Takeaways and reviews, what went down during Miami Tech Week

Takeaways and reviews, what went down during Miami Tech Week

As part of April’s Tech Month programming in South Florida, Miami Tech Week was held last week. It was also home to NFT Miami and the Bitcoin2022 conference. Tech Week began with the eMerge Americas conference, followed by a series of panel discussions throughout the city.

Cointelegraph collected key insights from thought leaders. The two main themes were Miami as a hotspot for crypto people and crypto as an disruptor to the investment landscape.

eMerge Americas, a venture-backed company, has the mission of making Miami the tech hub in North and South America. Since 2014, its signature event has been the annual tech conferece. This conference features a pitch competition for startups. It returned to Miami Beach Convention Center with web3, crypto, and NFT content after a two year hiatus. Blockchain.com, a crypto trading platform, was the title sponsor for 2022.

Related: Crypto startup Blockchain.com plans 2022 IPO

Blockchain.com’s chief executive and co-founder Peter Smith sat on an eMerge panel discussing the state of crypto markets. He spoke out about his bullish outlook and said that he expected “crypto assets” to rebound faster than tech stocks or growth stocks in an eMerge panel. This was despite the current market downturn.

Blockchain.com claims it is the first cryptocurrency company to relocate its headquarters to Miami. Smith tweeted some reasons on Thursday. He was motivated by a “vibe of genuine love for crypto” from Miami’s residents.

Reason 1: #Miami is a #Crypto lover. Not only the Mayor @FrancisSuarez, but real people from Miami. You will find more people in Miami than any other city who are interested in building the next financial system (NYC).
— Peter Smith (@OneMorePeter), April 21, 2022

Melinda Delis from Gemini, Director of Business Development, was another eMerge speaker. She spoke on “Business Applications for Emerging Technologies”, where she highlighted the main concerns of her clients regarding the Metaverse. These businesses must ensure that they meet compliance and internal risk teams’ standards by ensuring that the custodian is secure, has controls, and is regulated.

Related: Crypto is the future of money in inflation-mired nations

Brad Garlinghouse (Ripple’s chief executive) has strong opinions about regulation. Garlinghouse spoke on Friday at Faena Forum Miami Beach about Ripple (XRP), which is currently being sued by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The lawsuit alleges that Ripple sold illegally XRP. Ripple argues that XRP should not be considered a stock but a virtual currency.

Garlinghouse advised the audience to “not incorporate any company in the U.S.” as the country has “continued to fall behind in terms regulatory clarity.” Investors don’t like to invest in uncertainty. Later that day, he tweeted about his experience.

The SEC seems content to allow the US to fall further behind, all in the name protecting their jurisdiction at the cost of US citizens. Politics over policy is not good for anyone. Now we need a clear regulatory structure.
— Brad Garlinghouse (@bgarlinghouse), April 22, 2022

Ivan Soto-Wright was seated next to Garlinghouse, who is also the co-founder and chief executive of MoonPay, a Miami-based crypto payment platform. Marc Bhargava (Coinbase’s head for business operations strategy) asked Soto-Wright about the future NFTs. Soto-Wright replied that NFTs had now overtaken crypto.

Yuga Labs, CryptoPunks, and others have been able “turn its intellectual property into an income statement number” to monetize their brand’s value. He said that the next wave of NFTs will come from Web2 companies who “will monetize [their] legacy via NFTs.”

However, he said that purchasing an NFT can still be difficult for most “moms”. Web3 promises decentralization but it does so “at the expense of user experience.” According to Soto Wright, streamlining peer to peer payments via wallets is key to increasing crypto adoption.

Marc Bhargava (left), Ivan Soto–Wright, Natalia Karayaneva, and Brad Garlinghouse, Faena Forum Miami Beach.

Related: Dozens invest $87M in crypto payment startup MoonPay

Miami Tech Week’s purpose is to bring together venture capitalists and startup founders. However, the real motivation behind the parties, presentations, and meetups is to get to know potential investors. In 2021, global blockchain startups received $25.2 billion in venture capital funding. According to PitchBook data, $5 billion has been raised by the industry so far in 2022.

Crunchbase reports that the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area received more than $1 billion of general tech VC funding in Q1. Yuga Labs, the creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT, a $450 million seed financing round that was led by Andreessen Horowitz, accounted for almost half of this billion. Crunchbase also pointed out that the most recently funded Miami companies tend to “skew heavily to the crypto/NFT/blockchain/metaverse sphere.”

Logan Paul, a boxer and investor turned influencer, spoke out about venture capital investing in crypto companies while he was on stage at Faena Forum Miami Beach. Paul stated, “It’s not about the money anymore. It’s about finding investors who add value.” Paul, who was seated alongside Geoffrey Woo (his co-founder of Anti Fund), said that capital doesn’t buy cultural relevance anymore. The Anti Fund invests in early stage startups and gives priority to marketing and brand consulting services.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is one man who has made it a point to promote Miami as a crypto-friendly and pro-business city. The Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was a key figure in the promotion of Miami as a pro-business and crypto-friendly city. Miami Hack Week organizers set up a co-working space for free during Tech Week. They also held fireside talks with top tech leaders and VC’s. Suarez, who was speaking on stage, said that Miami is rebranding and that it is creating a dedicated tech month. He also stated that the city’s tech ecosystem is being “refreshed” by new people, especially those working in the blockchain industry.

“Miami will hack its way to the top to compete with other countries.” This is the honor of being joined by visionaries such as @DavidSacks and @shervin for “Not Another Fireside Chat”, a discussion on the future direction of Miami Tech at Miami Hack Week. pic.twitter.com/WWJHsUmg6W
— Mayor Francis Suarez (@FrancisSuarez) April 20, 2022

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