Solana Spaces has decided to close its two Solana (SOL)-themed, community-oriented retail shops in New York City and Miami at the end of this month. These stores are situated in both cities respectively. This decision was taken as a result of the fact that the physical shops did not bring in as many new users as was first anticipated when they were first opened.
Solana Spaces announced the news through a tweet on February 21, which also contained a message from the shop’s founder, Vibhu Norby, explaining the many factors that contributed to the decision to close the stores.
Norby, who founded Solana Spaces in the early part of 2022, explained that the company had reached a “inflection point” with the stores, which prompted them to shift their investment focus to “DRiP,” the firm’s brand-new nonfungible token artwork airdrop platform. This move was prompted by the fact that the company had reached a “inflection point.” Norby also said that he was the one responsible for establishing Solana Spaces in the first place.
“While our stores onboard between 500 and 1,000 people per week, DRiP onboards that same number EVERY DAY,” Norby noted, explaining why the firm opted to shift its investment priority. “While our shops onboard between 500 and 1,000 people per week, DRiP onboards that same number EVERY DAY.” “While our shops bring on between 500 and 1,000 customers every week, DRiP brings on that same number every single day,”
Norby stated that the decision to close the stores, which are located in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami and the Hudson Yards neighborhood of Manhattan, was made “a few weeks ago,” and that they would “sunset” at the end of the month of February. Both of these neighborhoods are in the city of New York.
Because the two stores in New York and Miami did not open their doors to the general public until the end of July and August, respectively, the ambitious endeavor was only operating for a relatively little period of time.
As price action bewilders market makers and traders, experts in the crypto industry reached an agreement on several important points last week. Notably, centralized finance (CeFi) and decentralized finance (DeFi), can coexist, and a “blend” of financial products and services will be available to users in the future.
On Jan. 21, Cointelegraph moderated the panel discussion, “Can CeFi and DeFi Coexist?” for the Global Blockchain Business Council. In the video, panelists hash out questions related to adoption, banking the unbanked, and whether innovation means disruption of traditional financial services.
Salient points included the need for greater education and transparency in the cryptocurrency space, while financial inclusion could be reached thanks to smooth onboarding techniques and clear-cut regulation. Popular blockchains like Solana and the Bitcoin Lightning Network cropped up as well as DeFi protocols including Uniswap.
In terms of education, Mary Beth Buchanan, president, Americas and chief legal officer at crypto risk and intellegence fMerkle Science, commented:
“A lot of people are not being served in traditional finance. The winner in the disruption race will be the project that has the ability to reach those in the community who are not currently accessing DeFi, and there has to be education.”
Ambre Soubiran, CEO of digital asset data provider Kaiko, agreed that the solution to broadening DeFi’s reach is through “education, onboarding, and knowing the risks. People want the easy ability to reset a password as opposed to remembering 24 words.”
Daniel Peled, founder and president of public blockchain Orbs, is passionate about bringing financial inclusion to “the two billion people around the world,” but “the industry is early.” He echoed Soubiran’s point that “many people don’t have access to DeFi applications; the products are complicated and tech-heavy. People still don’t know how to secure their funds securely.”
However, for Peled, it is more than just educating people, it’s about providing a level-playing field on which everyone follows the same rules:
“There is huge quantitive easing and 70% of all the money in the world has been printed in the past two years. The young don’t hold existing scarce assets such as real estate, equity, or gold; and they are not accredited investors who can get in on opportunities at the early stage. They (the young) are the ones adopting DeFi because they see the opportunities compared to other alternatives.”
Ultimately, the creation of Bitcoin (BTC) sought to remedy such issues. As the first successful separation of money from the state, it possesses a clear issuance rate that renders the monetary network more transparent and equal for participants.
Michael Moro, CEO of digital currency broker Genesis Global, shared Peled’s view on demographics:
“The folks in the west are the most engaged into various DeFi protocols. The user interface and experience isn’t great as you have to be fairly tech savvy to be able to engage directly with Defi today. It generally needs to become a lot easier for folks to engage.”
Ultimately, the panel eventually agreed that a combination of education and onboarding will pave the way for greater financial inclusion.
Related: DeFi vs. CeFi: Comparing decentralized to centralized finance
Regulation is high on the agenda in 2022. But it should ignite more growth in the space, because “as long as the on ramps and off ramps are regulated, then there will be a lot more freedom,” Moro continued.”
Soubiran shared a similar view regarding onramps: “There is an opportunity for the existing institutions to leverage blockchain technology and the underlying infrastructure in order to provide the same services they are providing today.”
As for the future of the DeFi and CeFi space, Nicolas Bertrand, former head of derivatives markets and commodities at Borsa Italiana had the last word. When asked whether the level of innovation could disrupt traditional cefi services, he replied, “Definitely.” He went on to say, “what happened to the telegraph after the advent of computers?”
Huobi Group, a major global blockchain company behind the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, is celebrating its eighth birthday in a somewhat unusual way.
The company will hold a series of events as part of its eighth-anniversary celebrations, including giveaway promotions and a space travel ticket, Huobi told to Cointelegraph on Wednesday.
Huobi will hold a contest that will offer one lucky winner an experience to literally travel into space. All Huobi Global users across the world are eligible to participate in a free contest but there are certain limitations.
“There are still health requirements that have to be passed in order to go to space but these details will be revealed at a later point,” a spokesperson for Huobi told Cointelegraph.
The company declined to disclose what space agency will provide this space trip for Huobi, or whether it will happen through a private firm like Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin or Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
“The message we’re trying to send with this contest is that the concept of space is open to everyone, and this reflects the openness of cryptocurrencies and Huobi’s platform,” the representative added.
Continuing until late November, Huobi’s anniversary celebrations will also include the company’s annual online forum, the Huobi Summit 2021: Blockchain and Beyond. The event will take place on Nov. 8, featuring panel discussions with industry experts alongside government officials.
The list of speakers will include Alan Greenspan, a former chairman of the United States Federal Reserve. Greenspan will discuss global inflation as many investors have turned to cryptocurrencies in search of higher yields.
Greenspan is known as a major proponent of Bitcoin (BTC), comparing Bitcoin to that of the early form of money in the U.S. called the “continental currency.” He also criticized the idea of the central bank digital currency in 2019.
Related:Huobi closes crypto derivatives as part of wind-down for Chinese traders
Huobi Group co-founder Du Jun noted that the company will continue to expand its global footprint to introduce innovative products and localized services, starting with markets Turkey and Brazil. To reinforce its global expansion, Huobi is looking to increase its global headcount from 2,300 employees to 3,000 by the end of 2021.
Huobi was recently forced to exit China after the Chinese government enforced another major cryptocurrency ban in late September. As of mid-October, Huobi’s businesses operated outside of China amounted around 70% in terms of trading volumes and revenues.
Major global technology conference Web Summit is returning to Portugal with an in-person event to delve into the world of fintech and cryptocurrency.
On Nov. 1, Web Summit 2021 will kick off in Lisbon, Web Summit’s first physical conference since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event covers topics from cryptocurrencies to geopolitics and is anticipated to bring together 40,000 attendees, running until Nov. 4.
Crypto an integral part of Web Summit
Web Summit’s fintech expert, Shauna Kiely, told Cointelegraph that the crypto industry has emerged as one of the conference’s most-discussed topics in recent years, largely covered at Web Summit’s fintech stage MoneyConf:
“Our events change year on year, but the one area that has remained topical is crypto. We have seen a huge shift in the fintech world from the various different digital currencies and decentralized finance to the launch of nonfungible tokens and the question of how sustainable crypto actually is for the environment.”
Web Summit has hosted a wide number of panels, talks and activities related to crypto and blockchain in recent years, featuring major industry speakers such as Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, Revolut co-founder Nikolay Storonsky, crypto advocate Akon, and others.
In an online Web Summit interview last year, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman predicted that digital currencies will become mainstream one day. Major blockchain data provider and wallet Blockchain.com ran a $100,000 giveaway on the Stellar blockchain at Web Summit 2018.
Web Summit 2021 crypto and blockchain agenda
The upcoming Web Summit conference will bring together executives from major companies and platforms in the crypto industry, including speakers from hardware crypto wallet supplier Ledger, smart contract platform Tezos and decentralized web browser Brave.
On Nov. 2, veteran crypto investor Tim Draper will discuss crypto investment issues with Tezos co-founder Kathleen Breitman and Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier. Breitman will also address crypto mining in the context of global environmental concerns with BitGreen CEO Adam Carver. On Nov. 4, Brave CEO Brendan Eich will talk about the decentralized web and blockchain’s capabilities to protect user data.
The upcoming Web Summit event will also feature issues related to nonfungible tokens (NFT) and decentralized finance (DeFi).
On Nov. 4, award-winning rap star and musician Tinie Tempah will discuss the impact of NFTs on the modern music business. Nicolas Julia, co-founder and CEO of blockchain-based fantasy soccer game Sorare, will also talk about NFTs in the entertainment industry. Illia Polosukhin, co-founder of the DeFi platform Near Protocol, will speak about the decentralization of the internet enabled by blockchain technology.
Some of the top speakers of the Web Summit 2021, such as World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, could have something to say about the crypto industry. In July 2021, he sold an NFT of the web’s source code for $5.4 million at fine art auction house Sotheby’s. Berners-Lee will discuss the next era of the web during a panel discussion on Nov. 4.
Cointelegraph editor-in-chief Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr is participating as well. She will discuss matters related to online commerce with Drift co-founder David Cancel and Red Points CEO Laura Urquizu on Nov. 3.
Originally held in Dublin, Ireland, Web Summit moved to Lisbon back in 2016 amid a big jump in tech companies and remote workers choosing to move to Portugal. The country is now also one of the world’s most vaccinated jurisdictions, boasting the second-highest vaccination rate in the world after the United Arab Emirates, according to Our World In Data.
Web Summit 2021 organizers are working closely with Portuguese health authorities to ensure they provide a safe event and comply with local COVID-19 restrictions, including mandatory masks for events. Official vaccine certificates or a negative COVID-19 test will be required to attend Web Summit. Where official certificates cannot be provided, organizers will require a negative PCR or antigen test, which will only remain valid for 72 hours.
Related:Crypto traders fight in WBS Dubai for Amir Khan’s charity boxing match
“We couldn’t be more excited to return in person. Seeing people safely connecting in person again and experiencing the magic of face-to-face interactions will be incredible. Live events are bouncing back across the world. We’re seeing thousands of speakers, startups, investors and world-class media eager as ever to meet people in person again,” Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave said.
The Web Summit 2021 conference follows another major industry event, the World Blockchain Summit in Dubai hosted in mid-October. The conference brought together some of the industry’s most prominent executives and investors, including Celsius Network founder Alex Mashinsky, Blockstream chief strategy officer Samson Mow, Iota Foundation founder Serguei Popov and others.
Although the price of Bitcoin (BTC) continues to hover around $30,000, industry experts are noting that there is a bullish long-term view.
To put this into perspective, Alex Mashinsky, chief executive officer and co-founder of Celsius – the centralized cryptocurrency lending platform – told Cointelegraph at Bitcoin 2021 in Miami that he sees Bitcoin reaching $160,000 this year, or possibly a bit lower. “We haven’t seen the highs yet for 2021,” Mashinsky said.
Mashinsky further remarked that the crypto market was bound for a correction, following Bitcoin’s recent all-time high of over $63,000:
“When you go too high, too fast, you are bound for a correction. You can see my tweets in both March and February saying ‘we’re going to have a crash, we’re going to have a correction.’ I predicted $30,000. Bitcoin is like a spring – we stretch it too much and we put too much leverage. Too many people got greedy.”
‘Elon Musk is manipulating the market’
In addition to discussing the price of Bitcoin, Mashinsky commented on Elon Musk’s recent tweets about Bitcoin. According to Mashinsky, Musk is not helping the crypto community, but rather manipulating the market. As such, he noted that Musk is simply a “tourist” in the land of crypto.
Mashinsky also noted that Tesla accepting Bitcoin payments will benefit Musk, but not consumers:
“If the richest guy in the world is willing to exchange a Bitcoin for a Tesla, you have to ask yourself, who is getting the good deal? The minute you buy that Tesla, it’s worth less than what you paid for it, but Bitcoin is going to continue to increase in value. So that transaction is good for Elon, but it’s not good for you.”
Celsius moves business operations to the U.S.
Roni Cohen Pavon, chief revenue officer at Celsius, further told Cointelegraph that Celsius will be moving its business operations from the United Kingdom to the United States in the coming months.
According to Cohen Pavon, the shift to the U.S. was promoted by the recent regulatory uncertainty in the U.K. for crypto companies. “We came to the conclusion that the U.K. is not the most stable place for Celsius in terms of regulations and geopolitical perspectives,” he said.
Although Celsius has had a physical office in the U.S. since 2019, Cohen Pavon explained that Celsius will now become a limited liability company, or LLC. “Nothing changes with our services – we are now an LLC instead of Celsius Network Limited. I believe the transition to engage as a U.S. entity will be completed by early or mid August.”
As nonfungible token (NFT) art continues to develop as an industry, a new trend is quickly emerging: physical NFT galleries featuring digital, nonfungible pieces of unique artwork. Most recently, the largest Bitcoin (BTC) event in history — the Bitcoin 2021 conference — featured a peer-to-peer pop-up NFT art gallery with artwork from over 30 different crypto artists.
Teodora Atanasova, VIP relations manager and founding team member of Nexo — the company that backed the Bitcoin Art Gallery — told Cointelegraph that over 100 pieces of art were sold during the two-day conference: “This demonstrates the impact physical NFT galleries can have on both the traditional art world and the crypto industry.” She added: “We need to bring crypto to people’s eyes and touch.”
Popular crypto-friendly cities like Miami are not the only places where NFT art galleries are appearing. Earlier this month, an NFT art gallery pop-up took place in Dallas, TX for the first time. The event was hosted by Artist Uprising, a Dallas-based talent agency for creatives, and featured several individual art pieces by breakout NFT artists who have collectively grossed over $1 million in online digital art sales in the last month alone.
Merrick Porchéddu, CEO of Artist Uprising, told Cointelegraph that the event attracted over 200 attendees, with NFT sales still ongoing in open auctions:
“Many prints were sold, along with two fine art canvases. The ‘Making of NFT Gallery IRL’ documentary was also filmed (which will hopefully explain so much behind what NFT art is all about and why it is here to stay). Also, we now have three districts wanting to bring our NFT gallery to their spaces.”
Understanding the need for physical NFT art galleries
Yet while physical NFT art galleries are a notable step for the crypto industry, some art aficionados, or traditionalists, may question the importance of, or even the necessity of, NFT art galleries in the real world.
For instance, an article in The Art Newspaper quotes Saskia Draxler, co-owner of German art gallery Galerie Nagel Draxler, who noted that the digital artist Beeple — who auctioned off a piece of NFT art at auction house Christie’s for over $69 million — will most likely not impact art history. She added that “NFTs will not replace physical art any more than NFTs from a Nike sneaker will replace real sneakers.”
Related: NFT ‘art revolution’: Beeple on his 5,040-day labor of love
While this is just one opinion, some believe that the confusion around NFTs and the need for physical galleries may stem from a lack of understanding. Carrie Eldridge, founder and CEO of ATO Platform — an asset management service providing royalties to artists, galleries and nonprofits — told Cointelegraph that there are many pragmatists and conservatives who are not ready to embrace NFTs as a legitimate medium. “They also don’t believe that NFTs provide a solution to challenges that have plagued artists for generations, like value tracking, royalty collection, collector analytics, value appreciation for collectors and insurance companies and many more complex issues,” she said.
Although this may be the case, Eldridge noted that it’s important to consider perspectives from both traditional collectors and the crypto community when it comes to NFT art: “At ATO we are enthusiastic about the innovation and at the same time, are vigilant and protective of the art industry and those who have toiled for decades to make it what it is today.”
While Eldridge brings up a valid argument, it’s important to point out the reason that physical NFT galleries have appeared in the first place. While some may think that these venues opened simply as a result of lifted COVID-19 restrictions, industry experts beg to differ.
For example, Marc Billings, founder of Blackdove — the company that launched Miami’s first NFT art gallery earlier in June — told Cointelegraph that NFT art galleries are no different than traditional galleries in form and function. However, he noted that traditional art galleries have failed to meet the needs of the NFT artist, both in terms of technology and collector interest, thereby opening the door to dedicated NFT galleries. Billings said:
“NFT artwork more closely resembles a moving painting than a traditional work of video work, which has been missed by the more conservative art world. Artists and curators are starved for wall space to showcase their works and voices that the NFT gallery is uniquely positioned to handle.”
In addition to digital NFT artwork being displayed in real-world spaces, NFT artists have also started to create physical pieces that are associated with their digital creations. Not only do physical NFT art galleries allow these pieces to be displayed, but they also help attract interest from the mainstream.
For instance, NFT artist Taylor Good — also known as “Warhodl” — told Cointelegraph that by creating physical soup cans tied to digital NFTs, his pop-up at Bitcoin 2021 attracted collectors who were new to the NFT space.
Echoing Good, crypto artist Sergey Gordienko — also known as “Do What You Love Artist” — told Cointelegraph that he is offering physical pieces of NFT art to traditional collectors along with their digital versions. “I think this brings additional value to the physical art piece,” he said.
NFT art and the importance of blockchain
While it’s important to recognize the necessity of physical NFT galleries, Billings also pointed out that blockchain technology plays an important role in the overall ecosystem: “Blockchain allows the hard work of the various members of the community to be recognized and compensated accordingly.”
Indeed, blockchain is one of the most important features behind NFTs in general, as it has created an entirely new financial model for these assets. This has enabled creatives to achieve a larger portion of profits, as value is exchanged across a blockchain network. In addition, proof of ownership is achieved for collectors because all transactions are conducted and recorded on the blockchain.
Good explained that NFT art has allowed him to receive profits in real time, instead of waiting for galleries to accept, price and then sell the item:
“The age-old issue as an artist is knowing your worth, asking for it, and actually receiving your worth. While NFT’s are simply a utility of the blockchain, the creative world is lucky to be one of the first vehicles or use cases, because what NFTs essentially are is a direct value exchange.”
Moreover, the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Aave is currently working on developing a platform to use NFTs as collateral. Jordan Lazaro Gustave, chief operating officer of Aave, told Cointelegraph that the company views NFTs as a store of value, typically in the form of artwork. He noted that Aave plans to use NFT art as collateral, similar to the way a bank would offer a credit line to someone wanting to purchase a piece of fine art.
All eyes are on Bitcoin (BTC), as the largest cryptocurrency shot up past $40,000 on June 14. Unsurprisingly, the price increase happened shortly after Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the electric-car company would potentially accept BTC payments once more miners confirm green energy initiatives.
Yet while Musk’s tweet may have driven the price of Bitcoin up, some industry experts believe that Bitcoin is not a cryptocurrency that should be leveraged. For example, during an exclusive interview at Bitcoin 2021 in Miami, Caitlin Long, founder and CEO of Avanti Financial, told Cointelegraph that unlike other cryptocurrencies, solvency matters more than leverage and liquidity when it comes to Bitcoin:
“Once you get into Bitcoin and you start losing money, I consider that to be really valuable tuition for really learning what Bitcoin is. We’ve got a lot of new people in this industry now who are going through those lessons, and hopefully folks will learn from them. Especially in this bull market, there’s been so much leverage added to the system. For those of us who’ve been around a long time, we’ve learned these lesson a long time ago – You don’t leverage Bitcoin.”
A regulatory push for Bitcoin and stablecoins
In addition to advising that Bitcoin shouldn’t be leveraged, Long mentioned that there are new regulations for Bitcoin coming out of Washington D.C., something which she believes has been coordinated with other government bodies. “It was Ray Dalio who said that Bitcoin’s biggest threat is success, because that means the regulators are going to be cracking down,” said Long.
Although this may be, Long pointed out that regulations will not ban cryptocurrency or Bitcoin — as long as users comply. She said:
“The punchline is that if you pay your taxes and you get regulated, and you don’t take shortcuts, you’re going to be okay. Those that are trying to commit crimes, or defraud consumers, or not pay taxes, and not comply with the law, then those people are not going to be okay.”
Long also noted that regulations around stablecoins are a priority for lawmakers. In particular, this will ensure that stablecoins don’t infect the U.S. dollar payment system with liquidity risk. To put this into perspective, Long mentioned the accidental hard fork that happened for a few hours in Ethereum (ETH) during November of last year, saying:
“At the time I was thinking what would happen if all the Ethereum ERC20 stablecoins had to be redeemed within the span of minutes because they had to be burned on one fork and reissued on another? That is not a risk that the traditional financial system has been thinking about.”
Moreover, Long commented on the risks associated with stablecoins back in May, warning that the entire stablecoin market has the potential to bring down other tokens upon a credit market correction.
While countries like El Salvador have welcomed Bitcoin (BTC) with open arms, other regions are pushing to legally ban the digital currency. Although this may be, some industry experts believe that Bitcoin is here to stay — for good.
For example, during an exclusive interview at Bitcoin 2021 Miami, Yoni Assia, chief executive officer of eToro, told Cointelegraph that he considers Bitcoin to be the “king of crypto,” noting that the most popular digital currency is here to stay:
“I’ll be surprised if we don’t see a significant rise in the price of Bitcoin over the next three to five years, as there are still 5 billion people in the world that basically don’t have good local currency.”
Yet in order for this dream to become a reality, Guy Hirsch, managing director of eToro U.S., told Cointelegraph that people need to believe in the morality of decentralizing money:
“I think that the moral case for Bitcoin and teaching people that it is the right thing to do is to basically separate state and money. It will ultimately create that vision that we all aspire for.”
Regulations: bridging the old world with the new world
In order to prepare for a decentralized future, Assia mentioned that eToro is building a bridge between traditional finance and the crypto industry. As such, Assia explained that the combination of crypto assets and equities is important. “The majority of our clients trade both cryptocurrencies as well as stocks in the platform. I think that’s definitely a trend that we’ll see continuing in the future,” he said.
Assia further mentioned that it’s good to see more institutions entering the crypto space, especially when it comes to innovating within decentralized finance, or DeFi:
“DeFi a bit of a wild west right now. No regulation, no real financial institutions, but a lot of amazing innovation. I think we’re going to see a lot of that innovation going into traditional or regulated financial institutions, centralized companies to be able to offer that innovation directly to consumers.”
Moreover, Assia mentioned that he thinks there will be a transfer of over $100 trillion dollars over the next 10 years into native digital assets. He noted this will be spurred by the notion that nearly all financial assets will eventually be incorporated onto blockchain networks moving forward.
Bitcoin 2021 Miami continues following Friday’s massive opening of the historic event.
The events kick off at 9:00 am Eastern Time (1:00 pm UTC) with opening remarks by a Miami-Dade County commissioner. Cointelegraph will continue posting Bitcoin 2021 updates on Twitter as well as the YouTube channel.
One of the key speakers for day two will be Tony Hawk, an American skateboarding icon and entrepreneur. Hawk made a major move into the cryptocurrency industry earlier this year, releasing an NFT drop via Ethernity Chain in March featuring a tokenized video of his final 540-degree ollie.
The famous skateboarder will deliver a speech on “When A Counterculture Goes Mainstream” at the Nakamoto Stage at 9:45 am ET (1:45 am UTC). Hawk will also have a meet-and-greet session offering attendees the chance to get a limited-edition skateboard deck signed by the legend.
Hawk’s speech will be followed by a panel discussion devoted to cryptocurrency mining — one of the hottest topics in the crypto community. Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary will discuss crypto mining by public companies with Marathon CEO Fred Thiel, Riot Blockchain CEO Jason Les, and Frank Holmes, executive chairman of Hive Blockchain Technologies.
What a first day for #Bitcoin2021! We were there with our amazing team, and want to remind you of the most important moments. Ready for day 2? https://t.co/JDwaIn31Ct
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) June 5, 2021
Saturday’s event will also feature Bobby Lee, the former CEO of China’s first cryptocurrency exchange, BTCC, which was founded back in 2011. Currently the CEO of cryptocurrency hardware wallet Ballet, Lee will participate in the “Onboarding One Billion Bitcoiners” panel at the main stage at 11:40 am ET (3:40 pm UTC). He will later give a speech on the “Freedom of HODLing” on the End of Fiat Stage at 3:00 pm ET (7:00 pm UTC).
Lightning Labs co-founder and CEO Elizabeth Stark will continue the event with a panel discussion titled “Bitcoin For Billions, Not Billionaires” alongside strategic investor Lyn Alden. Other notable Bitcoin 2021 day-two speakers include Bitcoin programmer Jimmy Song, Galaxy Digital CEO Michael Novogratz, Paxos co-founder and CEO Charles Cascarilla, OKCoin CEO Hong Fang, and Google product director Steve Lee.
Talking now at #Bitcoin2021 with Senator @cynthiamlummis and Congressman @warrendavidson about Bitcoin as a store of value.
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) June 4, 2021
The last Nakamoto Stage panel called “Evolution Of Exchanges” will start at 3:35 pm ET (7:35 pm UTC) and will feature Avanti CEO Caitlin Long, Alameda Research founder Sam Bankman-Fried, Huobi Global vice president Ciara Sun, and ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees.
Bitcoin 2021, the biggest Bitcoin event in history with a sold-out crowd of at least 12,000 attendees in Miami, is kicking off with some of the world’s biggest industry players.
The conference will be one of the largest crypto gatherings to emerge following the COVID-19 pandemic, with organizers expecting more than 50,000 attendees. An unofficial part of the conference kicked off Thursday with a “Whale Day” featuring Galaxy CEO Mike Novogratz and BitGO CEO Mike Belshe.
The event is positioned to be something “more like a music festival,” featuring multiple stages, including the main “Nakamoto Stage” as well as side stages like “Stacking Sats Stage” and “End Of Fiat Stage.”
Bitcoin 2021 relocates to “Bitcoin capital” Miami
The conference is hosted by Bitcoin Magazine, a crypto publication co-founded by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin back in 2012. Initially set to take place in Los Angeles, California, Bitcoin 2021 was relocated to Miami earlier this year as mayor Francis Suarez began campaigning to establish Miami as the “world’s cryptocurrency capital.”
“Mayor Francis Suarez is making a play to establish Miami as the Bitcoin capital of the world, so naturally he’s asked us to bring the largest Bitcoin conference in history to his city, as soon as it’s safe for attendees and residents,” the event organizers said in March.
Day one notable speakers
Mayor Suarez himself is set to be the opening speaker of the main conference day one, kicking off the event with opening remarks at the main Nakamoto Stage at 9:00 am ET.
Cointelegraph will be on the ground covering the latest developments live on Twitter. But if you’d like to experience the atmosphere of the event, do make sure to tune into the regular live streams hosted on our YouTube channel. Cointelegraph team will host the opening day livestream starting at 10:10 am ET:
The event will feature some United States government officials including Senator Cynthia Lummis and U.S. pro-crypto Representative Warren Davidson. Sworn into the Senate in January, Lummis showcased her support for Bitcoin (BTC) earlier this year, adopting the laser eyes photo as part of a laser-eye flash mob on Twitter. Davidson and Lummis will talk at a panel “Bringing Bitcoin Innovation Home To America” at 3:35 pm ET.
Bitcoin 2021 will also feature major former U.S. government regulators including Chris Giancarlo, a former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Brian Brooks, a former acting comptroller of the currency of the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the current Binance US CEO. Giancarlo and Brooks are set to discuss financial innovation at 1:45 pm ET.
Other notable Nakamoto Stage speakers include BitGold creator Nick Szabo, Gemini founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, former presidential candidate and congressmember Ron Paul, and major crypto and blockchain investor Tim Draper.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is set to discuss the crypto industry’s opportunities to bank the unbanked with Human Rights Foundation chief strategy officer Alex Gladstein at 12:25 pm ET.
Some of the world’s biggest celebrities are not missing on the major Bitcoin 2021 event. Paris Hilton announced her attendance in a Thursday tweet, stating that she loves being a part of this the crypto community. She made a major move into the cryptocurrency industry earlier this year, stating that she was bullish on non-fungible tokens in her April article about NFTs.
The #CryptoQueen has arrived in #Miami for @TheBitcoinConf! ✈️ So excited to go to the #BitcoinConference to hear all the leaders in this space speak. I love being a part of this amazing community. And can’t wait to perform tonight at @11Miami! See you there! pic.twitter.com/m24f8WpeIV
— Paris Hilton (@ParisHilton) June 3, 2021
Stay tuned to Cointelegraph for updates and coverage of the most notable crypto players at this year’s Bitcoin 2021 conference.