The ultimate guide to Miami – Cointelegraph Magazine

The ultimate guide to Miami – Cointelegraph Magazine

Miami is quick changing into one of many main hubs within the crypto world with an increasing number of blockchain corporations shifting to the town every year.

Miami famously performs host to the Bitcoin Convention every year, and digital property have been embraced by the mayor and the broader inhabitants. Right here’s your final information to the crypto metropolis of Miami.



Crypto City Miami
That is your final information to crypto in Miami.



Quick information

Metropolis: Miami
Nation: United States
Inhabitants: 6.17 million (Metropolitan Space)
Established: 1896
Languages: English (official), Spanish (~60% of residents), Haitian Creole (widespread) 


“Celebration within the metropolis the place the warmth is on,

all evening, on the seaside until the break of daybreak.

Welcome to Miami,

bienvenido a Miami!” — Will Smith



Simply over a century in the past, Julia Tuttle, an American businesswoman and rich widow from Ohio, bought a 640-acre property positioned on the Miami River that will set the muse for the modern-day metropolis. In 1894–1895, Florida was hit by a blizzard that devastated the crops and vegetation throughout the state, however miraculously, Tuttle’s property was left unscathed from the freeze. Instantly recognizing the realm’s financial worth, Tuttle requested American industrialist Henry Flagler to assemble a railway that will cross by what was then the Village of Miami. Flagler agreed. Inside one yr, financial improvement, primarily in real-estate curiosity, inspired native residents to include the Metropolis of Miami. 



Individuals come to Miami for the nightlife and keep for the low taxes.



The primary wave of immigration into the realm began as a part of the Florida Actual Property growth within the Twenties, and Miami rapidly grew to become one of many state’s premier vacationer locations. Through the Nineteen Fifties to the Nineteen Seventies, a mixture of the Cuban Revolution, the civil struggle in Nicaragua, and the oppressive insurance policies of Haitian dictator François Duvalier noticed many to migrate to Miami in the hunt for a greater life.

Identified for its all-year tropical local weather, low taxes, sound infrastructure, leisure venues and various inhabitants, Florida is certainly one of solely 9 states that doesn’t levy a state tax on strange private earnings.

The Sunshine State has additionally grow to be a premier vacation spot for an exodus of Individuals from high-tax states reminiscent of New York and California, attracted by low items and providers tax and property taxes. The town additionally serves as a significant transportation gateway to entry most of the Caribbean Islands’ offshore banking providers close by.

The current wave of “tech émigrés” has seen it grow to be one of the vital blockchain-friendly cities in the US, main the development of the crypto and Web3 realm. 





Crypto tradition and cityscape

Thanks partially to the management of Mayor Francis Suarez, Miami is main the way in which in municipal crypto adoption. Suarez has personally set an instance of taking his wage and portion of his 401(ok) retirement financial savings account in Bitcoin. In August 2021, the Metropolis of Miami partnered with CityCoins to launch a municipal digital foreign money, dubbed (unsurprisingly) “MiamiCoin,” to fund native tasks by producing yield. The undertaking initially raised $23 million, however like every thing, it was hit arduous by the crypto bear market, and the token has misplaced almost 90% of its worth, whereas Bitcoin’s value has fallen round 70% since Mayor Suarez first introduced he was taking his paycheck in Bitcoin.





Nonetheless, Miami is exclusive insofar because it has the Miami-Dade County Cryptocurrency Job Drive, comprising municipal stakeholders, designed to analysis and enact crypto laws to profit native residents. Elijah Bowdre, chairman of the Cryptocurrency Job Drive, says:

“Crypto is on fireplace. And Miami-Dade County is poised to pierce the veil for municipalities and crypto. And I’m main that cost. It’s an honor. I’m very humbled by it. Nevertheless it’s additionally very thrilling.”

A plan can be in movement to allow residents in all of Miami-Dade county to formally pay with crypto for issues reminiscent of driver’s license renewals, registration charges, water payments, and county payments, amongst many others. As well as, municipal workers will be capable of obtain a portion of all of their paychecks in crypto. Furthermore, they’ll have a share of their wage put away towards a crypto retirement fund.

Annually, the North American Bitcoin Convention takes place in Miami. It was right here in 2014 {that a} younger Russian-Canadian known as Vitalik Buterin first unveiled his thought for a decentralized, programmable good contract blockchain dubbed Ethereum.



Cryptocurrency journalist and former Cointelegraph Reporter Ornella Hernandez at The North American Bitcoin Conference | Source: Ornella Hernandez
Cryptocurrency journalist and former Cointelegraph Reporter Ornella Hernández at The North American Bitcoin Convention. Supply: Ornella Hernández



This yr’s occasion was held from Jan. 17 to 19 and attracted over 4,000 members, together with notable attendees reminiscent of billionaire investor Mark Cuban. He returned within the first week of April for Miami NFT Week, an occasion that noticed 250+ audio system and sponsors showcasing the most recent improvements within the NFT area. Miami Tech Week additionally happened across the identical time, consisting of outstanding enterprise capitalists, tech executives and co-founders, reminiscent of Blockchain.com CEO Peter Smith, MoonPay CEO Ivan Soto-Wright and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse.



The Miami Bull | Source: Ornella Hernandez
The Miami Bull. Supply: Ornella Hernández



Initiatives and corporations

On the subject of Miami’s presence in Web3, the No. 1 place undoubtedly goes to Yuga Labs. The agency at the moment owns two of the world’s hottest NFT collections: Bored Ape Yacht Membership and CryptoPunks. Collectively, they’ve surpassed near 1.6 million ETH in cumulative buying and selling quantity on NFT market OpenSea. In Q1, Yuga Labs attracted $450 million out of $1 billion in enterprise investments in tech companies inside Miami-Dade county by way of its Andreessen Horowitz seed spherical. 

Maybe probably the most notable bodily presence of any crypto firm is that of centralized digital property change FTX. Final April, FTX paid $135 million to rename the Miami Heat NBA Arena positioned on Biscayne Boulevard to FTX Area for the following 19 years. Three-time NBA Champion and Miami Warmth legend Udonis Haslem at the moment serves as an envoy for the change’s “You In, Miami?” marketing campaign. The 2 plan to work collectively sooner or later to advertise crypto inside Miami-Dade county, the place FTX additionally has a company workplace within the metropolis. 

MoonPay, a cryptocurrency fintech agency that enables customers to purchase crypto and NFTs with a debit or bank card, can be based mostly in Miami. Final yr, the agency raised $555 million in funding for a valuation of $3.4 billion. Not too long ago, it launched an NFT platform with Common Footage and Fox Company known as HyperMint that will allow companies behind common shopper manufacturers to probably mint a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of NFTs per day. 





Institutional credit score protocol Maple Finance may also hint its roots again to Miami and has issued greater than $1.5 billion in loans since its inception. Sadly, the corporate has grow to be caught up within the ongoing digital property credit score disaster.

Within the realm of crypto philanthropy, Miami can be the house of The Giving Block, the world’s main digital property on-boarding platform for donations to greater than 1,000 nonprofits. Final yr, the platform facilitated greater than $69.6 million in crypto donations quantity, a staggering enhance of 1,558% from 2020. The highest 5 hottest cryptocurrencies used for donations have been Ether, Bitcoin, USD Coin, Dai and Stream. The agency has additionally launched a crypto fundraising marketing campaign for Ukraine within the wake of the invasion.



The Choice is Yours - Crypto Donations Campaign | Source: The Giving Block
The selection is yours — Crypto Donations Marketing campaign. Supply: The Giving Block



As for rising tasks, in 2021, Algorand launched a bilingual 10-week accelerator program in Miami specializing in tasks both constructed on the namesake blockchain or wishing to develop on the Algorand platform. Every of the ten chosen corporations will obtain $17,500 in money from the Algorand Basis and $17,500 in money from Borderless Capital for a complete of three% or much less of tokens and/or fairness. Functions have simply closed, and it’s at the moment within the overview stage. 

Ibex, a Bitcoin Lightning infrastructure providers firm, additionally has an workplace within the metropolis. The agency connects point-of-sale programs of companies and retailers with Bitcoin, permitting them to just accept the digital foreign money with very low transaction charges on the Lightning Community. 

Positioned on the coronary heart of the stylish neighborhood of Wynwood is BitBasel, a crypto-art and NFT tech hub for native artists and builders. Co-founded by Scarlett Arana and Jorge Cortes, BitBasel hosts every thing from panel talks to workshops to hackathons for close by crypto fans. As well as, it is usually the creator of Miami DAO, a company targeted on increasing crypto education schemes for residents throughout Miami-Dade county.



BitBasel Community | Source: BitBasel
BitBasel neighborhood. Supply: BitBasel


This February, Blockchain.com leased a 22,000-square-foot constructing in Wynwood for its workers, having stayed at a short lived workplace area in Brickell after shifting its headquarters from New York. The agency was final valued at $5.2 billion in its current fundraising spherical. Since its inception, it has processed greater than $1 trillion in digital asset transactions on its change.

There may be additionally the local folk hero of Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood, Nandy Martin. He created the Little Haiti Coin, a socio-economic cryptocurrency initiative. With every token buy, Martin and his companions will volunteer to clear one sq. foot of his native Little Haiti neighborhood. Eligible residents may also obtain one free token, which could be tendered as fee at native companies in addition to obtain reductions on Haitian imports coming to the realm. Although as of late, Martin says companies that after accepted the Little Haiti Coin as a way of fee closed down as a result of gentrification within the space.



Blockchain folk hero Capitan Haiti | Source: Nandy Martin
Blockchain folks hero Capitan Haiti. Supply: Nandy Martin



Martin is at the moment constructing a blockchain recreation known as Captain Haiti with its token constructed on BNB Chain. The sport seeks to teach customers on ideas reminiscent of play-to-earn, tokenization and nonfungible tokens and already has over 10,000 downloads. Martin can be trying to “take again management” of his neighborhood from housing speculators by way of a $14-million actual property NFT sale and use the funds to halt ongoing foreclosures.





Flying beneath the radar is QuickNode, a key participant behind Twitter’s current integration of NFT profile pictures for its Blue customers. The blockchain infrastructure firm checks NFT profile photos on Twitter for authenticity to confirm who truly owns their NFT avatar and who is just utilizing a downloaded picture. The agency has raised $35 million in a Collection A funding spherical led by enterprise capital agency Tiger International.

Talking of enterprise investments, a brand new blockchain agency in Miami is Safety Token Group, the operator of STOmarket.com, a repository of safety token buying and selling information and information, with a live-trading information feed for over 200 safety tokens at the moment whereas additionally monitoring over 500 major choices. The agency closed a $3-million Collection A spherical in Could. 





The place can I spend my crypto?

Thesis Resort, a four-star resort on South Dixie Freeway, claims it was the primary resort in Miami-Dade county to just accept crypto as fee by way of BitPay. Customers can ebook rooms and facilities with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Money, Ether, Dogecoin or any of the favored and controlled stablecoins, together with Binance USD. Additionally it is doable to dine at eating places throughout the resort on crypto. 

One other venue taking crypto funds is Shelborne South Seaside Resort on Miami Seaside, identified for internet hosting weddings and upscale catering providers. One pays with BitPay at checkout. The resort is owned by Menin Hospitality, the place cryptocurrencies are accepted in any respect of its eating places and lodges beneath its assortment

For catering, take into account paying with crypto at Chotto Matte, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian delicacies. In April, Chotto Matte debuted a $1-million NFT collectible whose proprietor is entitled to perks reminiscent of VIP invites to all future restaurant openings. For these staying at Thesis resort, Mamey Miami incorporates a mixture of Asian and Polynesian influences, and one can once more pay with crypto for meals due to BitPay. The menu is designed by award-winning chef Niven Patel, who additionally cooks on the Orno Miami restaurant (positioned in Thesis, too) — this time with a New American-style menu. And once more, crypto is accepted. 

Because it seems, there may be a whole suburb within the Miami Metropolitan space, known as Miami-Lakes, the place residents can use crypto to pay all municipal charges. Applied by way of PayPal final March, customers can tender digital property for objects reminiscent of permits, enterprise licenses and facility leases. 

And if you wish to celebration into the early hours whereas spending all of your BTC, there’s a common nightclub positioned simply six blocks from FTX Area within the coronary heart of downtown Miami that accepts digital foreign money. Dubbed E11EVEN, one can ebook a desk on the venue, order bottle service and extra with Bitcoin. The venue has hosted celebrities reminiscent of Cardi B, Wyclef Jean, Submit Malone, Nicki Minaj and Drake. 



Drake performing at E11EVEN | Source: E11EVEN
Drake acting at E11EVEN. Supply: E11EVEN



Per Coin ATM Radar, there are over 850 ATMs in and across the Miami space performing as a gateway between fiat and digital currencies. Except for being discovered on the road, they’re additionally frequent amongst most of the metropolis’s gasoline stations and vape retailers. 

Schooling and neighborhood

In 2018, digital property teacher George Levy based the Blockchain Institute of Expertise, or BIT, within the Wynwood district. BIT provides fairly priced programs about cryptocurrencies and NFTs. On high of that, the institute gives the Licensed Blockchain Skilled Curriculum with a singular blockchain-verified, credentialed third-party proof of experience so as to add to at least one’s resume. The Institute has offered cryptocurrency coaching applications to entities such because the Mexican Ministry of Economic system, the Central Financial institution of Curaçao and Sint Maarten, in addition to accounting agency Ernst & Younger. In fact, you possibly can pay tuition charges with crypto. 

There’s a much less formal initiative dubbed “Bitcoin Brunch.” Each week, members of the tight-knit blockchain neighborhood in Miami collect within the palm tree glades of Naomi’s Backyard Restaurant and Lounge for hearty Haitian meals (deep-fried turkey, beans and rice, collard greens) and speak about rising crypto applied sciences over glasses of rum punch. In response to Prem Lee Barbosa, a crypto Miami native and the occasion’s host:

“Bitcoin Brunch makes an attempt as an aspiration of serving to reshape this world with the inventive potential unleashed by the digital foreign money. It permits the lots to prepare themselves deterministically, freed from the affect of centralized directors.”

Barbosa elaborated that “our get-rich-as-quickly-as-possible-and-at-all-costs mentality enslaves us to the greenback and makes us complicit in all of its pitfalls.” He then praised Bitcoin’s decentralized nature as a way of restoring dignity to the change of worth. In case you are a fan of the group’s blockchain philosophy, Bitcoin Brunch takes place each Sunday from 10 am to three pm at Haitian-inspired Naomi’s Backyard Restaurant and Lounge at 650 NW 71st St., Miami.



Bitcoin Brunch at Naomi’s Garden & Restaurant | Source: Jorge Cortez
Bitcoin Brunch at Naomi’s Backyard and Restaurant. Supply: Jorge Cortes



Controversies and collapses

Being one of many extra prosperous states within the U.S., Florida has attracted its fair proportion of real crypto tasks and con artists alike. Not too long ago, Luiz Capuci, CEO of Mining Capital Coin and resident of Port St. Lucie, Florida, was indicted for his position in an alleged $62-million cryptocurrency fraud scheme. A couple of months prior, Florida resident David Pike pled responsible over his position in defrauding traders of OneCoin, one of the vital notorious Ponzi schemes in cryptocurrency historical past, the place victims misplaced anyplace between $4.4 billion and $19.4 billion. 

Many early traders of now defunct Bitconnect have been Florida residents, and so they have simply seen their class-action lawsuit in opposition to the perpetrators of the Ponzi scheme proceed after almost 5 years. 





Notable Figures

Just like the namesake music from Will Smith, “I solely got here for 2 days of enjoying. However each time I come, I all the time wind up staying.” Individuals come and go to Miami for enterprise and holidays as they please, blurring the road between full-time residents and guests.

Suarez; Bowdre; Smith; Arana; Cortes; Barbosa; Levy; Soto-Wright; Martin; Peter Thiel, billionaire entrepreneur; Sydney Powell, co-founder and CEO of Maple Finance; Alex Wilson, CEO of The Giving Block; Anthony Elia, co-founder of TokenBot; Nic Carter, founding companion of Citadel Island Ventures; Auston Bunsen, co-founder of Fast Node; Ornella Hernández, cryptocurrency journalist and former Cointelegraph reporter, now at BlockWorks; and Tatiana Moroz, American folks singer and blockchain character.

In case you have any solutions for additions to this information, please get in contact with zhiyuan.sun@cointelegraph.com





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