The spotlight is on Miami this week as the city plays host to the world’s largest Bitcoin conference.
The show kicks off today at the Miami Beach Convention Center with Industry Day – where members from the industry and media settle in and talk about the most important topics.
Following the opening presentation, Anthony Pompliano and Galaxy Digital founder Mike Novogratz hold a fireside chat.
Budding startups and entrepreneurs will get an opportunity to pitch ideas to well-known investors similar to Shark Tank. Indeed, Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary himself will present a keynote.
Big names hit Miami
Tomorrow is the first day of the conference, and highlights include discussions between MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor and Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood.
Other names attending include Saifedean Ammous, Francis Pouliot, Pierre Rochard, Preston Pysh, Matt Odell, Dylan LeClair, and more.
Tech billionaire Peter Thiel and El Salvador President Nayibe Bukele will present keynotes. Last year, Bukele made international headlines when he announced via video link that his country would become the first to legalize cryptocurrency.
Jack Mallers, CEO of Strike Bitcoin payment app, is expected to make one of the most anticipated announcements. He worked closely with Bukele’s government during the national bitcoin launch.
Mallers has teased the big announcement, tweeting that Bitcoin will make the financial system cheaper, inclusive, and innovative.
Miami offers a welcoming environment for the cryptocurrency industry, with Mayor Francis Suarez drawing national attention for his efforts to attract tech investment, quickly becoming one of America’s most crypto-friendly mayors.
City’s population has fallen recently
It remains to see what the outcomes of this conference will be. Between July 2020 and July 2021, South Florida’s population declined by more than 18,000.
Critics worry that the city lacks a university with enough clout to help build the workforce needed for businesses to thrive like New York or the Bay Area.
Josip Rupena, a Miami-based businessman, will speak at the conference about his startup offering crypto mortgages and has urged naysayers to give the Miami bitcoin push a few more years to gain traction.
Milo, Rupena’s company, received $24 million in venture capital from investors. It now lends to people with significant digital wealth not yet ready to convert cryptocurrency into U.S. dollars to purchase property.