Saturday marked the end of Bitcoin 2022, the largest Bitcoin conference/event in history, annually hosted in Miami, Florida.
The event was home to several product launches, company announcements, and panel conversations featuring some of the crypto industry’s favorite thought leaders. In other words, there’s a lot to catch up on.
Here are the highlights:
- A buzz around mining: For the mining industry, Bitcoin 2022 was a moment to take center stage after spending previous conferences more in the shadows. The sector took over almost half the exhibition space at the show, and there were plenty of lively discussions and some interesting announcements, including Blockstream and Square breaking ground on a solar and battery-powered mine in Texas. Here are more mining takeaways, courtesy of CoinDesk.
- Peter Thiel went off: The co-founder of PayPal called Warren Buffett “a sociopathic grandpa from Omaha,” threw cash into the crowd, and publicly shared his Bitcoin “enemies list” that included JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon and BlackRock’s Larry Fink. He also made some snarky comments pointed at today’s financial regulators, the CCP, and “woke” tech companies.
- Block takes on the Lightning Network: Payment giant Block announced U.S. users can soon receive Bitcoin via the Lightning Network, the speedy, low-cost settlement layer for Bitcoin. The company also announced CashApp users can choose to be paid in Bitcoin.
- Robinhood flexes its crypto arm: After four years of allowing users to trade cryptocurrencies, Robinhood (HOOD) is finally launching its wallet and will begin to enable Bitcoin withdrawals. Additionally, the company said it will add support for Bitcoin transactions on the Lightning Network.
- Regulatory progress: Samson Mow, the former chief strategy officer of Blockstream who stepped down in March to focus on “nation-state Bitcoin adoption,” brought legislators from around the world on stage at Bitcoin 2022 to highlight regulatory progress being made to encourage adoption.
- Strike steals the show: In what was perhaps the biggest, most memorable, and most impactful announcement from the conference, Strike CEO Jack Mallers said that the company has partnered with three of the world’s largest payments providers, Shopify, NCR and Blackhawk. This will enable Bitcoin payments at 400,000 storefronts (including big brands like Mcdonald’s and Whole Foods) and all U.S. Shopify sites. The integrations essentially eliminate legacy banks from the payments process, saving merchants on fees and enabling privacy for shoppers.
From Bitpay and Kraken (discussed last week) to Block and CashApp, Robinhood, NCR, and Shopify, it’s been a historic month for Bitcoin adoption, ease of use, and utility all thanks to the Lightning Network and game-changing companies like Strike.