Up to 50,000 people are expected to descend on Miami for a cryptocurrency conference this week, in what organisers are describing as “the largest bitcoin event in history”.
The Bitcoin 2021 event comes at a turbulent time for the crypto market, and follows the worst calendar month on record in terms of overall losses.
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Attendees will be hoping that major announcements could help kickstart a recovery and draw attention to the benefits of the decentralised cryptocurrency.
The event comes after Miami Mayor Francis Suarez laid out his ambition for the city to become a crypto hub, with hopes of allowing citizens to pay their taxes in bitcoin.
Attendees include libertarian Ron Paul, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, bitcoin pioneer Nick Szabo and pro skater Tony Hawk.
Ross Ulbricht, who is currently imprisoned over charges relating to the Silk Road dark web market, will also feature at the conference in a special pre-recorded interview.
Early attendee and crypto conference veteran Francis Pouliot described it as unlike anything he had been to before in terms of scale.
“Went backstage today and got a little tour,” he said. “Imagine something more like a music festival. It’s insane. I’m glad to be a part of it.”
The Covid pandemic forced organise to push the event back and relocate it to Florida, having previously been planned for 30 April in Los Angeles. Miami continues to average more than 300 new coronavirus cases per day, down from a peak of more than 3,000 at the start of the year.
“We’ve got tons of big announcements in store. Rest assured that we’ve been working our tails off behind the scenes to make this conference the most unforgettable experience in bitcoin history,” promotional material for Bitcoin 2021 states.
“Bitcoin 2021 will feature a massive collection of the best and brightest minds in the space, dozens of one-of-a-kind BTC activations and the chance to celebrate the world’s best technology with all of your internet friends IRL.”