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Bitcoin, Blockchain Summit to bring major announcements

Mark Parker



Gabe Higgins, co-founder of Blockspaces, at last year's summit. Photos by Mark Parker.

For the second straight year, organizers are bringing industry stakeholders and business and political leaders together in Tampa for the Florida Bitcoin & Blockchain Summit.

Billed as the state’s “first blockchain and fintech in Florida focused event,” the summit takes place Friday, Nov. 4, at the Holiday Inn Westshore. Like last year’s event, held at Amalie Arena, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor will kick off a full day of programming with a welcoming address.

The Mayor – and the summit – made national headlines last year when Castor announced she would receive a portion of her salary in bitcoin, the apex cryptocurrency. The recent industrywide downturn, explained Chris Krimitsos, founder of Florida Bitcoin & Blockchain Summit (FBBS), helped eliminate the preponderance of speculators and “bandwagoners” who clouded the space.

“I’m most excited to see where everybody’s at, kind of batten down the hatches and compare notes,” said Krimitsos. “There’s been a lot of turmoil in the markets lately, and we have some really cool panels, like spotting opportunities in a bear market.”

In addition, Krimitsos relayed his anticipation to hear the latest news from Cityverse. Joe Hamilton, Head of Network for the platform (and publisher of the Catalyst), will host a presentation on the startup in the afternoon.

The Tampa Bay Rays organization recently announced it acquired an equity position in Cityverse, and Krimistos noted Hamilton would announce a “major new investor” at the summit.

Gabe Higgins and Rosa Shores, founders of Blockspaces, are also featured speakers at the event. Krimistos expects to hear significant news from that company as well.

“So, we have some big announcements that will be made on-site that we cannot talk about,” he added. “But that will revolutionize the crypto space.”

Cathie Wood (right), CEO of ARK Invest, and Lakshmi Shenoy, CEO of Embarc Collective, talk at the 2021 event.

Kyle Kemper, chief solutions officer for RAZE, author and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s half-brother, will serve as the event’s keynote speaker. Kemper lives in the Sarasota area, and RAZE is a Web3 securities platform that helps businesses raise capital.

Krimitsos said that Kemper and Trudeau grew up together and remain close.

“He loves blockchain and the freedom it represents,” he said of Kemper. “We’re excited to hear his thoughts on RAZE, and his thoughts on the crypto space and what it represents.”

Chris Krimitsos, founder of the Florida Bitcoin and Blockchain Summit. Photo provided.

The price of bitcoin – and most other popular cryptocurrencies – reached all-time highs last year, which Krimitsos said caused people to jump on and off the proverbial bandwagon several times. He called it a “richer” year to attend for those looking to enter the space and grow, as the industry has condensed to the “true blue” creators.

“The real players in the space don’t care about the fluctuations – they’re still playing,” Krimitsos stressed. “The people that care about the fluctuations are not dedicated to the space. They are dedicated to making a quick buck.”

Not only does he believe a bear market is the best time for newcomers to learn and invest, but Krimitsos noted organizers are holding an 8:30 a.m. educational session Nov. 4, before Castor’s welcoming address.

Krimitsos said he also looks forward to hearing more about Tampa Bay’s emerging Web3 scene, the latest applications for NFTs and learning about new industry regulations. He relayed that the local Web3 community is hosting a charity lunch at 11:30 a.m. to raise funds for those impacted by Hurricane Ian.

Fractional staking platform PoktPool has already donated $1,000 to the cause, Krimitsos said.

“I’m just really excited to lock shields with the people that are really passionate about this space. And to see people again and reunite … because financially, for a lot of people, it has been tough.”

He expects 300 to 400 people to attend the 2022 summit, about half who came to Amelie Arena last year. Despite the anticipated reduction in size, Krimitsos said organizers are pleasantly surprised to attract that many people during a market downturn.

“It means that there is a robust ecosystem here,” he added,  “that really wants this event to thrive.”

For more information on the Florida Bitcoin & Blockchain Summit, visit the website here.





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