Miami’s nightlife used to be lit – until crypto exchange FTX and the shockwave caused by its sudden collapse sucked the life out of it.
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Miami became a favorite getaway for persons with a surplus of cryptocurrency.
They consist of executives, white-collar professionals, and managers from leading hedge fund institutions.
According to the Financial Times, the city of half a million people bustled with activity, until the crypto market was brought to its knees following the implosion of FTX.
Imagine these people paying $50,000 for a single table or renting a whole venue for an evening for $500,000 or more. These amounts were chump change for Miami’s crypto-spending elite.
$1 Million ‘Champagne Bathtubs’
If that wasn’t crazy enough, consider this: A crypto firm (unnamed) partied with $1 million worth of “bathtubs of champagne”https://finance.yahoo.com/news/miami-nightclub-owners-struggling-slumping-161352774.html — all paid for in crypto — as rapper 50 Cent “brought the house down” in the background.
During this period, when the price of bitcoin see-sawed at the $60,000-plus level, and crypto became ubiquitous, the wealthiest consumers flooded the city for extravagant parties to display their affluence.
“Who the hell are these people?” Andrea Vimercati, chief of food and beverage at Moxy Hotel Group, expressed amazement as consumers exposed how much crypto they had in their wallets.
Image: Coin Culture
Insane Amount Of Crypto Spending
Vimercati, former director of Groot Hospitality, which owns some of the hottest nightclubs in Miami, stated:
“Suddenly, these kids from crypto started coming down and spending a lot of money — like, an insane amount of money.”
Vimercati said that he has seen more crypto wallets in one year than bank accounts in his whole life.
Many believed that Miami could match Silicon Valley. And a lot of people view cryptocurrencies as the future of finance. Miami is jockeying for position to become the world’s top crypto destination.
“Crypto is tremendously important to the future of the city, and to how we are positioning ourselves right now. We really have established the epicenter for crypto,” Mayor Francis Suarez was quoted by NPR as saying in a recent interview.
FTX Collapse Ends Nights Of Wild Parties
The FTX catastrophe shook the market and threw a fog over the business, and now, a little over a year later, the phones are silent when it comes to taking reservations for tables and VIP rooms. The crypto partygoers in Miami’s clubs have “totally vanished,” according to Vimercati.
Today, Miami has its own cryptocurrency, known as MiamiCoin, and last year it hosted Bitcoin 2022 Conference, one of the largest meetings of digital currency enthusiasts in the world. More than 25,000 people attended.
Now, with the demise of FTX – and the bankruptcies of other crypto exchanges – club operators are uncertain as to whether their regular high-rollers will return as the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to plummet.
Crypto total market cap at $773 billion on the daily chart | Featured image from Holidify, Chart: TradingView.com