Bitcoin 2022 Conference Recap
Last week our CEO, Rami Korhonen, had the opportunity to participate in the most attended Bitcoin conference ever organized, Bitcoin 2022, in Miami, USA. With 25,000 participants and the all-star cast of speakers, he learned a lot during the event. Here are some of his observations.
Bitcoin and Institutions
The institutional adoption of Bitcoin was one of the conference’s main themes. Large institutions are increasingly taking notice of its staggering rise from an obscure cypherpunk experiment to roughly a trillion-dollar asset in 13 years.
One of the major announcements at the conference was the Bitcoin payments app company Strike’s deals with Shopify and two of the world’s leading Point of Sales (POS) companies NCR and Blackhawk. Later this year, institutional partnerships will allow people to instantly purchase goods and services in hundreds of thousands of businesses with bitcoin.
The merchants accepting bitcoin payments benefit from instant settlement and close-to-zero fees compared to what traditional credit card companies charge. This can provide businesses with easier cash flow management and better profit margins when 3% credit card fees are replaced by close to zero percent fees.
In Strike CEO Jack Maller’s’ presentation, one thing that was not discussed was how people will keep track of capital gains taxes when using Bitcoin for regular payments. In most countries, including Finland and USA, every bitcoin payment triggers a capital tax event. It will be interesting to see how people handle the accounting side of bitcoin’s everyday use in the future.
Bitcoin and Banks
Another exciting development is that more banks are adding Bitcoin-related services to their service portfolios. A representative of the US company Bakkt told the audience that there has been a considerable shift: A few years ago, bankers asked why they should look at Bitcoin. Today they are asking how they could get involved.
Furthermore, he explained that many banks feel the need to participate due to simple consumer demand: The banks see how much money leaves consumers’ bank accounts for crypto-services, and they also receive an increasing amount of customer feedback asking when people can start investing in bitcoin through their bank.
Oivan’s new white-label Bitcoin Saving App Hatch offers banks a straightforward way to provide a service, with which the bank’s customers can easily buy bitcoin, store it, or send it to their own bitcoin wallet. Hatch can be fully embedded in the bank’s existing banking app.
Read more about Oivan’s new white-label Bitcoin Saving App Hatch.
Bitcoin as Treasury Asset and ESG Considerations
Many sessions discussed the next wave of institutional adoption of bitcoin as a reserve asset. Several public companies, such as Tesla, Block, and MicroStrategy, already have significant bitcoin allocations, and many speakers discussed what it will take to get top hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds to deploy more capital in bitcoin.