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The Bitcoin Conference (BTC) 2022, expected to be the largest gathering in cryptocurrency history, kicks off Wednesday in Miami Beach with big names connected to the sector, from El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele to North Korean activist Yeonmi Park.
Organizers are expecting more than 35,000 attendees, almost triple the 12,000 that participated last June in the Miami edition.
Organized by Bitcoin Magazine and the brands around Bitcoin Inc, this conference has as its number one goal to accelerate “hyper bitcoinization,” as it proclaims on its website.
It is an event that is more than just a conference, as it features a music festival, an art gallery, and a trade show with more than 200 companies from the Bitcoin world as exhibitors, in addition to a multitude of parallel calls.
The gigantic Miami Beach Convention Center, with a capacity of 100,000 people, will host the 2022 BTC.
The first day will be dedicated to the “industry”, while the second and third days will be dedicated to the conference itself and the fourth to Sound Money Fest, a music festival with artists such as Logic, K.Flay and Royal & The Serpent.
One of this year’s keynote speakers is the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, the first ruler in the world to make bitcoin a legal tender, something he himself advanced at the first conference, held in 2021, and which he concretized in September of that year.
“El Salvador is leading the way for the world by connecting its economy to the Bitcoin network,” said the event’s executive director and organizer, David Bailey.
Bukele will speak on the second day, this time in person, to provide an update on the progress made as “the first Bitcoin-native country in the world,” according to the organizers.
“El Salvador now has more citizens who have a bitcoin wallet than a bank account. Bitcoin is bringing financial access and freedom to millions of Salvadorans,” the president said in remarks on the conference website.
According to information from the conference, more than 70% of the population of the Central American country, which until last September had the dollar as its only currency, does not have access to the traditional financial system.
In addition, 24% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) depends on international remittances sent to their families by Salvadoran emigrants, mainly from the United States.
El Salvador’s adoption of bitcoin was initially seen as a way to improve the population’s access to financial services and reduce fees for sending and receiving money through international transfers.
However, bitcoin has enabled more possibilities that Bukele will clarify at the conference, organizers say.
Bitcoin 2022 speakers
Bitcoin 2022 aims to “network with each other in person, hear from keynote speakers such as President Nayib Bukele and Dr. Jordan Peterson,” and learn about “the latest products and services offered by participants in the exhibitor hall,” according to the organization.
Peterson, the renowned Canadian psychologist, and author, usually talks about cryptocurrencies in his virtual space “The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast.”
According to the Apple platform, where it is broadcast, Peterson’s podcast “breaks down the dichotomy of life through interviews and lectures that explain how values, music, religion and beyond shape people and culture.”
Peterson is scheduled to speak on the “Jordan Peterson Fireside” panel on the final day of the event.
Also notable among the speakers is Yeonmi Park, who fled North Korea at age 13 and fell into the hands of human traffickers shortly thereafter.
In her fight for human rights in North Korea, Park has repeatedly expressed her belief that digital currencies such as bitcoin could help empower North Koreans and allow them to “take back power from the government.”
Park’s lecture will be part of the “Bitcoin Is Freedom” panel this Thursday.
Bitcoin 2022 opens this year with a presentation by entrepreneurs and investors Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano and Mike Novogratz.
Hundreds of speakers from around the world, some of whom boast Twitter profile pictures with laser beams in their eyes, are scheduled to participate in the event.
In addition, this year’s art gallery, Bitcoin Renaissance, features more than 90 art auctions and more than 250 total artworks for sale, including paintings, sculptures, NFTs, and more,” the organization announced today on Twitter.