Bitcoiners have a lot on their plates; we innovate with tools that empower us to tackle global issues including climate change, human rights, ecological degradation, clean energy, looming authoritarianism, and the erosion of basic freedoms. Bitcoin is a remarkable technology, but adoption is slow without the effort and enthusiasm of the growing Bitcoin community.
Bitcoin’s indelible evolution hasn’t come without setbacks. Public sentiment toward Bitcoin’s push to becoming the world’s first trustless, apolitical, globally inclusive, and ultimately ethical money is often misdirected by errant authorities and the attacks of awry organizations. Bitcoiners work hard, it’s a part of our ethos, but we also need a break to gather strength and reconvene before the next leg of battle.
Each year, BTC Media hosts “the Miami conference” or “Bitcoin Miami” where Bitcoiners have the chance to celebrate, ideate, and rally as one. In this year’s iteration of what has become the largest yearly Bitcoin event, Bitcoin 2023 is an opportunity for the community to recuperate and reintegrate, as well as reflect on how far we have come. After all that has happened since Bitcoin 2022, we have some catching up to do, to say the least.
Asic Magazine recently had the opportunity to catch up with Brandon Greene, Chief of Staff and Director of Events at BTC Media. As lead organizer for Bitcoin 2023, Brandon shared how plans for this year’s conference aim to create an immersive atmosphere for attendees to decompress while enjoying curated discussions, networking opportunities, collaborative spaces, surprise speakers, and special product announcements.
This article reports on what to expect from the conference along with some history of the event and stories from Brandon’s own journey with BTC Media. In this edition of Asic Magazine, readers can expect to learn how Bitcoin 2023 will curate a space for enthusiasts and professionals in Bitcoin mining, the Lightning Network, ordinals, and beyond.
About Brandon and BTC Media
We started our interview with Brandon by asking how he started his journey with BTC Media. He shared how he joined the company straight from college in 2017 along with the co-founders. The team consisted of 12 people back then and their growth has since mimicked Bitcoin’s price. At the peak of Bitcoin’s price in 2022, BTC Media had 130 employees and is somewhat smaller today. Bitcoin’s growth has been impressive since 2012 and, as Brandon stated, “the conference was launched as a result of that growth.”
Brandon describes his experience at BTC Media as "like drinking from a firehose constantly", that it never feels slow, even during the bear markets, and that “it’s been a wild ride”. Brandon also mentioned that their team adds a “key piece” every couple of years, such as launching Bitcoin Magazine in 2019 and Bitcoin Magazine Pro, an investor subscription product, in late 2021/2022.
Today, as chief of staff, Brandon acts as the right hand to the CEO and has been the head content curator for the conference since 2019. In his own words, “the conference is my baby”.
What’s in store for Bitcoin 2023?
As Brandon describes, “The Bitcoin conference serves the community based on its respective needs and trends for each given year”. But before getting into the details, Brandon gave us some context as to how the three day event has evolved:
“In 2017/2018, when the fork war happened, the community was small and the situation became nasty. Even today, people are still not talking to each other about it. We were tired and sick of each other. The 2019 Bitcoin conference was all about making Bitcoin fun again and bringing the community back together. It was about getting back to our roots and not taking ourselves too seriously despite bitcoin’s big dreams. We like to create a gathering place for the community. What we learned is that it’s about bringing the builders and the leaders back together, especially during the bear market after some collapse happens. The opportunity is to come back together to rebuild with the core tenets of Bitcoin.”
What is Brandon looking forward to?
Asking Brandon about his particular interests for this year’s conference, he shared his enthusiasm for fostering focused learning experiences in coordination with having fun.
Much of Brandon’s focus this year will be on “Industry Day”, a day dedicated to financial institutions, enterprise business, and startups. He explained, “I’m curating content for an impactful experience. There will be conversations about distressed assets and discussions about lessons learned over the past year.”
As for having fun, Brandon alluded to the GA (general admission) experience. He said, “We’ve gone through a lot of pain and we just want to come together to relax and enjoy ourselves as we build ourselves back up.”
Which trends pique Brandon’s interest?
According to Brandon, there are a few exciting trends in the market. One of the most notable is the growing conversation around ordinals. Brandon postulated that ordinals, when combined with USDC, have the potential to make all other chains obsolete, to an extent.
Additionally, Brandon seemed thrilled about Bitcoin's potential to become the one essential blockchain, especially as stablecoins are still managed by institutions and intermediaries.
Any special clues for what we should expect?
Brandon hinted that there will be some exciting product announcements during the GA mainstage events at the conference, as well as surprise speakers. The organizers also plan to build out dedicated spaces for deeper conversations, such as a space dedicated to the mining industry.
Brandon expects major miners, home miners, and service providers to attend and hopes that new products and deals will emerge from these conversations. Additionally, the technical stage will feature Lightning Network and open source talks.
Jokingly, Brandon quipped that Sam Bankman-Fried won’t be in attendance and that Elon Musk likely won’t make it either, as is often speculated. The jokes continued onto Kevin O’Leary. People seem to be “sick of” him at this point, so don’t expect to see him either.
Last year's conference was a hub for mining-related discussions. The conversations centered around growth, financing, best practices, building out farms, and had an exploratory vibe. This year, Brandon believes there will be a sense of "coming back to reality".
Interestingly, many more energy companies will be attending the conference this year, “big ones”, according to Brandon. He mentioned that Shell, Duke Energy, Exxon, and BP have all expressed interest in the mining industry since last year’s event. The CEO, Brad Jones, of ERCOT, Texas’ independent state energy grid, will also be present at the conference, as the company loves miners and boasts one of the most free and renewable grids out there.
Ready for Bitcoin 2023
With the year’s largest Bitcoin conference quickly approaching, Bitcoiners are gearing up for some much-needed rest and integration. For three days, from May 18-20, Miami will be the center of where enthusiasts and professionals alike will absorb and share all the latest developments and ideas where Bitcoin’s impact reaches.
Amongst the excitement, Bitcoin mining is drawing special attention as major energy giants enter the scene. Shell will be one of the event’s sponsors and will be present along with various mining companies, including Asic Jungle. If you will be attending Bitcoin 2023, then make sure to come find us.
This year’s event will be taking place in the midst of a United States banking crisis reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis that catalyzed Satoshi Nakamoto’s launch of the Bitcoin genesis block. With threats to the hegemony of the US dollar also in the headlines, this year’s conference is bound to be timely and insightful.