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Business Observer Friday, Oct. 29, 2021 9 months ago

Bits and blocks: Cryptocurrency thought leaders to convene in region

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On Nov. 5, Tampa's Amalie Arena will host the first-ever Bitcoin and blockchain summit to be held in Florida.
by: Brian Hartz Tampa Bay Editor

On Nov. 5, Tampa’s Amalie Arena is set to host Florida’s first-ever conference focused on Bitcoin and blockchain technology. In a sign of how mainstream these high-tech topics have become, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor will deliver an address welcoming the 500-plus attendees to the event. A closing keynote speech will be delivered by Cathie Wood, CEO of ARK Investment Management LLC, which recently announced the relocation of its headquarters from New York City to St. Petersburg. 

According to a news release, the Florida Bitcoin & Blockchain Summit aims to bring together stakeholders, businesses and political leaders with the goal of growing investments in cryptocurrency and encouraging the use of blockchain, a type of database used to organize and store information related to Bitcoin transactions, as well as other kinds of sensitive data.

Need more proof Bitcoin and blockchain are here to stay? There’s an official Blockchain Chamber of Commerce, headquartered in Atlanta, and it has given its blessing to the Tampa conference.

“The world is changing — supply chain, agriculture, education, real estate, aerospace and more,” CEO Rayshoun Chambers states in the release. “It's important we embrace the reality that blockchain technology will be at the center of solution-driven implementations in response to many current problems across the globe.”

However, she adds, “In order for mass adoption to take root, we need to encourage and support engagement at responsible events that are raising awareness of the technology. The Florida Bitcoin & Blockchain Summit does that for so many people.”

Tampa has been on the Bitcoin and blockchain bandwagon for some time. BlockSpaces, a startup that’s raised more than $1.3 million in seed funding, was founded in 2017. Doug Hill, founder and CEO of Tampa-based cybersecurity firm Real Random, was part of BlockSpaces.

“It started out as an organization with the mission of educating people about blockchain,” he tells Coffee Talk. “And they've now morphed into a platform as a service so that small- and medium-sized businesses can participate in blockchain without the burden of building it themselves.”

In addition to Castor, the event has the support of Tampa City Councilman Guido Maniscalco, who states, “As the world continues to rapidly change, we should be open minded to and embrace the future of technology and finance as the investments and use of cryptocurrency continue to rise. The future is already here.”

For tickets and more information, visit www.FloridaBlockChainSummit.com.

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