Local Latino business leaders packed into the Biltmore conference center Friday to learn about cryptocurrencies and more as part of the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 16th annual Viva Miami Business Expo and Lunch conference.
Bitcoin represents the freedom that the parents and grandparents of many chamber members sought when they came to the U.S., said Doug Carillo, chief strategy officer and co-founder of cryptocurrency group Bitstop. Especially in an environment where inflation is returning and purchasing power becomes imperiled — an idea not all economists agree with — Bitcoin may prove a sound investment.
“If you’re a trader and trying to get rich, I can’t help you,” Carillo told the group of about 200 attendees. “But if you’re interested in saving and building value, you should think about it to use as a hedge.”
Although the price of Bitcoin continues to see large swings in its price day-to-day — on Friday, it fell more than $2,000 after China announced a new crackdown — one Bitcoin is now worth $42,000, a 700% gain over the past five years.
Pouyan Esmaeil Zadeh, a professor in Florida International University’s Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics, said questions about Bitcoin’s viability should be laid to rest.
“There is no going back,” he said. “We may be in a transition phase at the moment, but in 10 years everyone is going to be laughing at us for asking why we were even having debates about believing in it.”
Meanwhile, the city of Miami continues to watch as the independently governed MiamiCoin continues to climb in value. As part of its software design, MiamiCoin stores 30% of its gains in a digital wallet reserved for the city. The value of that wallet has now climbed to more than $6 million since launching August 3. Earlier this month, city officials voted to accept the funds in the wallet, though it does not yet plan on spending them.
At that rate of growth, Miami could become the first city to have a fully funded government with no traditional taxes, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said on the panel.
“We are building something for my children and my future grandchildren,” he said.
The chamber also presented its Miguel de Cervantes local impact achievement awards. This year’s winners were:
Carlos Martinez, president and CEO of United Homecare
Dr. Bert Moreno, chief medical officer at Caremax
The Hon. Robert R. Munoz, president of the Global Financial Group LLC
Angela Ramos, director of community empowerment at Univision
Dr. Maria Cristina Regueiro, president and CEO of Florida National University