MIAMI (CBSMiami) – On Wednesday, crews were putting the final touches on the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, the world’s largest-ever crypto-currency conference to be held this weekend at the Mana Convention Center in Wynwood.
“We could not be happier. Happier that organizers of the Bitcoin 2021 Conference have chosen the city of Miami”, said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez who held a virtual international crypto conference Wednesday morning.
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During the virtual conference, Mayor Suarez alluded to his 4-word tweet from months ago, which grabbed the attention of the crypto industry.
On camera, Suarez stood up showing a t-shirt, “How can I help?” Suarez said, “In the past 6 months since that tweet, we have seen an unprecedented amount of companies, technologists, and investors choose to move Miami.”
Miami’s crypto conference is expected to draw 50,000 people.
The convention runs from Friday, June 4 through June 6th.
The conference places Miami firmly in the landscape as the new Silicon Valley.
“Miami is becoming the new capital of capital. It’s becoming an innovative hub. It’s becoming a tier 1 city of venture capital and innovation,” said Brock Pierce. “A lot of the best and the brightest from Silicon Valley and New York have moved their businesses and their firms here.”
And Brock Pierce should know. He’s the chairman of Bitcoin Foundation who has “mined” his way through the crypto world. Oh and by the way, he’s a billionaire.
“Mayor Suarez has done an incredible job of saying ‘come here, Miami is the place.’ As a result of it, this has become the most important city in the United States,” Pierce says.
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Pierce says Miami epitomizes the reason why start-ups and businesses are moving to Miami.
The quality of life is unparalleled. The taxes are great. But for many, bitcoin or cryptocurrency remains an enigma.
So, what exactly is it?
Blake Harris, of Blake Harris Law, who specializes in cryptocurrency explains it’s a digital currency recognized worldwide that can be transferred electronically — and no, it’s not like PayPal.
“PayPal is not a currency,” said Harris. PayPal is simply a transfer of fiat currency, whereas bitcoin or athereum are its own kind of currency.”
Crypto is like gold, it can be invested. However, it can’t be manipulated or counterfeited and it’s immune to inflation.
Harris said, “It’s considered a capital asset. It’s taxed the same way any long-term or short-term asset is taxed. If you hold it for less than a year it’s subject to short-term capital gains. If you hold it longer than a year, it’s subject to long-term capital gains.”
The currency has been used by terrorist groups such as Hamas, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Harris admits until crypto is regulated, that’s a downfall of crypto.
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“It’s the beauty and the risk associated with it. It does not require the approval of a bank. It does not require the approval of a government. And so with that, the government and the banks don’t like what will happen.”