This January, thousands of cryptocurrency enthusiasts flocked to The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami after a grueling two weeks of market madness. The very large crowd, however, was quite confident that the emerging digital asset space was still on the rise as the halls of the James L Knight Center were bursting with vigor.
Thousands of People, Hundreds of Exhibits, and Lots of Lambos
The North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC) was a full house this year as thousands of attendees (mostly newcomers) gathered to converse about cryptocurrencies and tech applications that many dreamers believed could make the world a better place. The new year market slumps of 2018 haven’t seemed to phase bitcoiners, as many of the attendees still believe “the moon” values are still very much in sight. The first thing attendees noticed at TNABC walking into the auditorium was the various exhibits, huge bitcoin signs and the large quantity of Lamborghinis in the parking lot. One Lambo was for sale at the conference for 43 BTC and a bunch of other digital currencies.
Mainstream Media Presence
In addition to the vast quantity of newcomers, many mainstream media outlets were also in attendance such as RT, CNBC, Bloomberg, and also a prominent amount of local Miami news stations. Of course, the press was quite interested in the crypto phenomena while they interviewed bitcoin luminaries and startups pitching different ideas. But the main thing the mainstream media wanted to know is whether or not cryptocurrencies would ‘survive’ the recent ‘crash’ that took place over the past three weeks.
The Tokenized Economy and ICO Pitches
One of the main themed events within the auditorium was the immense amount of initial coin offerings (ICO) pitching various ideas tied to the blockchain concept. Many of the ideas were basically tokenized (mostly ERC-20) assets bootstrapped to schemes like travel, fruit juices, healthcare, and luxury cars. The ICOs also filled the large exhibit hall and many attendees were fascinated by these tokenized ‘offerings’ while representatives tried to explain the startup’s objectives. The recent crackdown on ICOs in the U.S. by the Securities and Exchange Commission has not deterred people in the ICO industry as the TNABC event had shown this space is still growing exponentially.
Many Crypto Businesses, Gadgets, and Speakers
In addition to the ICO madness, TNABC hosted an extensive number of speakers and other types of businesses focused on assets like bitcoin cash, ethereum, dash, and bitcoin core. Well known businesses in attendance included Shapeshift, RSK, Bitpay, Bread, Edge (formally Airbitz), Netki, and more. Many of the companies said their growth last year was substantial and many reputable crypto-based firms said they had big announcements planned for 2018. TNABC also had live GPU miners running in the exhibit halls, a virtual reality setup, and a 3D printer making physical bitcoins in addition to the ‘swag’ participants were collecting throughout the day.
Throughout each day of the event, there were various speakers from different companies, developers, and luminary-esque cryptocurrency evangelists. Notable keynote speakers included Overstock’s Patrick Byrne and his Tzero project, Unsung’s Jason King, director of content at FEE Jeffrey Tucker, and the Dollar Vigilante’s Jeff Berwick.
The Hodler’s Bright Future
As usual, the Foundation for Economic Education’s Jeffrey Tucker’s speech got the audience fired up from his words towards the future of the crypto movement. Tucker explained how FEE started in 1933 and how it was an interesting year because the U.S. president FDR destroyed the country’s money. Tucker explains how the president then confiscated everyone’s gold and jailed and fined people if they did not comply. The FEE director notes:
“The third thing FDR did was devalue the currency to 1/20th of an ounce to 1/35th of an ounce of gold. That was an unbelievable trauma right here in the United States of America. You see the founder of my institute said:”
Enough is enough people don’t have control over their wealth and can’t manage it themselves the people are not free.
“Do you know how people responded? This is fascinating to me — they hoarded. For fifteen years they hoarded and they didn’t trust the banks anymore. The money went into the mattresses it went underground. A lot of people kept their gold and buried it and the savings grew and grew. The depression didn’t end until the thirties and World War II came to an end — And you know what happened after WWII? All the experts said there would be a depression.”
It didn’t happen you know why? — Because people hoarded — Because of the savings and capital that was put together over the course of those fifteen years formed the basis of a new prosperity and the greatest period of economic growth in the history of the world right here in the U.S. because of the defiance of the American people. Let me tell you, my friends, we got a lot of ‘hodlers’ here — there’s a beautiful future ahead — You are the future.
TNABC a Great Example of Cryptocurrencies Growing Up
Overall the crowd was very excited and positive for the future that lies ahead and very much believed the words of Tucker and many other visionaries who attended TNABC. Many also believed the digital asset economy would rebound after the past few weeks and cryptocurrency prices had jumped significantly throughout the event. The bitcoin event in Miami was a full house both days and the thousands of enthusiasts in attendance have shown the extent to which cryptocurrency has matured.
What crypto conferences will you be attending this year? Let us know in the comments below.
Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com was a sponsor of TNABC and media partner.
Images courtesy of Jamie Redman, TNABC, Keynote Events, and Moe Levin.
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