The Bitcoin Conference in Miami was worth the dirty fiat I unloaded to get there, could it have been cheaper? Definitely. Every conference has a profit motive, and add the cocaine pirate capitalism of Miami into the mix, and you've got yourself a money pit- $20 drinks, $20 parking, and $20 gets you nothing at the Bitcoin Magazine merch booth. But all in all, it was a fantastic experience and a cavalcade of chaos and order, with an overwhelming and impossible schedule across three stages, multiple tents, a vendor area, bars, and food trucks.
Thank God the conference was moved to Florida instead of happening in LA, because everyone would have had to wear masks the whole time. Dreading a five hour flight and airport time with a mask, I decided to get a fake mask because the whole thing is fucking stupid anyway.
I got the cheapest flight and lodging I could find, which meant I flew into Ft. Lauderdale and had a bunk bed waiting for me in a hostel in Miami Beach. FT. Lauderdale was about 45 minutes away by car and though I had planned to use Uber, I rented a car instead. It was the better choice, despite the traffic and preposterous parking situation everywhere.
Everything in Miami is either really fast or really slow. It took me way longer to get to Miami and get checked in than expected. I was supposed to sing "Bitcoiner in Paradise" at the Miami Pleb Party, but I got into town too late and failed to make contact with the pleb who invited me. You should've seen me trying to gun it to Miami singing my little heart out while the BIP instrumental track played on repeat.
I'm too old for hostels. It was tolerable because I was travelling solo, but I forgot what it was like to have roommates, and this time it was a revolving door of new roommates in a room of twelve beds. No real incidents to speak of, since I only went to the hostel to sleep.
Parking is a serious racket in Miami, and coming from LA, that's top praise. They have their own app where they can conveniently track your car, and you can conveniently keep paying anywhere from two to six dollars an hour! Parking fees are in effect everyday from 9am to 3am! Besides swag, parking was my biggest expense. But I don't regret it one bit. It was worth it in exchange for the freedom, mobility, and trunk space that I got out of it. Plus, I was an asset to any new acquaintances.
I couldn't sleep because of excitement and jet lag, but I was determined to go see Ron Paul open up the conference. I arrived at the conference an hour and a half before he was supposed to speak and saw a huge clusterfuck of cars and people.
It took me two hours to get in. Ron Paul was long gone. People were quite friendly in line, ranging from a smarmy Turkish crypto trader to a stoic no-KYC only Bitcoiner who piqued my interest in Bitcoin ATMs as a source of no-KYC sats. There were also quite a few show-offs/performance artists/crazy people providing entertainment for the people.
Once inside, the conference reminded me of a cross between a music festival and Burning Man.
The main stage was called The Nakamoto Stage and although big, it could not hold the amount of people that wanted desperately to be sitting in an air-conditioned room instead of watching from the humid, furnace hot, metal stadium benches outside.
It was a constant cat and mouse game between security and those without seats for most of the first day, until the fire marshal came to enforce the rules. It was fun watching civility break down between the high and mighty seated and the lowly standers.
The seated are lording over the standing yelling things like, "Sit down!," (there are no seats) and "Call security!" 😂— ☣ORANGE PILL COSBY☣ (@roginkim) June 4, 2021
It was a cavalcade of spectacle, finance people with sticks up their butts, plebs eating mushrooms out of fanny packs and heckling billionaires, but mostly, people coalescing around the idea of Bitcoin and its potential for the future. You might have heard the news about El Salvador considering Bitcoin as legal tender, the Laura Loomer confrontation of Jack Dorsey, the unending downward trajectory of the price from FUD, and whatever other news that came out of the conference, but the most valuable thing I got out of it was meeting people. That and I'm only stack no-KYC sats from now on.
Plebs like to party. I ended up meeting some cool people that happened to be part of the OC Bitcoin Network, so I'm going to start heading out there. I had the choice of coming to the conference as a podcaster or media person, or to be a participant, so I decided to participate as a nameless pleb. People were very open to the idea of Bitcoin decentralizing the comedy industry, and it gave me hope that I found a community of Bitcoiners in Miami and comedians in LA that could form the foundation for this paradigm shift.