Bitcoin 2022 Conference: Bitcoin Maximalists attack national currencies
The recently-concluded event saw thousands lend their support for Bitcoin as legal tender
By Shashank Bhardwaj
Image: Marco Bello / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP
Miami, US, a key location for blockchain development, played host to the recently-concluded Bitcoin Conference. It had over 35,000 attendees, more than 3,000 companies, over 450 speakers, and 100 artists from across the globe—the largest congregation of pro-Bitcoin people. The agenda of the discussion revolved around the spike in Bitcoin adoption, its Lightning Network being equivalent to stablecoins, and how it could be the perfect hedge to the inflationary fiat, given its limited supply.
Currently, over 150 million people in the world own Bitcoin. While the highlight of last year’s Bitcoin conference was El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender, this year was dedicated to Bitcoin’s prospects as an everyday payment method and the acknowledgment that the digital asset is maturing fast.
People were enlightened on how the current lack of scalability and speed in the Bitcoin network could be solved with the Lighting Network, making bitcoin payments instantaneous and economical. Well-known names like Robinhood and CashApp lent their support to the Lightning Network.
The speakers and Bitcoin maximalists discussed the inefficiency of the legacy systems in payments at length. There were even some downright claims scaring people that major currencies would become useless after a few years. The criticism also extended to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) as being worse than cash. There were suggestions that CBDCs could give banks unprecedented authority, which would allow them to track ‘100 percent of your spending—what you spent, and how you spent it.’
In his address, Jack Mallers, CEO of Strike, accused Visa and Mastercard of failing to bring any innovations for more than 50 years. Strike also announced that it was building a low-cost Bitcoin-based payments network as an alternative to credit card payments. The company also announced its partnership with Shopify, NCR, and Blackhawk Network. CashApp introduced three new Bitcoin-based payment products that will allow micropayments and spare change to be reinvested in their ecosystem.
Ricardo Salinas, the third-richest man in Mexico and a Bitcoin maximalist, also expressed concern about traditional systems and called them ‘fiat fraud.’ He said that institutions, under the pretext of generating value by printing more notes, were reducing the value of the currency and eroding investor wealth. He boldly proclaimed that 60 percent of his portfolio is Bitcoin and said, “Unfortunately, it is curtains for the US. Sell your shitcoins, and buy Bitcoin."
Another important development was the cities of Prospera in Honduras, Madeira in Portugal, and Mexico announcing their adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender. Prospera announced further that it will let go capital gains tax on cryptocurrency.
MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor welcomed US President Joe Biden’s executive order and considered it a ‘green light to Bitcoin.’ PayPal Founder Peter Thiel called Warren Buffet a ‘sociopathic grandpa’ for criticising Bitcoin and expected Bitcoin prices to surge 100x times in the coming years. Thiel criticised conventional financial institutions and said, “The central banks are going bankrupt. We are at the end of the fiat money regime.”
(The writer is founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist)
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