go differently than expected.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER GETS BOOED BY THE CROWD AS HE SAID THAT THERE WILL BE A OTHER CRYPTO CURRENCY THAT WILL BE AS LARGE AS BITCOIN *KUCH KUCH* XRP *KUCH KUCH* pic.twitter.com/9GN31WZ0FU
— 👑 𝕏ℝℙ 𝕂𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝔻𝕠𝕘𝕘𝕠 𝕀𝕍 👑 $1500+ (@KingDoggoXRP) June 4, 2021
Another rather unexpected thing that happened during the conference was a person climbing on stage wearing a Dogecoin t-shirt and shouting to the audience, “Dogecoin to the moon”. Security quickly removed him, and he was kicked out of the conference.
$Doge army: please do this whenever someone talks about #bitcoin at any conference, anywhere!!! You have my permission, and I’m authorized to approve this behavior as Chairman of the Interwebz (print this tweet and show it to security) pic.twitter.com/yCunvGhp1R
El Salvador’s president said will send bill to make bitcoin legal tender
The conference was almost over when El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele said that next week he will send a bill to Congress to make Bitcoin legal tender in the Central American nation. This news ended the conference with a bang. In my opinion, it also seems to be the beginning of a new era where Bitcoin is more accepted by countries as a store of value and a hedge against inflation.
To watch the full speech: click here
Bitcoin a close community compared to other investments
There are many reasons why people have chosen to invest some of their wealth in Bitcoin. The most common reason is to generate profits or, as traditional finance explains it, to “store value.” Another reason people choose Bitcoin instead of stocks or real estate is the belief that it will become more than it currently is. These investors believe Bitcoin will disrupt the financial system and decentralize finance. Obviously, there are other reasons why people have made this decision, but where they all agree is that Bitcoin has a future. What makes Bitcoin more than an average investment is the community around it. Conferences like this one are out there, but they don’t have the same sense of community that Bitcoin investors do. It may sound strange, but the only stock I could find with such hype around their conferences is Berkshire Hathaway. We know Warren Buffet is not a big fan of cryptocurrencies, but what it does, which I think is similar to Bitcoin, is create a sense of community around and belief in the investment. The people who come to these conferences to listen to Warren Buffet speak believe in his investment strategy. In the same way, people who came to the Bitcoin conference believe in its future.