Bitcoin struggles to find its star power in Miami
inside bitcoin miami bitcoinbroderick fastcompany What happens when you’re no longer the hot young cryptocurrency? That’s the question hanging over the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami this week. The mega-event for the original crypto coin’s biggest true believers is lacking a bit of the buzz and excitement that the outside world has come to expect from the blockchain universe. Maybe that’s due to a real lack of actual celebrities who want to come out and endorse the technology, but it could also be that Bitcoin, beyond its admittedly large market cap, has yet to really capture the zeitgeist the way other crypto projects have.
All over Miami Beach and the hip Wynwood neighborhood, crypto-themed pop-ups try to create some cohesive sense that the city is the home for the Bitcoin cultural movement, but it all feels a bit wonky. And that’s equally true for the conference, housed at a big convention center a few blocks from the water. There’s also a real sense of desperation for some kind of star power that can elevate Bitcoin from digital gold for the tencho-libertarian set to the true mainstream cultural movement it needs to be in order to actually catch on. The conference’s expo center features a big fake volcano and a mechanical bull (the latter of which offers a chance at winning one whole Bitcoin), but there’s not a ton to do beyond that.
Cryptocurrency exploded back into the mainstream in January 2021, hot off the heels of a similar, but different viral finance fad: meme stocks. But it wasn’t Bitcoin that was responsible for the 2021 crypto boom, it was Ethereum, the flashier alternative cryptocurrency that supports the majority of NFTs. Since then, Ethereum has continued to be the main driver of popular crypto culture. It’s what backs up the Bored Ape Yacht Club. It’s how decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs, organize, including the one that tried to buy a copy of the constitution late last year. When Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton are on TV talking about NFTs, they’re talking about Ethereum, not Bitcoin.
And so this cultural spotlight on Ethereum has left Bitcoin feeling a little stale. That’s led to a palpable void in Miami this week—one that conference organizer BTC Media and the various sponsors and vendors are hell-bent on filling with a bizarre mix of fairly prominent voices from the world of finance and random celebrities. The end result is an event that feels like a low-level comic convention that’s being held in the same event space as an economic forum. It’s confusing and disjointed: There are presentations on the Federal Reserve and economic theory, but also personal sovereignty and cancel culture.
Bitcoin 2022’s highest-profile guests include Jordan B. Peterson, the controversial right-wing psychologist; former presidential candidate Andrew Yang; Shark Tank‘s Kevin O’Leary; Paypal and Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel; a handful of well-known athletes; and, of course, a bevy of homegrown crypto influencers like entrepreneur Anthony Pompliano. (El Salvador’s crypto-loving president Nayib Bukelele was supposed to appear, but dropped out at the last minute.) The guest with the largest selfie line in the conference’s showroom on Thursday was Barstool Sports founder, Dave Portnoy, the controversial self-described “baron of Bitcoin,” whose pandemic-era trading livestreams made him a popular figure in the crypto world.
‘WHAT ROLE DO INFLUENCERS AND ICONS PLAY?’
Bitcoin may be a household name, but it’s still far off from replacing other currencies—a techno-utopian outcome that’s the stuff of crypto evangelists’ fantasies. This belief, that Bitcoin will one day usurp even the dollar, has almost religious undertones within the community. Yet for that to happen, Bitcoin still has to become a lot more mainstream. And the best way for it to do that, apparently, is to connect the currency to influencers and celebrities.
In fact, the issue of what influencers or celebrities can do for the Bitcoin community came up directly on Thursday morning, during a panel featuring Odell Beckham Jr., Serena Williams, Aaron Rodgers, and Cash App’s crypto product lead, Miles Suter. Beckham and Rodgers have both made headlines recently for taking their salaries in Bitcoin; Williams is heavily involved in the Bitcoin startup world.
“What role do influencers and icons play in [the ascent of Bitcoin]?” Suter asked the group onstage.
All three guests all agreed that Bitcoin was the future, talking about how they thought it was a good long-term investment and how it gave them more financial freedom, but that’s about as deep as the conversation really got.
“You might not be able to afford $40,000, but you can stack some sats,” Rodgers said. (“Sats” is short for “Satoshis,” a unit of Bitcoin equivalent to one 100 millionth, the name derived from the crypto coin’s still-unknown inventor, who went by Satoshi Nakamoto online.) “If the Fed keeps printing trillions of dollars, the best defense against inflation is Bitcoin.”
It was pretty far away from the high energy radiating from the world of NFTs, and it was clear that the event’s bigger names aren’t sure what else to do other than just tell the audience to buy Bitcoin over and over again. A lot of people make fun of NFTs, but they’re an easier cultural product to point to and talk about than trying to have a fun conversation about lightning networks.
In fact, Cash App’s Suter said one of the company’s major initiatives this year is to try and make Bitcoin more relatable, which includes easier payment processes and a more intuitive QR code system. He also showed off a Spotify playlist of songs titled, “Cash App.” Though, cutting into some of the hype was the fact that Cash App suffered a major data breach the night before the conference.
‘THIS YEAR, I’M GOING TO START INVESTING A LOT MORE’
One startup with a decent-sized presence at the convention, a company called TradeZing, is trying to figure out how to grow major influencers and connect them with existing mainstream celebrities. “The word ‘NFT’ has now become mainstream. It’s made its way into SNL skits,” TradeZing founder Jordan Edelson told Fast Company. “There’s a hunger now, you know, for that type of information and content, but there’s no great source for [crypto investing influencers].
covid19 stmicroelectronics malaysia
covid19 stmicroelectronics malaysia The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has had a significant impact on the world’s economy and businesses. One major organization that has been affected is STMicroelectronics (ST). This article will discuss the changes that ST has made in Malaysia due to the pandemic. It will look at how the company has reacted to the crisis, what strategies they have implemented in response, and how it affects employees of their Malaysian branch. covid19 stmicroelectronics malaysia
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has wreaked havoc on economies across the world, and Malaysia is no exception. As a result, many companies have had to make difficult decisions to help protect their employees and finances. This article takes an in-depth look at how the semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics Malaysia has been affected by COVID-19 and the measures they are taking to mitigate its impact. covid19 stmicroelectronics malaysia
The Covid-19 pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge to the global economy, with many companies struggling to remain afloat. One of those companies is STMicroelectronics Malaysia, a semiconductor company that is headquartered in Europe. With its commitment to digital transformation and innovation, the company has been able to navigate through the crisis, even as other firms have had to shut down or layoff employees. covid19 stmicroelectronics malaysia
microsoftled retracts disputed quantumcomputing paper
microsoftled team disputed quantumcomputing In a surprising turn of events, Microsoftled has retracted the paper it recently published on quantum computing. The research paper had been widely discussed in the scientific community due to its groundbreaking claims and potential implications for the future of quantum computing. However, subsequent investigations into the paper revealed discrepancies that led Microsoftled to retract their work, meaning that all results must be disregarded. This news has left many in the scientific world feeling confused and frustrated about this unexpected development. microsoftled retracts disputed quantumcomputing paper
In a surprising turn of events, Microsoftled researchers have announced the retraction of their recently published paper on quantum computing. The retraction comes after months of dispute and criticism over numerous elements of the paper, raising questions about the validity of the research. Microsoftled published the paper in December 2019 to great fanfare and excitement, touting the potential advances it could bring to quantum computing. However, several other researchers quickly called into question its scientific accuracy and validity. microsoftled retracts disputed quantumcomputing paper
Microsoftled has recently come under fire for a paper they published regarding a breakthrough in quantum computing. The paper, which claimed to have made immense strides towards high-performance quantum computing, has now been retracted due to criticisms from the research community. This article will explain why Microsoftled retracted their paper and what this means for the future of quantum computing. Many researchers were concerned with the validity of Microsoftled’s claims and questioned how it could have achieved such successful results without proper testing or verification methods.
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