Thousands Descend on Miami to Glorify Bitcoin

It was the largest Bitcoin event in the world and the first major in-person crypto conference since the pandemic started. The jargon, the liquor and the millionaire talk flowed./dreamstime photo

By Erin Griffith | The New York Times

There was money in the air. Buzzwords floated around, like NFT, BTD, blockchain, token. There was a frenzied energy.

And there was heat — a humid, sticky South Florida heat; the kind all the Californians and New Yorkers who moved to Miami during the pandemic’s winter doldrums were warned about. The kind generated by thousands upon thousands of people gathering to worship at the altar of cryptocurrencies.

Such was the vibe at Bitcoin 2021, an occasional gathering of digital currency enthusiasts run by a magazine named after the cryptocurrency. Last year’s event had been postponed. But on Friday and Saturday, at least 12,000 people descended on Miami to make up for lost time, flocking to the largest Bitcoin conference in the world and the first major in-person business conference since the pandemic began.

The exuberance of being in person, indoors, in a crowd for the first time in more than a year was electric. Everyone hugged, no one masked. The money zipped between digital wallets. The conference swag included neon fanny packs, festival bracelets and a Lamborghini car. The jargon — stablecoin, peer-to-peer, private key — flowed. So did the liquor.

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