How Miami descends from “high” being hosted the “biggest” bitcoin event ever, it seems reasonable to ask: Does the Sunshine State entrepot really have what it takes to become “the cryptocurrency capital of the world?” – a new role assumed by its dynamic mayor. If not, she could Miami at the very least, become another Crypto Valley – ie a cradle for cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation, such as the Swiss canton of Zug?
The optics definitely look good. Like the New York Times he noted in last week’s bitcoin 2021 coverage Rally, “The city is full of cryptocurrencies,” with bitcoin ATMs sprinkled on Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood. In the meantime, the cryptocurrency exchange has secured the FTX naming rights for the Miami Heats Arenawhile there was also a proposal by Miami Mayor Francis Suarez to allow citizens pay taxes by cryptocurrency, Besides.
However, others warn that there is still a lot of hard work to be done – and regulatory / legislative events must turn out favorably before Miami can claim to be the capital of anything in a rapidly evolving cryptoversion.
Permitting legislation is essential
“Miami can’t do this without the Florida legislature adopting pro-cryptographic legislation,” Zachary Kelman, managing partner of Kelman Law, told Cointelegraph, who followed the question of whether bitcoin 2021 would be a milestone and a harbinger of the great things to come. Kelman replied, “Yes, but largely because of the withheld demand for such a conference, given that the cryptocurrency market occurred during the pandemic.”
Kelman is no crypteptic – quite the opposite. It belongs to the Florida Blockchain Business Association, which is actively lobbying for the necessary state legislation to enable cryptocurrencies. If secured, Miami could become a cryptocentre, even without federal legislation, he said because:
“The rules for money transfers, which are mostly governed by state legislatures, are key to making cryptocurrencies prosperous in a particular jurisdiction.” Most of the activity remains in the exchange area, followed by the growth of “DeFi” projects, which also often fall under the rules for state money transfers. “
Miami has other advantages over other emerging cryptocentres – even Wyoming, which already has state laws supporting cryptocurrencies, said Cointelegraph Hemang Subramanian, an assistant professor at a business school at Florida International University. Miami is an international city with a developed banking infrastructure, and many venture capitalists and individuals with high net worth are interested in financing innovation. In addition, “it is one of the largest financial hubs in a country with a large port and a huge population of South America, the Caribbean and Europe.”
Benjamin Sauter, a lawyer at Kobre & Kim LLP, agreed with Subramanian that Miami is an attractive destination and business center “especially as digital currencies begin to conquer the Latin American market.” Florida also lacks a state income tax – another plus, Cointelegraph said. But these benefits may still not be able to transform the city into a global crypto hub, even with favorable state legislation:
“Most serious legal work must take place at the federal level.” Much of the current discussion focuses on the fight against money laundering, international cooperation, and asset and tax recovery. Wealthy individuals and societies in [crypto] the universe would do well to plan government control and enforcement measures in these areas, instead of holding its breath for a quick fix in Miami. “
Lane Kasselman, commercial director of Blockchain.com, recently announced the move US headquarters from New York to Miami, was understandably bullish on the company’s sunny new second home and told Cointelegraph, “Miami is already [new] Crypto Valley and last week’s announcement prove it. “Mayor Suarez acts as a vocal advocate of technology investment in the region,” he added. “Miami’s pleasant regulatory environment will help support cryptocurrency innovation.”
Miami from abroad
And what about the view from a distance? Thomas Nägele, a lawyer involved in the development of Crypto Valley, told Cointelegraph: “I think Miami is in a very good position to become the center of a blockchain like Crypto Valley in Switzerland and the crypto of Liechtenstein,” he added.
“Blockchain hub is not something that can be easily imposed; it must be supported by the community, it requires a certain number of companies operating in this area, and last but not least, it needs legal clarity.”
The latter item, “legal clarity”, is of the utmost importance, Nägele emphasized, and “Liechtenstein is a perfect example with its TVTG – also known as the Blockchain Act – which provides the legal framework for asset tokenization.”
Ian Simpson, Head of Marketing and Communications at Bitcoin Suisse AG, a Crypto Valley-based company, told Cointelegraph: projects. He added: “Close contact and access to ideas, talent and quality services are some of the things that make the Swiss Crypto Valley what it is. We’ll have to wait and see how things turn out in Miami. “
Asked whether bitcoin 2021 should be considered a milestone event for cryptocurrency and blockchain space, Simpson replied that although it was a welcome event, especially after all last year’s deadlines, “it does not appear to represent a significant change or development in community – and as we have seen, it had absolutely no effect on the markets. “
Nägele called it a “pity” that most European countries were on the quarantine list and could not join the Bitcoin 2021 assembly, “but what my friends told me was an amazing event and this is always a good start for the ecosystem. While Kasselman commented, “There is no doubt that we have reached a critical inflection point where the cryptocurrency has moved from a niche to the mainstream,” Cointelegraph explained.
“Remarkably, the conference was not just about bitcoin, but about the ecosystem: from DeFi to NFT to SushiSwap.” Crypto is an industry, not only [single] highly prized token. “
A new center of gravity?
Overall, is it possible to identify the world’s crypto / blockchain nerve center, and if so, could that change? According to Nägel, this can change from time to time, “depending on where the conditions are attractive for the companies concerned. Europe, especially Switzerland and Liechtenstein, were certainly the first adopters, and recently it has been catching up with Asia. I’m really looking forward to welcoming Miami to the club, but in the end I hope we consider the world a cryptocurrency. ”
Simpson added: “The US has a strong position in blockchain and crypto space due to its technological lead and the recent IPO of Coinbase. However, Europe and Switzerland seem to offer more openness in terms of regulation, and the Asian ecosystem also has great weight due to its scale. “But it is still difficult to point to a single center of gravity in the blockchain ecosystem,” he added.
“While the US and Europe are gaining a large share of the press, Latin America and Asia are showing the fastest growth in retail users,” Kasselman added. “It is likely that cryptocurrency will be ubiquitous in financial services, and we will see that emerging markets accelerate the uptake of basic products and advanced markets expand the use of an expanding crypto ecosystem.”
“I think Miami could be the American capital of the cryptocurrency, if it isn’t,” Kelman said. “Without federal legislative support, however, it is impossible for Miami to become the international capital of cryptocurrencies,” and recent indications “in the near future point to stricter federal legislation than laws acceptable to cryptocurrencies.”
Subramanian said that regulation always follows innovation, and “in democracy, the” will “of the people will eventually manifest.” This means that the necessary state and federal legislation will eventually come. “If Zug can become a refuge for crypto-blockchain in Switzerland, it can also become Miami.” It is more diverse, international and much more capital-friendly, “he added.