The Bitcoin 2021 Conference in Miami in early June wasn't just a celebration of the end of the pandemic and an opportunity for cryptocurrency and blockchain true believers to gather up close and maskless with more than 10,000 fellow travelers. It was a watershed moment for a technological and cultural movement whose goal is nothing short of the separation of money and state.
Bitcoin emerged just a dozen years ago, when a pseudonymous genius shared a nine-page paper on an obscure email list, and now it's the third-largest currency on the planet, according to Deutsche Bank. In another 12 years, we may look back on Bitcoin 2021 as the Woodstock of the crypto generation.
One of the biggest—and most surprising—breakout stars of the conference was Cynthia Lummis, a 66-year-old freshman Republican senator from Wyoming. From the stage and in an interview with Reason, Lummis forcefully made the case that bitcoin not only provides a legitimate alternative store of value and medium of exchange but would act as a check on the devaluation of the U.S. dollar and other currencies through the runaway creation of fiat money. She also believes that the growth of bitcoin—mistakenly assailed for its heavy use of electricity—is acting as a spur to create renewable energy in places such as Wyoming, and she extolled its privacy features in a world of increasing surveillance by governments and corporations alike.