The biggest event on the calendar for the crypto-obsessives, Bitcoin 2022, is back. While crypto is never far from the news these days, it is set-piece events like Bitcoin 2022 where those of us watching the sector can get a real pulse on the trends.
So, what’s happening down in Miami?
There’s a new bull in town — but are investors bullish?
The Mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, kicked off the event by unveiling a techno version of Wall Street’s famous Charging Bull statue — The Miami Bull — at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
And yes, before you ask, the bull has laser eyes.
Ostensibly, this is a statement of intent for Miami’s place as a centre for crypto, especially as the city and surrounding region increasingly attract crypto firms. Just recently, FTX bought the naming rights for the NBA arena in downtown Miami while Blockchain.com plans to house 200 employees in the city.
But while crypto firms are bullish on Miami, are the investors visiting the city bullish on crypto?
Looking at the big picture, and despite the bullish opening for the start of the event, the markets have flipped bearish, dropping down some 6% on the previous week prior to the event. The fears of the wider financial markets — especially of those around inflation — are certainly impacting the asset’s performance.
But that doesn’t get in the way of some major investors. Goldman Sachs banker turned Bitcoin evangelist Michael Novogratz preached hard that Bitcoin will still “go to the moon.” At the event, he estimated that it will soon hit $500,000, and eventually $1 million — though it’s unlikely to go much further than that due to the destabilising effects it could have on the US Dollar.
Will more nation states adopt crypto?
One of the biggest surprises at the event were announcements from the President of Madeira in Portugal, a Mexican senator, and the President of the island of Prospera in Honduras saying that they are all looking at making Bitcoin legal tender.
This follows El Salvador taking the leap last year, and Panama, Paraguay and Guatemala all announcing similar moves at the beginning of the year.
For crypto enthusiasts wanting to see mainstream adoption, this is major news. But while a small number of states and jurisdictions are adopting (or just merely considering) Bitcoin as legal tender, the number of those firmly saying “no” is also growing, with Malaysia nixing hopes of purchasing with crypto, and India stating recently that crypto will “never” become legal tender in the country.
We need to talk about regulation
Another major theme from the conference was some big investors calling out the need for regulation. Investor and Shark Tank personality, Kevin O’Leary, was particularly willing to stick his head above the parapet on stage during his keynote talk.
Giving a pro-policy speech, O’Leary argued that regulation can have a massively beneficial impact, even seeing crypto becoming the 12th sector of the S&P 500, amongst others. O’Leary balanced this by referring to some of the major hurdles crypto faces on the path to regulation, particularly in the US: the need for bipartisan support and the energy consumption issue, in particular.
But there is movement here. O’Leary spoke to the upcoming bill from Bitcoin-friendly senator Cynthia Lummis and co-sponsor Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, which aims to establish a broad regulatory framework for crypto. He also pointed at the recently introduced “Stablecoin Transparency Act,” which requires stablecoins to be backed by dollars or government securities that mature in less than a year. The bill has great prospects in regulating stablecoins, and bringing them into the mainstream.
Against the backdrop of many political announcements, such as the recent executive order from President Biden to look at regulatory frameworks for all things crypto, one can perceive a growing global momentum to really tackle crypto from a legislative and regulatory viewpoint. But there is still a long way to go.
We will continue to monitor and stay on track with developments in the exciting and often unpredictable crypto space.
In the meanwhile, if you are looking for insightful and effective consultancy support for your communications strategy get in touch with us at Gallium Ventures. From crypto to coffee machines – we’ve got you covered.