Five Signs Miami Is on the Crypto Bandwagon

Digital currencies appear to be here to stay in Miami.
Digital currencies appear to be here to stay in Miami. Image by Tim Reckmann/Flickr
Cryptocurrency is having a moment. The price of Bitcoin is soaring, companies like PayPal are allowing users to pay with various cryptocurrencies, and Coinbase — a platform for buying and selling digital currencies — went public last week.

Even in Miami, digital currency is entering the mainstream. Last week, New Times reported that Miami-Dade County might eventually let residents pay their taxes in cryptocurrency. Danielle Cohen Higgins, a county commissioner who represents part of South Dade, introduced a resolution to the Miami-Dade Infrastructure, Operations, and Innovations Committee to create a cryptocurrency task force. The 13-member task force would examine the possibility of allowing residents to pay for their county taxes, services, and fees using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Here are some other recent signs that crypto is here to stay.
click to enlarge Bye-bye, Triple-A. - PHOTO BY JUAN SILVA/GETTY IMAGES
Bye-bye, Triple-A.
Photo by Juan Silva/Getty Images
The county OK'ed a deal to rename American Airlines Arena after a cryptocurrency platform. American Airlines announced in 2019 that it would not renew its naming rights to the downtown Miami arena. After two decades as the Triple-A, the building seems destined to be renamed the FTX Arena, after an upstart cryptocurrency exchange platform that sprung up in Hong Kong in 2018 and landed a stateside trading operation in 2020.
click to enlarge Miami's future according to Mayor Francis Suarez features tech bros, tunnels, and digital currency. - PHOTO BY MICHAEL CAMPINA
Miami's future according to Mayor Francis Suarez features tech bros, tunnels, and digital currency.
Photo by Michael Campina
Miami's mayor has proposed paying city employees with Bitcoin. City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has been courting tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to trade Silicon Valley for Miami and help turn the Magic City into a global technology hub (complete with a tunnel system). To that end, Suarez is working on making Miami "crypto-forward" by requesting that commissioners vote to study the use of cryptocurrency to pay employee salaries. The public would also have the option to pay for city services in Bitcoin.
click to enlarge How much Bitcoin for a table? - PHOTO COURTESY OF E11EVEN
How much Bitcoin for a table?
Photo courtesy of E11even
E11even will accept payment in Bitcoin. E11even, one of Miami's biggest nightclubs, announced this week that it will allow guests to pay for drinks and tables with cryptocurrency. According to E11even, it will be the first major nightclub in the U.S. to do so. The club is partnering with a cryptocurrency processing company to accept purchases in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Dogecoin, and other digital currencies.
Photo by Amadeus McCaskill
A major Bitcoin conference is moving from Los Angeles to Miami. Looks like the Silicon Valley tech bros will need to make room for the high-earning Bitcoin whales coming to Miami this summer. According to the Miami Herald, MANA Wynwood will host the world's largest cryptocurrency convention, from June 3 to 5.

Organizers expect a crowd of as many as 10,000 people. Speakers include Twitter's Jack Dorsey, venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya, pro skater Tony Hawk, and, of course, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.
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Alexi C. Cardona is a former staff writer at Miami New Times.