As Miami Comes Down From Being “High” Hosted the “biggest ever” bitcoin event, it seems reasonable to ask: Does the Sunshine State’s Entrepot Really Have What It Takes to Be the “Crypto Capital of the World”? A new role expected by its dynamic mayor. If not, Miami could At least be the next crypto valley – that is, a cradle for cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation, like the Swiss canton of Zug?
The optics certainly look good. as the New York Times famous In his coverage of last week’s Bitcoin 2021 With a sprinkling of bitcoin ATMs in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, “the city has gone completely crypto”. Meanwhile, crypto exchange FTX has secured Miami Heat area naming rights, while there was also a proposal by Miami Mayor Francis Suarez to allow citizens Pay taxes with cryptocurrency, among other things.
But others warn that a lot of hard work still awaits – and regulatory/legislative events will have to take a favorable turn before Miami can claim to be the capital of anything in the fast-paced cryptoverse.
Enabling the law is important
“Miami cannot do this without the Florida state legislature passing pro-crypto legislation, post which bitcoin 2021 is a milestone event and a harbinger of big things to come,” Zachary Kellman, managing partner at Kelman Law, told Cointelegraph. Kelman replied, “Yes, but because of the huge increase in demand for such a conference given the crypto bull market that occurred during the pandemic.”
Kelman is no crypto skeptic – quite the opposite. He belongs to the Florida Blockchain Business Association, which is actively lobbying for required crypto-enabled state legislation. If it’s secure, Miami could become a crypto hub, even without federal law, he said, because:
“Money transmission regulations, which are mostly governed by state legislatures, hold the key for crypto businesses to grow in a particular jurisdiction. Most of the activity remains in the exchange space, followed by the growth of ‘DeFi’ projects, which often Comes under the money transmission rules of the state.”
Miami has other advantages over other emerging crypto hubs — even Wyoming, which already has pro-crypto state laws — Hemang Subramaniam, assistant professor at Florida International University’s business school, told Cointelegraph. Miami is an international city with a developed banking infrastructure, and many venture capitalists and high-net-worth individuals are interested in funding innovation. In addition, “it is the country’s largest financial center, with a large port and a large number of expatriate populations from South America, the Caribbean, and Europe.”
Benjamin Sauter, an attorney for Kobre & Kim LLP, agreed with Subramaniam that Miami was an attractive destination and business center “especially as digital currencies begin to take the Latin American market by storm.” Florida also lacks a state income tax — another plus, he told Cointelegraph. But those advantages may still be incapable of turning the city into a global crypto hub, even with favorable state legislation:
“Most serious legal work needs to happen at the federal level. Much of the current discussion focuses on anti-money laundering, international cooperation and property recovery, and tax enforcement. In wealthy individuals and companies [crypto] Instead of holding your breath for a quick fix in Miami, it would be nice to have the space to plan government investigations and enforcement measures in these areas.”
Len Kaselman, Chief Business Officer of Blockchain.com, recently announced that it is expanding its US Headquarters from New York to Miami, was quite excited about the company’s brand new second home and told Cointelegraph, “Miami already has [new] Crypto Valley, and last week’s announcements prove it.” He added, Mayor Suarez is acting as a vocal proponent for technology investment in the region, and “Miami’s welcoming regulatory environment fosters crypto innovation.” will help to deliver.”
Miami as seen from abroad
What about looking further away? Thomas Nagel, an attorney who played a role in the development of Crypto Valley, told Cointelegraph, “I think Miami is in a very good position to become a blockchain hub like Crypto Valley in Switzerland and the crypto country of Liechtenstein,” adding. Several warnings:
“Blockchain hub is not something that can simply be imposed; it has to be supported by the community, requires a certain number of companies operating in the sector, and last but not least, legal clarity is required.
This last item, “legal clarity”, is of utmost importance, Nagelle emphasized, and “a perfect example for this is Liechtenstein whose TVTG – also known as the Blockchain Act – provides a legal framework for the tokenization of assets”. does.”
Ian Simpson, senior marketing and communications manager at Bitcoin Suisse AG – a company based in Crypto Valley – told Cointelegraph, “One of the challenges for large cities and countries is that crypto can be ‘swallowed’ by the broader technological ecosystem.” is, and it could reduce the attractiveness of blockchain projects.” “Close contacts and access to ideas, talent and quality services are some of the things that have made Switzerland’s Crypto Valley this one. We’ll have to wait and see how things develop in Miami,” he said.
When asked whether Bitcoin 2021 should be viewed as a milestone event for the crypto and blockchain space, Simpson replied that although it was a welcome event, especially after all of last year’s lockdown, ” It doesn’t seem to be a significant change. or development in the community – and as we saw it had no impact on the markets.”
For his part, Nagel called it “a pity” that most European countries were on a quarantine list and unable to attend the Bitcoin 2021 gathering, “but what my friends were telling me was an amazing event.” was, and it is always a good start for an ecosystem.” While Castleman commented, “There is no question that we have reached a critical inflection point where crypto has moved from niche to mainstream,” he further explained to Cointelegraph:
“It is worth mentioning that the conference was not just about bitcoin, it was about the ecosystem: from DeFi to NFTs to sushi swaps. Crypto is an industry, not just one. [single] Highly valuable token. “
A new center of gravity?
Overall, is it possible to identify the nerve center of the crypto/blockchain world, and if so, could it change? This may shift from time to time, Nagelle said, “depending on where attractive conditions exist for the companies concerned. Europe, and especially Switzerland and Liechtenstein, were certainly early adopters, and more recently “In the end, Asia is catching on. I’m really looking forward to welcoming Miami to the club, but in the end, I hope we will treat the world as a crypto hub.”
Simpson said, “The US has a strong position in the blockchain and crypto space due to its leading technology and Coinbase’s recent IPO. However, Europe and Switzerland offer greater openness on the regulatory side, and also in the Asian ecosystem for scale.” There’s a lot of weight at the base.” But pinpointing a single center of gravity in the blockchain ecosystem is still difficult, he said.
“While the US and Europe get the majority of the press, Latin America and Asia show the fastest retail user growth,” Castleman said. “As crypto becomes more ubiquitous in financial services, we will see emerging markets accelerate adoption for core products, and mature markets increasing their use of the expanding crypto ecosystem.”
“I think Miami could easily be the US capital of crypto if it isn’t already,” Kellman said. “However, without federal legislative backing, it is impossible for Miami to become the international crypto capital,” and recent signs “point to more difficult federal legislation rather than crypto-friendly laws in the near term.”
Subramaniam said regulation always follows innovation, and “in a democracy, the ‘will’ of the people will eventually fade away.” That is, the expected state and federal laws will eventually come. “If Zug can become a crypto-blockchain haven in Switzerland, so can Miami. It is more diverse, more international and more capital-friendly,” he said.