Several crypto fans who descended on Miami, Florida last weekend for the biggest bitcoin conference in history now say they have tested positive for covid-19.
Larry Cermak, research director at cryptocurrency media The Block, said on Twitter Thursday that although he had not personally tested positive, “everyone” he hung out with in Miami at the three-day Bitcoin 2021 conference. Several alleged screenshots circulating on the platform have showed other participants announcing that they had since tested positive for the virus. “Looks like I’m joining the BTC Miami covid list,” cryptocurrency podcaster Luke Martin said in a now-deleted tweet, according to a screenshot shared by Cryptowhale, the pseudonym of a leading cryptocurrency financial analyst.
No wonder the conference is starting to look more and more like a possible super-spreading event given that 1) there was no mask warrant or proof of vaccination requirement to attend; 2) some 12,000 people crammed into the convention center; and 3) Florida is one of the five states who never implemented a statewide face mask requirement throughout the pandemic and was among the first throw covid-19 restrictions out the window. While part of the event took place outdoors, attendees still crowded into auditoriums, private parties and other networking events with no masks in sight, Bloomberg reports.
“The vaccines have been available free of charge for months in the United States, as anyone wishing to be vaccinated could do so at the time of the event,” Bitcoin 2021 organizer BTC Media said in a statement. . “We provided all participants with the current CDC and State of Florida recommendations and expressed to our audience that those who were at high risk or had not been vaccinated should consider waiting until the next year.”
BTC Media did not immediately respond to questions from Gizmodo about health precautions, if any, that were in place last weekend.
The jury is still out on how many people may have contracted the virus or whether Bitcoin 2021 will ultimately be labeled as a supercasting event. From TuesdayFlorida now reports its tally of covid-19 cases and deaths on a weekly rather than daily basis. The state pointed to increased vaccination rates to justify the decision, adding that Florida is “moving to the next phase” of its response to the pandemic. Last week’s report has yet to be released. Nationally, the current seven-day average of daily news is 14,349, down about 35% from the previous week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. reports.