In the time since last year’s Bitcoin 2021 we’ve seen the world change in so many ways that, if we were to list them here, I’m confident we could give Gladstein or Breedlove a run for their money on the length of the read alone. Hardly anything comes as close to accurately describing what’s been happening in the world as referring to it as a “phase transition.” I am fully confident that we are experiencing the rumblings of the Bitcoin transition state.
Bitcoin 2022 was the confirmation.
Arriving in Miami International Airport and seeing the adverts for all things Bitcoin around (seemingly) every corner was enough to really send the shock and awe home — the excitement was real. After getting to my temporary domicile on South Beach, I set off to do some brief reconnaissance (aka, I walked around to find the coffee spots). Even a few days prior to the official opening of festivities, I was hearing conversations scattered throughout the area centered around Bitcoin, and yes, a lot of “crypto” projects as well — the point being that Vice City, or at the very least, South Beach, was completely absorbed with the revolution that Bitcoin has been the vanguard for over the last 13 years.
But what shouldn’t be discounted, or lost, is the nature of this revolution; the implications of what went down, and the manner in which Bitcoin 2022 was carried out.
It was all love and fun. Not for the excitement of number-go-up (NgU) technology or the toppling of a government, but a congregation of our favorite online personalities that we have been unconditionally glued to. What’s more was that there wasn’t a kind of public spectacle around the personalities arriving (at least, as far as I personally noticed). What I observed was a proper sense of normalcy, a lack of pedestalization. There was no red carpet greeting high-net-worth individuals, no paparazzi — precisely how it should be.
The Day Before
Prior to Industry Day, I took advantage of the time in South Beach to meet with some of my favorite people at Bitcoin Magazine while they mustered before a long day of meetings and event prep.
I’m sure this doesn’t sound like much to those who were most interested in the festivities, but let me tell you, the 24 to 36 hours prior to the starting gun are the most important. These are the stretches of time where leadership and preparation really begins to shine through. And from my vantage point, the young team at Bitcoin Magazine were cool and collected — a great sign for the follow through that will be necessary during the event days.
I mean, when I met with them, they were all buried in their work! You can rest assured that I provided a healthy break to the silence of keyboards and muted conversations around logistics, with my motor mouth around how exciting it was just to see everyone in one location.
The Bitcoin 2022 Industry Day provided an opportunity for companies to not only arrive and get established for their presence for the following days of chaos and unbridled energy, but also allowed for a few speakers to get words in with their colleagues. The only downside that I would list for Industry Day was that the general chaos of the dozens of teams arriving to get situated resulted in a sapping of energy and excitement. The general consensus that I deduced among industry participants was that the whole day (generally) ended up focused on setup.
General Admission Days
Now, for the content hosted across the general admission days of Bitcoin 2022, I will simply cover a few of those that I attended, as the chaos was at its peak, the excitement was maxed and my attention was redlining for 16 to 20 hours each day — brought to you by a concoction of coffee, espresso, sunlight and an average of walking 10 miles each day.
Jeff Ross Unleashed
Also known as the “Macroeconomic Landscape” panel, one piece of on-stage content included industry favorites Mark Moss, Preston Pysh and the Jeffs – Jeff Booth and Jeff Ross. If you’ve read a handful of my articles for this magazine, or even merely skimmed the headlines, you know without a shadow of a doubt that I would be in attendance for this panel.
What the live stream and recording don’t let viewers experience though is the feeling of electricity in the audience while this Council of Macro fed into one another’s respective topics of expertise.
The takeaway from the panel was kicked off really by what Moss had to say with regards to the cyclicality of technological advancement across the ages, while Booth got his opportunity to discuss network transfer and what events have to transpire simultaneously to support an upgrade (whether it be a software update, or a hardware replacement).
Following this line of conversation, Pysh really got me revved up when he took to poking holes in every other “crypto” and central bank digital currency (CBDC) project that rallies under a guise of “decentralization” in what I would argue as being the largest grift campaign in human history.
Cynthia Lummis: A Politician We Can Trust?
I love this senator. Maybe I will end up regretting saying that I appreciate a politician in the future, but I rather doubt it with Cynthia Lummis.
Senator Lummis wasted zero minutes in providing some necessary elaboration on the problemed environment in politics. By admitting the likelihood that Congress could really “mess this up,” Lummis broke the surface tension around the topic by not suggesting that the U.S. Senate be omniscient or omnipotent, and by outlining her vision for Bitcoin legislation that would encourage and foster innovation in the U.S.
Lummis continued to provide responsible insight into the road ahead for bitcoin in the political and regulatory environment with simple admissions of expecting pushback and the general back and forth between governmental bodies around the processes for formulating bills, receiving feedback on bills prior to introduction, and then the exchanges that follow to continue refining policy to the best of their capabilities.
Ultimately, Lummis instilled confidence in the future of bitcoin as moving as fast (and slow) as is necessary in order to ensure the best possible future for the nascent technology and industry.
Jordan Peterson: Calm And Cool
One of the most recent inductees into the Bitcoin flock, Jordan Peterson took hold of the same space in a largely different manner than any of the other speakers.
Where the Four Horsemen of Macro supercharged the space by discussing why the bleakness of the near-future is of pale comparison to the radical improvements set for the decades to follow, Peterson provided a sense of calm, taking the opposite side of the same coin. As is his method, Peterson provided a very cool and collected discussion in a similar approach to the many Bitcoin discussions heard across applications such as Clubhouse and Spaces since 2020, while adding his own jabs with the precision that his brand has been so strongly built upon.
Jack Mallers, Over The Crowd’s Head
J. Mall is understandably a favorite face in Bitcoin. With the charisma of a rebel leader and the energy that seems only comparable to the Energizer bunny, it is quite near impossible to contemplate just how this guy accomplishes what he does. Jack Mallers’ announcement was my favorite of Bitcoin 2022, far and above all of the others for one very simple reason: It was undervalued.
The announcement completely went over the crowd’s head.
You could feel the anticipation, temptation and thrill of the massive crowd hanging on every word… just chomping at the bit to hear the utterance of “Apple.” When in reality, his official announcement of Strike’s partnership with Blackhawk Network and NCR was an order of magnitude larger than working on something strictly with Apple, if not more so.
In the grand scheme of things, this is arguably better than a direct partnership with something like Apple at this current juncture. What Mallers has done with Strike in this latest development is providing the optionality for far greater diversity of citizens to experience the improvements firsthand, not restricting the network effect to only Apple clients.
Mallers continues to stick to the Bitcoin ethos of getting as many people on board as quickly and responsibly as possible before the curtain falls on the petrodollar show.
A Revolutionary Success
The conference this year was a success for a multitude of reasons. But ultimately the success was that, amid a sea of question mark projects, the scope of the event still felt true to the Bitcoin community’s tendencies: high signal and high spirits.
I am confident that you will not find this level of excitement around something that is financial in nature for a very, very long time. If you didn’t attend this year, you missed something that was a spectacle. Not because of the venue, or the speakers, or the musicians, but because of the collection of people that were in attendance. I am very confident that, should the community choose to do so, an event could be thrown similar in concept to a Woodstock — not being located in a downtown urban environment — and it would be a success.
The plebs made the event this year. The speakers did very little — as it should be.
This is a guest post by Mike Hobart. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.