Some of the 12,000 attendees who flew to Miami last weekend for the biggest bitcoin event in history have started testing positive for Covid.
Bitcoin 2021 attracted crypto enthusiasts from around the world to the Mana Wynwood convention center in Miami’s arts and entertainment district. For three days, conference attendees crowded into crowded auditoriums, happy and hugging. It was the first major conference since the pandemic began, and many attendees said they were relieved to be with colleagues exchanging news and updates.
There was no mask mandate or proof of vaccination requirement to attend. Covid was just a topic of conversation in the context of how excited everyone was to have reached the other side of the pandemic.
That is, of course, until some conference participants took to Twitter to say they had tested positive for the coronavirus.
In a spirit of full disclosure, I attended the program after receiving two doses of the Moderna vaccine this spring. A vaccine is not a guarantee of 100% immunity, but at the moment I am not presenting any symptoms. Many of my conversations with Uber and Lyft drivers started with a mutual discussion about being vaccinated.
It remains to be seen whether the conference will ultimately be billed as a wide-spread event.
It is unclear how many people have been affected and if the city of Miami had a contingency plan for this type of outcome. The mayor’s office and conference organizers did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
On Tuesday, Florida said it will no longer report daily Covid cases and deaths as vaccines ramp up 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, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, well below its pandemic high of 84 per 100,000.