The event at the Beach Convention Center in Miami exposed the debate between those seeking greater integration into the financial system and those who value the decentralization of bitcoin.
The most popular cryptocurrency on the planet continues to go from strength to strength and gave good signs of this during the Bitcoin Conference 2022 that took place in Miami in early April. During the event, which brought together nearly 30,000 attendees, the enthusiasm generated by cryptocurrency was perceived, even despite the positions that did not always coincide regarding its adoption and integration into the financial system.
“One of the biggest attractions of the conference is being able to interact, connect with so many people from different parts of the world. All with the same purpose and the same interest, but with different companies, different approaches to how the adoption of bitcoin should be carried out worldwide,” said Lorena Ortiz, a Mexican entrepreneur in the crypto sector and co-founder of the Bitcoin Embassy Bar in Ciudad. from Mexico, when analyzing the importance of the event with CryptoConnection.
Among the conference participants, it became clear that there are two groups. On the one hand, those who want cryptocurrency to maintain its distance from the “classical” financial system (including traditional banking, investment markets and central banks) stand out. On the other hand, voices are emerging that are betting on a bitcoin that, without losing its main values, finds ways to coexist with the financial and commercial systems that people are already using. After all, this coexistence could boost the adoption and daily use of cryptocurrency.
Between crypto and the establishment
The clearest voices in defense of bitcoin and against the “financial establishment” in Bitcoin 2022 were those of Peter Thiel and Ricardo Salina Pliego. Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and great promoter of the crypto economy, called the establishment a “financial gerontocracy” and accused it of slowing down the advance of cryptocurrency and privileging traditional currencies and assets. Thiel insists that bitcoin “is the most honest market in the world” due to its independent and communal nature.
For his part, the Mexican Salinas Pliego, president of Grupo Salinas, assured that the ecosystem of “fiat” or fiduciary money traps consumers in a system of supposed wealth generation, but that it does not protect them from inflation. The same, explained Salinas, “punishes two types of people: the elderly and poor people” since they do not usually have assets, but only “old” money that exposes them to high inflation rates.
Salinas Pliego not only encouraged the use of bitcoin as a way to protect financial assets, but was sarcastic when he pointed out: “Sell your shitcoins, buy bitcoin”.
The open door of micropayments
For “bitcoiners” who are betting on greater coexistence with the traditional financial system, the most prominent announcements of Bitcoin 2022 related to payment solutions.
In this sense, the most important news was that given by Strike, a global payment network based on the Lightning Network, which allows micropayments to be made with bitcoin. During his presentation at the event, the company’s CEO, Jack Mallers, announced that Strike has signed agreements with three of the world’s leading payment solution providers – Shopify, NCR and Blackhawk Network – to enable settlement with bitcoin.
Although Striker’s decision affects only the United States at the moment, it marks an important precedent for other major players in the world of e-commerce and micropayments. Among them, Shopify stands out (with more than a million online stores in 175 countries), Blackhawk Network (with a network of 85 thousand retail establishments in 28 countries, including Brazil and Mexico) and NCR (a leading company in the development of hardware and point-of-sale systems software, operating in 160 countries). In the spirit of those attending Bitcoin 2022, the announcement of these alliances was received with optimism, as they will strengthen the availability and confidence in payments with the cryptocurrency.
Regulations: words and facts
In terms of regulations, Bitcoin 2022 brought news related to Mexico and Honduras. In the first case, the project of Mexican senator Indira Kempis, of the Movimiento Ciudadano political party, stood out. Kempis announced that she will present a proposal for legislation so that the Mexican economy admits bitcoin as legal tender.