The Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami may have been a “super-spreader” event for COVID-19, reports have suggested.
According to some estimates, more than 50,000 people attended the event over a two-day period — and pictures show very few people were wearing masks or following the social distancing measures that have been in force elsewhere.
People who did go to the event did not need to prove that they have been vaccinated, and there was no requirement to wear a face covering.
In a tweet that has since been deleted because it led to a large number of queries from journalists, Coinist’s Luke Martin wrote:
“Looks like I’m joining the BTC Miami covid list. It turns out that attending packed events to discuss number-go-up technology does increase the chance of getting sick. I wish you all good health and green candles, and if you’re feeling sick go get tested this week.”
What we don’t know is whether or not the main coronavirus hotspots at this event related to the conference itself, or the countless number of networking events that took place on the sidelines.
BTC Media, which organized the event, said:
“Vaccines have been freely available for months in the US, to the extent that anyone who wanted to be vaccinated could do so by the time of the event. We provided all attendees with the current recommendations of the CDC and State of Florida and expressed to our audience that those who were high risk or hadn’t been vaccinated should consider waiting until next year.”
In some parts of the world, a more transmissible variant of COVID-19 — known as the Indian variant or Delta — has been sending case numbers rising once again.