Is Miami-Dade becoming the cryptocurrency capital of the world?

Bitcoin 2022 hosted in Miami Beach and Miami's mayor is hoping it's just one piece of the tech puzzle that brings big business to South Florida.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – South Florida is at the center of the cryptocurrency universe this week as a national bitcoin conference kicks off in Miami Beach. It’s called Bitcoin 2022 and it’s attracting about 30,000 to 50,000 visitors, depending on who you talk to.

Yes, Miami is bullish on bitcoin, and we now have the statue to prove it plus a mayor who is leading the charge.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez says the bull statue outside of the Miami Beach Convention Center is symbolic.

“I think this cryptobull really symbolizes how the gravitational center of gravity of the country has moved from San Francisco in venture capital and private equity in New York to the city of Miami,” Suarez said.

At the conference in Miami Beach, bitcoin investors can rub shoulders and trade cryptocurrency.

Brock Pierce of the National Bitcoin Foundation credits the mayor for attracting an explosion of high-tech and venture capital firms who are tired of paying high taxes and cold weather and that have moved to Miami.

“Mayor Suarez did an incredible job of saying yes to the future and yes to innovation and that brought everyone here and he deserves the credit for having done that.”

Suarez said the “proof is in the pudding. We have the Bitcoin conference here, 50,000 people, a huge economic benefit for the city. FTX has renamed the arena, a $200 million injection into our community that was used as a gun prevention program.”

Miami-Dade County is also in the mix trying to ensure that everyone benefits.

“We’ve invested lots of money and lots of energy, everything that we can do to make sure that we grow in the right direction,” said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

Cava and Suarez are trying to make sure that minorities in Miami-Dade County who often get cut out of high-tech profits get their fair share of the digital wealth explosion, too. A rising tide lifts all ships, or it should.

About the Author:

Michael Putney came to Local 10 in 1989 to become senior political reporter and host of "This Week In South Florida with Michael Putney." He is Local 10's senior political reporter.