WYNWOOD, Fla. – If you thought bitcoin hadn’t yet made it’s way to South Florida, think again — there’s an entire conference dedicated to the cryptocurrency occurring in Miami right now.
Bitcoin 2021 has officially kicked off on Friday, June 4, at Mana Wynwood with Twitter and Square co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, Nick Szabo, Michael Saylor, Senator Cynthia Lummis, and professional skateboarder Tony Hawk as headline speakers.
Also speaking at the two-day tech conference will be former Congressman Ron Paul.
According to organizers, the event is sold out and they’re expecting around 15,000 people to celebrate bitcoin and cryptocurrency throughout the two-day festival. Tens of thousands more will be at activations and events city-wide.
For those who don’t know what bitcoin is, it is a digital or virtual currency created in 2009 that uses peer-to-peer technology to facilitate instant payments — and City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has been a proponent in pushing cryptocurrency and bitcoin in the Magic City.
Suarez has even gone as far as to state that he wants to allow City of Miami employees to be paid in bitcoin, if they want.
“What does it look like when people get paid in bitcoin? When people can order their Starbucks in bitcoin? It’s a discussion about the future and what are some of the current challenges and how do we overcome them to get to that world?” discussed Michelle Abbs, Managing Director of Manatech.
Additionally, the Miami-Dade County Commission passed a resolution in May to create a cryptocurrency task force. The 13-member task force is looking at the feasibility of allowing the county to accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment for taxes, fees, and services.
“I think we’re well within growing towards that,” says Abbs. “But we’ve still got a ways to go before ironing out some of the kinks.”
An attendee at the conference also discussed the volatility of bitcoin, as it tends to swing in the stock market. “It’s a worthy concern in the United States, is my perspective,” said an attendee. “Look, I’m agnostic on that. I have a little cryptocurrency myself. However, the bottom line is that in a place like the Middle East, the people need this stuff.”
“Of course, anything that is new, for example, when they invented the wheel, a lot of people didn’t want to try it. They just ride horses and keep walking, but this is the future” explained Joe Chi of the Latin Chamber of Commerce of U.S.A.
The conference originally had plans to take place on the west coast. However, with the recent push to turn South Florida into a tech hub, the choice to host the conference in Miami was a timely decision.
The festival ends on Saturday, June 5.