During the first few days of June, 4th and 5th to be exact, Miami will witness history. The “Bitcoin 2021” conference doesn’t only comes back with a vengeance after the 2020 cancelation, it’s one of the first massive post-COVID events that the world will see. All eyes are on them. Plus, it comes in the middle of an interrupted bull-run that has Bitcoin in everyone’s mouth for one reason or another.
In a recent episode of the What Bitcoin Did podcast, the CEO of BTC Media and organizer of the conference, David Bailey, told PeterMcCormack, “The founding fathers, when they were organizing the revolution and the yellow fever was around, they didn’t say: “ok, pack it up, boys. There’s yellow fever, we might get sick.” Strong words, but he didn’t stop there:
“A lot less people are going to die when Bitcoin takes over the monetary system than in the existing world that we’re having to live in. So, f*** the pandemic. Pandemics don’t stop revolutions.”
Even if you think otherwise, you have to admire the boldness.
What Will People Find At The “Bitcoin 2021” Conference?
If you don’t have your tickets already, if you aren’t on the way to Miami, chances are you’ll not attend this year. That’s alright. Let’s learn about what we’ll be missing. To describe it, David Bailey used poetry. “I’m hoping to occupy the mindspace of people who are coming to figure out what Bitcoin is all about, and they can’t forget what they saw at this conference.”
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Apparently, there’ll be sumo wrestlers and UFC world champions walking around, holding their belts. Tony Hawk will speak and do his thing on a halfpipe, plus they’re selling an exclusive Bitcoin-themed skateboard only to people that attend Hawk’s meet and greet. There’ll be a basketball tournament, a Bitcoin art gallery, and an eSports arena with Lighting based arcade games and more than 1 BTC in prizes. In fact, “Everything is Lighting enabled at the conference,” said Bailey.
BTC price chart on FTX | Source: BTC/USDT on TradingView.com
Weird, wild stuff in “Bitcoin 2021”
There’s the possibility of a helicopter throwing money, a real-life airdrop. And there’ll be a selfie both described as the “cash is trash selfie dumpster,” that’ll be a literal dumpster stuffed full of Venezuelan Fiat currency. You’ll be able to take home all of the bills you want.
Plus, there’s the possibility of Floyd Mayweather asking that his salary for the Logan Paul fight to be paid completely in Bitcoin. That is not fully confirmed, though. And Bailey warns:
“We have some surprises in this conference that I can’t talk about on any podcast in advance. The Department of Justice will try to stop it. We have some special guests that are going to be participating or joining us that I think will melt people faces off.”
As for the practical stats, “Bitcoin 2021” will host more than 10.000 attendees, more than 150 speakers, and at least 1000 companies.
Controversy and Bitcoin Maximalism
The biggest controversy this year involved Chamath Palihapitiya. The noted billionaire and Social Capital’s CEO was originally announced as a speaker. He was heavily criticized by the Bitcoin community because of his recent tweets on taxation and his involvement in the infamous BitClout platform. After that, the “Bitcoin 2021” conference announced that he’s not speaking anymore. There’s more to the story, though.
In the mentioned podcast, Bailey clarifies, “Our goal is not Bitcoin purity. Our goal is Hiperbitcoinization.” According to him, Ark Invest’s Catherine D. Wood, Anthony Scaramucci, and Chamath Palihapitiya confirmed their involvement back when the conference was going to take place in Los Angeles. When the organizers had to change it to Miami, they all wanted to do their respective talks virtually.
The organization declined, told them that if they didn’t come in person, they couldn’t participate this year. Apparently, Scaramucci agreed to come, Palihapitiya didn’t, and Wood is still undecided. And that’s the story. It wasn’t due to pressure from the maximalists, the self-proclaimed “plebs.”
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“We’re Bitcoin only, we’re not Bitcoin Maximalists”, said Bailey
The organizer announced that “Bitcoin 2021” turned away more than $10M in sponsorships because the companies offering them didn’t have a Bitcoin product. And they rejected the CEO of one of the biggest investment banks in the world as a speaker because he didn’t have anything to say related to Bitcoin. In fact, if anyone was “actively running a Top100 project that’s trying to compete with Bitcoin” he or she wasn’t invited.
The only exception would’ve been the infamous Roger Ver. In the Swan Signal live show, Bailey said that they tried to get him as a speaker on the condition that he couldn’t talk about Bitcoin Cash, or even criticize Bitcoin Core. In the end, Ver declined but left the door open for next year.
As for the rules to qualify for participation, Bailey made it clear in the What Bitcoin Did podcast, “If you interact with the Bitcoin mainnet, if you interact with the Bitcoin protocol, we don’t care what you’re doing, we don’t care how you’re using it: You’re a Bitcoin company.”
Confirmed panels and talks
This isn’t even on the site, but the “Bitcoin 2021” conference has announced the specifics of several talks through their Twitter. Among them:
- “Supporting Innovation From Inside The System” with Chris Giancarlo and Brian Brooks.
- “The Milk of Paradise: Bitcoin And The Western Canon” with Allen Farrington
- “Bitcoin Makes The Laws” with Teana Taylor, Jeff Horowitz, Hailey Lennon, and Marco Santori. The moderator will be Peter Van Valkenburgh.
- “What To Do When Your Country Bans Bitcoin” with Alejandro Machado, Boaz Sobrado, Francis Pouliot, and Matt Odell. The moderator will be Hector Rosenkrans.
- A fireside chat with Michael Saylor and Max Keiser. About this, Saylor tweeted: “My mission will be to convince Max Keiser to double-down on his commitment to Bitcoin. Any suggestions?”
- “The History of Money” with Nick Szabo
- “Giving Back To Bitcoin” with Mike Schmidt, Hong Fang, and Ben Price. The moderator will be Matt Odell.
- “Moral Case For Bitcoin” with Guy Hirsch, Jimmy Song, and Robert Breedlove. The moderator will be Guy Swann.
This is what we know so far. We’re sure there will be many, many more talks, chats, events, performances, and all-around craziness. Evidence of that is this growing list of satellite events that will surround “Bitcoin 2021,” the conference.
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