I joined over 12,000 attendees worldwide on the sold-out 2021 Bitcoin convention in crypto-friendly Miami. Bitcoin luminaries together with MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, in addition to many others, addressed a packed convention heart in Miami’s creative Wynwood neighborhood.
The massive variety of attendees confirmed the convention’s overarching message of the rising power and development of the Bitcoin community. This 12 months’s convention was six instances better than the final Bitcoin convention that hosted 2,000 Bitcoin fans in 2019. While Bitcoin began from a small group of cypherpunks slightly over a decade in the past, a rising trade that helps folks and establishments purchase, maintain, switch, and commerce Bitcoin, in addition to different crypto-assets, was nicely represented and spoke volumes to the more and more mainstream Bitcoin person base.
Although Bitcoin and its proponents have gotten progressively mainstream, the Bitcoin neighborhood has not strayed from its anti-authoritarian and pro-civil liberties roots. In that regard, former consultant Ron Paul and different audio system rallied in opposition to central banks, unchecked cash printing, and encroachments on freedom of speech, private privateness, and property rights. Pro skateboarder Tony Hawk advised his personal compelling story of bringing the skateboarding counterculture into the mainstream by staying true to his craft. While the Bitcoin community continues to increase its base, the convention audio system and the viewers’s enthusiastic response to them confirmed that the Bitcoin neighborhood stays strongly dedicated to its founding values rooted in private sovereignty and financial freedom.
Consistent with the Bitcoin community’s development, one other theme from the convention was that Bitcoin is for the billions—not simply the billionaires. While a lot of the innovation and adoption within the Bitcoin trade has come from the United States, this crypto asset provides billions of unbanked folks in struggling economies across the globe a possibility to retailer and ship worth wherever on the earth with out censorship or exorbitant remittance charges. Indeed, for these in struggling international locations who’re pressured to make use of fiat currencies debased by the unpredictable whim of corrupt regimes, the power to retailer, ship and obtain worth in an simply transferrable digital bearer asset with a set provide that can not be censored or confiscated will be lifesaving.
Jack Dorsey underscored this humanitarian case for Bitcoin throughout his look. He set an formidable aim for his firm Square to make Bitcoin the native forex of the Internet. To assist meet that aim, Dorsey and different panelists, together with Paxful CEO, Ray Youssef, highlighted their work to encourage the adoption of Bitcoin in Africa and different growing elements of the world. Dorsey additionally addressed scrutiny over Bitcoin’s consumption of power by noting that it really incentivizes the usage of renewable, stranded or in any other case wasted power. A censorship protest throughout Dorsey’s dialogue grabbed a substantial amount of media consideration. But the true message from Dorsey’s handle was that making Bitcoin simply accessible, significantly to the unbanked, is his life’s most vital work.
The finish of the convention additional solidified the message of Bitcoin’s international adoption, particularly within the growing world, when the President of El Salvador introduced laws to make Bitcoin authorized tender in his nation of 6.4 million. Under this laws, El Salvador would additionally preserve Bitcoin on its steadiness sheet. If this laws passes as anticipated, El Salvador would turn out to be the primary nation on the planet to formally settle for Bitcoin on this method. While 2021 has already seen a wave of institutional Bitcoin adoption, the second half of this 12 months could certainly additionally see formal adoption by governments. Miami Mayor Suarez additionally confirmed his persevering with efforts to have his metropolis settle for Bitcoin and supply its workers funds within the asset. With the prospect of governmental adoption across the nook and ongoing institutional adoption, the Bitcoin community is rising stronger than ever.
Bitcoin’s power utilization additionally generated a substantial amount of dialogue on the convention. Kevin O’Leary, greatest identified for his appearances on CNBC’s Shark Tank, moderated a pointed session with CEO’s of publicly traded Bitcoin miners. O’Leary defined how establishments are hesitant to spend money on Bitcoin because of resistance from Environmental Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) committees. While O’Leary invited the miner CEOs to supply an answer to this difficulty, there have been no easy solutions. One concept, which drew a raucous rejection from the gang, was to create a separate classification and pricing construction for Bitcoins which have been sustainably mined. However, a majority of the 21 million Bitcoin to ever be created has already been mined, and one mining CEO was skeptical that firms would really pay a premium for Bitcoins with sustainability credentials. Like all new applied sciences together with agriculture, industrialization, and the web, crypto-assets like Bitcoin have elevated humankind’s power consumption. Convincing establishments that Bitcoin’s new know-how incentivizes renewable power utilization and presents a extra energy-efficient monetary construction than conventional banking stays a problem.
Bitcoin micropayments and layer two options just like the Lightning Network had been different themes on the convention. The Lightning Network guarantees to securely course of Bitcoin transactions in fractions of a second off of the primary Bitcoin blockchain with out the upper miner charges and longer processing instances the primary Bitcoin blockchain requires. Instead of being denominated in fractions of a Bitcoin, micropayments are denominated in Satoshis or “Sats,” which every symbolize a 100 millionth (.00000001) of an entire Bitcoin. As the Lightning Network matures, micropayments are now not impractical and might turn out to be integrated in numerous purposes, together with social media and gaming. For instance, the convention had an E-Sports enviornment the place avid gamers competed to win “Sats” despatched over the Lightning Network. The rising incorporation of crypto property like Bitcoin into digital gaming and social media will proceed to be a serious development. As this happens and micropayments turn out to be extra widespread, count on to listen to extra in regards to the value of Bitcoin transactions denominated in “Sats.”
You can’t talk about all the thrilling developments in Bitcoin and different crypto-assets with out addressing laws and regulators. The appearances of U.S. Senator, Cynthia Lummis (Wyoming), Representative Warren Davidson (Ohio), former USFTC Chair, Chris Giancarlo, Mayor Francis Suarez, and Miami Dade County Commissioner Danielle Cohen Higgins all touched on this vital matter. These panelists expressed assist for the concept that Bitcoin and governments can co-exist. Because of how shortly blockchain know-how is evolving, it’s essential for lawmakers and regulators to be educated on the know-how. Importantly, Senator Lummis and Representative Davidson claimed that present efforts by lawmakers in Washington to know and appropriately regulate crypto property like Bitcoin are bipartisan.
All new applied sciences pose challenges for mainstream adoption and the Bitcoin blockchain isn’t any exception. Millions and maybe billions of individuals worldwide shall be adopting Bitcoin as mobile phone wallets and user-friendly cost and custody purposes for the asset turn out to be ubiquitous. Technologically savvy companies are looking for to work together with this asset however may must additionally handle a litany of “Know Your Customer” (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and Bank Secrecy Act laws, ESG points, securities laws, and taxation points.
Copyright ©2021 Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 158