This is an opinion piece by Tone Vays, derivatives analyst and trader, founder of Unconfiscatable and The Financial Summit.
As the fifth annual BitBlockBoom drew to a close, founder and organizer Gary Leland sat on stage reflecting on the challenging road he has taken over the past two years that has led to a record crowd of over 600 Bitcoiners:
“During COVID-19 I personally wanted to go to Bitcoin events, but there weren’t many choices. I thought there were others who also wanted to go out and have human interaction during COVID-19. This was my main influence to go full steam ahead with BitBlockBoom in 2020 and 2021. It turned out I was right and now in 2022 we have more than doubled the participants and providers. My main goal has always been to host the kind of conference I want to attend and it seems like a lot of people approve, so the growth has been sweet. “
The amazing presentations and panels by Jack Mallers, Jeff Booth, Jimmy Song, Senator Cynthia Lummis and others are sure to be timeless and relevant for years to come. The biggest takeaway, however, was how happy people were to meet their virtual friends in person. The popularity of Twitter spaces over the past year has really changed the social media landscape, largely thanks to swan and Bitcoin Magazine’s initiatives that bring in many new rumors that would otherwise have remained anonymous and mute. This was the first event where these small dedicated groups of voice-only hosts online had the opportunity to spend time together in person.
Surfer Jim (@surferjimw) to put it best, when he said “Now I have friends all over the world and events like this really allow me to meet my extended family”. Meet other Twitter personalities like TC (@Meditation_Man) and Formica (@ 2140data) were one of the highlights of his trip. The feeling was mutual when she asked TC, who showed her face for the first time by attending this event. “Meeting Surfer Jim and watching him with my mother-in-law orange pill was amazing.” TC said.
People around the world tend to underestimate the importance of personal privacy. No community, aside from hackers, takes this more seriously than Bitcoiners. The mere fact that so many people were willing to show their faces and introduce themselves for the first time is a strong message to the world that we are ready to take on greater challenges and to face control to stand up for what we believe in.
While the conference itself was amazing, there were also many popular side events. This included a meeting at Unchained Capital’s Bitcoin Commons incubator, where NYDIG had a major announcement of their lightning accelerator called Wolf’s Clothing. Another side event that attracted a huge crowd was a chess tournament organized by Mike Jarmuz from Bitcoin Blitz Chess Club. Sharing common ground with a group of like-minded people is an incredible thing to witness as it leads to many steak dinners and poker games as the Bitcoiners get together.
Conference attendees were also incredibly supportive of Hodlonaut and its ongoing legal battle that threatens to silence many voices in this space. There were several fundraising and initiatives during the event emphasizing the importance of this problem in the Bitcoin ecosystem.
Gary Leland announced that he is ready to take on a bigger challenge next year as the venue is likely to double to accommodate 1,500 people and is expected to be sold out once again.