Miami, much like its tourist-haven compatriot Last Vegas, regularly gets flooded with odd groups of convention delegates. Typically, those attendees represent boring industries like the National Corn Growers' Association. But this week, Miami has been invaded by Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors.
Perhaps the world's most important cryptocurrency convention — the North American Bitcoin Conference — has been going on in Miami all week, at the exact moment that exchange rates for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and other major
investment scams forms of new online currency are plummeting worldwide.
So what's there to do when you've lost your parents' life savings by dumping money into a cryptocurrency named for the Doge meme? Hire Flo Rida to sing-rap away your troubles. The Miami Gardens native and extremely forgettable pop icon showed up with colleagues Pleasure P and Gorilla Zoe at South Beach's Baoli bar last night to serenade workers from tZero, a cryptocurrency startup founded by Overstock.com CEO Patrick M. Byrne. As Bitcoin's exchange rate took a nosedive, Flo Rida serenaded the group with heartfelt renditions of his megahits "Low" and "My House" as an extremely white, wonky crowd sipped bubbly and desperately avoided reading business news. An extremely bright friend of New Times dubbed this week's Bitcoin-party circuit the "Nerdcage," after the 1996 Robin Williams film that was a sort of La Cage aux Folles on Ocean Drive.
Last night appeared to peak with Flo Rida popping champagne bottles with Byrne, one of Bitcoin's loudest and richest evangelists:
Then Pleasure P and Gorilla Zoe showed up! Who?
Searching the #BTCMiami hashtag on Twitter reveals a netherworld of insane cryptocurrency stunts and scams going on in Miami this week. Exhibit A: Someone is selling a Lamborghini only via cryptocurrency tokens. (It's been labeled a "#Bitcar.") Because the entire cryptocurrency market is a confusing mess, the sellers had to list exchange rates for five kinds of cryptocurrencies on the side of the car, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and Trom, which in 2018 are usable forms of money and not the names of low-level members of the Justice League.
Likewise, check out this clip of a presenter at the actual conference proclaiming he's "from the future!" and then getting some sort of STD sterilization bath from a few sad robots:
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The conference has been a regular Miami occurrence for a few years: In 2014, the crypto-bros invaded the Clevelander on Ocean Drive and cozied up to models covered in gold-plated armor. Of course, with a massive migration of awful finance bros come accusations of base sexism: Multiple attendees have complained online that of 85 speakers at the Miami conference, only one was a woman. Oh, and the official #BTCMiami afterparty was held at Miami's 24-hour cabaret, E11even, and included multiple go-go dancers. A New Times reporter and photographer tagged along at that afterparty — the results look just like they sound:
#Bitcoin has arrived to the Miami nightclub scene. #BottleService #Blockchain #Crypto #CryptoCurrency #Btcmiami #BTC #Believe #Adoption #SatoshiNakamoto #ClubLiv #Miami #Steem #Steemit pic.twitter.com/d9H1IZx3SZ— Adam Mehl (@AdamMehl) January 19, 2018
Crypto-investors who are adamant that the technology isn't about to go bust