Miami Bitcoin Gathering Was a Covid Hot Spot, Attendees Say


Cryptocurrency podcaster Luke Martin said he caught Covid-19 during the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami last week, one of the biggest events in the US since the pandemic began.

Larry Cermak, director of research at Block, a cryptocurrency news and information website, said he didn’t get it, but “everyone” he hung out with during the three days of conferences and parties.

The Martin tweet was then removed.

The conference, which sold at least 12,000 tickets, brought together mostly unmasked crowds in Miami’s Wynwood arts district, with several blocks winding around the complex on opening day. There were countless other gatherings and after parties as well.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has given fully vaccinated Americans the green light to return to most forms of normal life, but their guidelines do not apply to the 57% of the country who are not yet fully vaccinated.

Bitcoin, a decentralized virtual currency that enthusiasts say is beyond the reach of government interference, has become a popular and controversial investment, but unlike many normal investments, it has developed a unique culture for itself, that of is shaped by a kind of macho and anti-authority ethos.

There was no vaccine verification at the Miami conference and masking was rare. Although part of the event was outside, many Bitcoiners crowded the warehouses and private house parties. It was not clear whether attendees got the disease at the conference itself or at the meetings. Some people came to town just to network.

“Vaccines have been freely available in the US for months, so anyone who wanted to be vaccinated could do so at the time of the event,” organizer BTC Media said in a statement. “We made the latest recommendations from the CDC and the State of Florida available to all attendees, and told our audience that those at high risk or not vaccinated should consider waiting until next year.”

Everyone I’ve hung out with in Miami got Covid. Fortunately for me, I was hanging about a foot above everyone

– Larry Cermak (@lawmaster) June 10, 2021

It remains difficult to attribute breakouts to specific events – and the Bitcoin event is unlikely to be an exception.

About one in 3,000 Americans tested positive for Covid-19 in the past week, so confirming a discreet Bitcoin 2021 effect will require more than a few tweets.

Attempts to reach the Florida Department of Health were unsuccessful late Thursday.

– With the assistance of Luke McGrath

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