The conference attracted all walks of life. Although mostly young people, there were many middle-aged and older attendees and far more women participating this year than last year’s conference. Many work in the fintech industry while others work for traditional finance companies, non-profit organizations, or even themselves.
The themes of this year’s conference were similar to those of last year: the agreed need for a decentralized global currency; The importance of diversifying an individual’s investment portfolio. And a willingness to use bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general as a conductor in an increasingly divided world — even if the discussion of bitcoin becomes political at times.
Several attendees told FOX Business that they attended the conference to learn about bitcoin as new or even skeptical investors in the cryptocurrency world. Others were industry experts or early investors who came to educate others about bitcoin.
One attendee said bitcoin is about “democratizing money as we know it” and “removing power from central banks,” particularly in countries with authoritarian leaders and high inflation.
With no set dress code, attendees wore a mix of formal and informal attire, as well as costumes – some of which included masks. Graphic tees have been a popular theme, displaying the names of crypto-currency and fintech companies or groups, with slogans like, “Get Rich or Mine,” “Guns and Bitcoin” and “Save Communities with One Bitcoin at a Time.”
The event was hosted at the Miami Beach Convention Center, where attendees were greeted by a “Bitcoin bull,” a more tech-friendly version of a Wall Street bull, at the entrance; Giant temporary volcano Skee-Ball Machines mechanical eruption Bitcoin themed artwork; QR codes promise free bitcoins and more.
Among the speakers were PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel; NFL players Aaron Rodgers and Odell Beckham Jr.; tennis star Serena Williams; Jordan Peterson, former University of Toronto professor and clinical psychologist; Senator Cynthia Loomis, R-Wyo; journalist Glenn Greenwald; former presidential candidate Andrew Yang; And many more.
Telegram, a messaging app that allows end-to-end encryption, was another important topic at the event. Many of the attendees exchanged contact information via Telegram rather than Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other more popular social apps.
Miami has, in recent years, been dubbed the “crypto capital” of the United States and even the world, as impulsive but successful tech investors and entrepreneurs flock to the coastal city to expand their ideas.
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