At least 12,000 people descended on Miami for Bitcoin 2021 and thousands more watched online as the first major in-person business conference since the pandemic began in what has been billed the biggest bitcoin event in history.
On Friday June 4, the line to get into the multi-day conference stretched more than a mile at the Mana Convention Center in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, a hub for tech, innovation and art.
High-profile speakers, crypto experts, industry leaders, and internet celebrities included pro boxer Floyd Mayweather, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Francis Suarez, the Miami Mayor who has been working to make the city a tech and crypto hub.
Conference organizers expected 50,000 people to attend. Originally scheduled for April 30-May 1 in Los Angeles, the event was changed to Miami over concerns of California’s strict covid-19 policies, to allow a second wave of the pandemic to pass and for vaccine rollouts to take place.
Tickets to the Miami Bitcoin conference ranged from $400 to $1,500, and people stuck in lines outside in the Florida heat were not amused.
Here are 10 takeaways from the 2021 Bitcoin Conference in Miami.
Black attendance ‘a huge change’ from previous Bitcoin conferences
Morgen Peck, a technology journalist who wrote some of the first articles about Bitcoin, told The Moguldom Nation that the amount of Black representation at Bitcoin Miami 2021 “was a huge change” from previous conferences she has attended in the U.S.
“The people I talked to were keen to the fact that Black America missed out on previous technology booms and told me they’re here to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Peck said. “There were the occasional nods to higher goals like banking the unbanked, which is a huge problem for Black Americans. But I think most people see a moment of rapid wealth redistribution and they naturally want to get their ticket before the prices go up. That’s how most people land in this crazy place”.
Attendee compares Miami Bitcoin Conference to Fyre Festival
Guests who flew to Miami from around the world complained about unacceptably long lines outside the convention center and some said the event had been oversold with not enough chairs and sitting-on-the-floor room only, Miami New Times reported.
Entrepreneur Armando Pantoja posted on Instagram that the event seemed to be mismanaged, comparing it to the infamous Fyre Festival, where guests paid thousands of dollars to attend a concert in the Bahamas but ended up sleeping outside without food, entertainment, or accommodation.
“Now the line has grown from 4 blocks to 14 blocks,” Pantoj posted at tallguytycoon. “I’ve been to countless bitcoin conference is all over the world this is the worst one I’ve ever been…Completely Mismanaged and incompetent. $1500 to wait in line that is 6 blocks long with a 4 hour wait.”
“It was too full, and the Miami heat didn’t help,” another attendee told New Times. “I didn’t get to see the main speakers.”
Those who made it inside found the conference enlightening. “The line was shitty — everyone was like, ‘What the fuck?’ One hour to get into an event is unacceptable. But it was an amazing conference,” an attendee who identified as G2 told New Times.
Bitcoin Evangelist Max Keiser said ‘Fuck Elon, We’re Not Selling’
Bitcoin bull Max Keiser has long argued that the Bitcoin price could exceed $100,000. Famous for his “mischievously seditious” Keiser Report on the Russian state TV network RT, he predicted in a 2019 interview that a cryptocurrency market rally would not include altcoins.
On the stage with MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor at Bitcoin 2021 conference, Kaiser screamed, “Fuck Elon, we’re not selling.” This was in reference to Tesla CEO Elon Musk putting pressure on the price of Bitcoin with his market-moving tweets.
Tesla and MicroStrategy are the two…