Running of the Bulls (Crypto)
For years, I’ve walked down Broadway on my way to work and passed the Charging Bull in the Financial District of Manhattan. Being a native of the area, I never really paid it much attention; it was always just in the background for me. Occasionally on my walk home, I would see long lines of tourists taking pictures with the sculpture that has come to be a symbol of Wall Street.
It wasn’t until I attended Bitcoin 2022 in Miami that I realized the significance of the Bull of Wall Street. It was there in early April that I saw the robot version of the Charging Bull — a clear symbol of how far the financial industry has come and the innovations that we’ve achieved with currency. I was so intrigued with the robot version of the bull that I immediately had to take a selfie with it. And in that moment, I felt a lot like the tourists who I would walk past every day in New York.
Over the last several years, the cryptocurrency ecosystem has significantly evolved and matured, and this maturity was on full display at the Bitcoin 2022 conference. Miami is making itself known as a cryptocurrency capital of the world, with Mayor Francis Suarez even tweeting in 2021 that “The City of Miami believes in #Bitcoin.” In Miami, I truly felt the energy, creativity, and excitement surrounding the promise of cryptocurrency.
The technological and the financial sophistication of the presenters and attendees at Bitcoin 2022 was impressive. Conference speakers included tech billionaires like Peter Thiel and former presidential candidates including Andrew Yang and Jo Joegensen, along with US senators. They spoke about the challenges with our current monetary systems, including the excessive printing of money, redistribution of wealth, and rising inflation.
I was also impressed with the backgrounds of the startup founders who were pitching their companies. Many of them had tenures working at major corporations like Visa and at traditional exchanges, and their grasp of the financial markets, regulation, and technology was impressive. They spoke about various topics showcasing the innovative work they’re doing, including building software that helps tighten spreads by aggregating multiple liquidity pools. These founders are truly building new crypto businesses to power the next dimension of financial markets.
As I walked the conference exhibit floor, it was a sea of everything crypto and it became immediately clear that a robust ecosystem is forming with many players in the space. Of course, there were vendors one would expect like bitcoin miners, hardware wallet manufacturers, and exchanges. But I was surprised to see tax and accounting software companies with products to track and account for cryptocurrency tax reporting. The variety of people and companies that I encountered showcased the broadening scope of crypto and how the space is widening its reach.
My main takeaway from the Bitcoin 2022 conference was how fast this market has evolved, along with the sophistication of the players in the market. I look forward to staying close to the evolution of the crypto ecosystem and returning to Bitcoin 2023.
Opinions expressed are my own.
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