Last year's event hit headlines around the world after El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele announced that his country was adopting BTC as legal tender. Will Bitcoin 2022 bring more big news?
It’s described as “the world’s largest gathering of Bitcoiners” — a “pilgrimage for those seeking greater freedom and individual sovereignty.
The Bitcoin 2022 conference isn’t afraid to blow its own trumpet… and given how last year’s event hit headlines around the world, that’s understandable.
At the 2021 gathering in Miami, President Nayib Bukele announced that El Salvador would become the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. As promised, the controversial policy became law just three months later — and it was greeted by protests and some technical hiccups.
That conference had taken place in June when Bitcoiners were licking their wounds after BTC plunged from $64,000 to $34,000 in a little under two months.
A lot has happened since then. November 2021 brought a new all-time high of $68,789 — but 2022’s arrival saw the world’s biggest cryptocurrency once again plunge to lows of $33,184. Bull market euphoria has been replaced with a cocktail of worries. Not only has a new coronavirus variant spooked the markets, but red-hot inflation and the invasion of Ukraine have helped Bitcoin’s correlation with the S&P 500 recently hit the highest level in 17 months.
We’re in Miami to bring you coverage from Bitcoin 2022. We’ll have minute-by-minute updates on our first-ever live blog — as well as breaking news stories — on CoinMarketCap Alexandria. Plus, there will be a new episode of the CoinMarketRecap podcast every day during the conference, featuring interviews with top guests and an analysis of all the big announcements. Here’s a look at six things to expect during Bitcoin 2022.
1. A Four-Day Extravaganza
Past Bitcoin conferences have been two days long — but this year’s event at the Miami Beach Convention Center is going to be a four-day extravaganza.
It’s going to run from April 6–9. Wednesday is Industry Day — “bringing together the entire BTC ecosystem of companies and projects for a day of collaboration, networking and learning.”
Thursday and Friday are the main days of the conference, with a jam-packed agenda to boot. Keynote speeches are going to take place on the Nakamoto Stage, which has a capacity of 15,000 people. The smaller Genesis Stage is going to focus on “the early days of Bitcoin and its emergent community,” while the Mining Stage will be devoted to discussing the nuts and bolts of the ecosystem in depth.
Saturday is the Sound Money Festival, featuring sets from deadmau5, Run The Jewels, Logic and Steve Aoki… as well as a comedy hour. Four couples are even being given the chance to get married.
2. A Star-Studded List of Speakers
Some of the world’s best-known Bitcoiners — including MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor, The Bitcoin Standard author Saifedean Ammous, Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, and Galaxy Digital’s Mike Novogratz — will be taking to the stage.
El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele is also going to speak at the conference, and dozens of announcements are expected from companies in attendance.
3. Some Big Surprises?
At this point, it’s unclear whether Bitcoin 2022 will deliver another “El Salvador moment” — a significant announcement that marks a crucial milestone in the adoption of Bitcoin.
However, there’s been feverish speculation that something big is brewing. Rumours are swirling that Apple might be about to embrace Bitcoin following a slew of cryptic tweets from Strike’s CEO Jack Mallers — but then again, such speculation has led to nothing in the past.
Last month, Samson Mow — who recently stepped down as Blockstream’s chief strategy officer so he could focus on nation-state Bitcoin adoption — also told his Twitter followers that he, President Bukele and Mallers “are all trying to outdo each other for big surprises.”
It’ll be interesting to see whether any of the announcements made during the event actually influence Bitcoin’s price.
4. Mainstream Media Interest
One of the biggest side effects of the bull run that began in October 2020 is heightened interest from mainstream media outlets. According to Bitcoin 2022’s website, journalists from CNN, CBS, Forbes, CNBC, Bloomberg and The New York Times are going to be in attendance (as well as CoinMarketCap, naturally.)
This is significant in and of itself. It suggests that BTC is being taken more seriously than it was a few years ago — a reflection of the fact that the cryptocurrency is now owned by tens of millions of people, including countries and institutional investors.
Overall, the conference is expected to be “the most widely covered Bitcoin event of all time” — and given the conference is being live-streamed, more than seven million viewers are also expected worldwide.
5. The Unexpected
It goes without saying that Bitcoiners are a colourful bunch. And while many of the attendees will be more than happy getting bogged down in technical minutiae, others will be entertaining the crowd and causing a splash on social media. Bitcoin 2022 is guaranteed to be far from boring.
There’s one important rule to bear in mind: it’s a Bitcoin-only conference… meaning that discussions about altcoins are frowned upon. As an FAQ on the event’s website states:
“Stay focused and on topic at the event. Save conversations about other protocols and cryptocurrencies for outside of the conference.”
That won’t stop people from trying. At Bitcoin 2021, one aspiring TikTokker managed to storm the conference stage and tear off his clothes to reveal a Shiba Inu T-shirt. He was dragged away by security while shouting “DOGECOIN TO THE MOON” as the crowd booed.
Bitcoiners don’t tend to like being told what to do — and at last year’s event, few wore face masks. Days later, there were fears that the conference may have been a coronavirus super-spreader event. The Block’s VP of research Larry Cermak tweeted at the time:
“Everyone who I hung out with in Miami got COVID. Luckily for me I hung out about one feet above everyone.”
While vaccination rates are a lot higher than last year, a new subvariant of Omicron — BA.2 — could make its presence felt among attendees.
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