Some of the 12,000 attendees who flew into Miami last weekend for the biggest bitcoin event in history have started testing positive for COVID.
Bitcoin 2021 drew crypto enthusiasts from around the world to the supposed Wynwood Conference Center in Miami’s Arts and Entertainment District. For three days, the crowded auditoriums leading up to the convention were packed with, joyful hugs. It was the first major conference since the pandemic began, and many attendees said they were relieved amid business news and updates from colleagues.
There was no mask mandate and no evidence of a vaccination requirement to participate. COVID was the only talking point in the context of how thrilled everyone was to be on the other side of the pandemic.
Of course, until some conference participants took to Twitter to say that they had tested positive for the coronavirus.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I attended the show this spring after receiving two doses of Moderna Vaccine. Vaccination is not a 100% guarantee of immunity, but at this time, I am not presenting any symptoms. Many of my conversations with Uber and Lyft drivers began with a mutual discussion of vaccinations.
Whether the convention will ultimately be viewed as a super spreader phenomenon remains to be seen.
It is not clear how many people have been affected and whether the city of Miami had any contingency plans for such an outcome. The mayor’s office and convention organizers did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
On Tuesday, Florida said it would no longer report daily COVID cases and fatalities as vaccination increases and it begins to move into the “next phase” of the pandemic. Florida reported an average of eight new cases per 100,000 residents over the past week, far below the pandemic’s high of 84 per 100,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
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