Pepe invades Bitcoin 2023 in Miami with massive Picasso-inspired mural

What a difference a year makes. Last year, when Bitcoin was over $40,000, a giant metal bull greeted visitors to the annual Bitcoin Magazine conference in Miami, proclaiming that the “future of finance” had arrived. A year later, and well into a fresh crypto winter, Pepe seems to have taken over.

In the first day of the three-day event, the mood was somewhat subdued as crowds trickled in to hear panel discussions such as “The Fed vs. The Financial System,” “Fighting the Anti-Crypto Army” and “Bitcoin & The Banking Crisis.” The mood was serious, yet hopeful. But the real star of the show was Pepe, whose omnipresence coincides with the memecoin that caused a frenzy when it hit the market in mid-April.

Off to the side of the large expo hall at the conference, an art gallery featured both physical and digital art, some of which could be purchased in an ongoing auction using bitcoin.

The show stopper is a massive, 21-panel mural that pays meme homage to Picasso’s Guernica, the famed 1937 oil painting that became a symbol of the Spanish Civil War. Dubbed Pepernica, the painting by artist Luis Simo is over 11 feet tall and 25 feet long. The current bid is 3.1 millions sats, or nearly $850.

Another work by Simo called “Las Pepinas” is an original oil painting that memes Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas (The Ladies-in-Waiting).

Las Pepinas

Las Pepinas

Other Pepe-themed works at the show included Pepe-ized pop art “Plans for the Dollar” and “Oswald’s Diary.” The Indipepe series by artist JB is a memed derivative of Robert Indiana’s famous “LOVE” work that “seamlessly integrates the iconic Pepe the Frog into the annals of art history.”

To bid on the art, you have to deposit 1% of your bid as collateral, or 0.02 BTC for unlimited bids.

Pepe as Love

Pepe as Love

The gallery was not without digital art, and an “Ordinals Alley” displayed some of the earliest and most prominent Bitcoin Ordinals that have taken the sector by storm. Pepe was also there.

Bitcoin shoes

Pepe shoes

Art wasn’t the only thing for sale, with the event also featuring a peer-to-peer Bitcoin Bazaar where you could buy Bitcoin related items.

© 2023 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

Dress as a wizard, take a shower: step one toward mainstreaming Bitcoin

To bring crypto into the mainstream, you need to have fun…shower and be generally presentable… and dress like a wizard. Oh, and then send bitcoin to the moon.

Those were among the ideas batted around at the Bitcoin Builders Conference in Miami today, ahead of the Bitcoin 2023 Conference.

“People in crypto are not the most hygienic, I don’t know why,” Udi Wertheimer, co-founder of Taproot Wizards, said jokingly. “It’s just not always a very good experience to be next to crypto people. So we thought it’s time to fix it. If we want to go mainstream and we want people to adopt crypto, we need to be presentable. We were like, ok, let’s get people to take showers and we asked people, in order to get into the Taproot Wizard community, we asked them to take a shower, wearing a wizard costume.”

Ordinals and BRC-20 were the talk of the event, with attendees saying new developments can bring some of the fun back that had some people turn to other blockchains over recent years.

Fun is also a good way to go mainstream, enthusiasts agreed. The crypto industry is also eager to find new adopters amid a slide in interest, with cryptocurrency prices nowhere near their 2021 highs and the industry digesting a spectacular parade of corporate collapses.

BTC 2023 Miami

The Block’s George Calle, Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at Coinshares, Muneeb Ali, CEO Trust Machines

Ordinals recently led costs to spike and concerned some over the cluttering of the blockchain.

There were also very serious discussions at the Bitcoin Builders event, where panels included chats about rollups and ZK proofs.

BTC 2023 Miami

Aubrey Strobel, host of the Aubservation, Udi Wertheimer, co-founder of Taproot Wizards, Joe Vezzani, co-founder & CEO of LunarCrush, Danny Yang, founder, OnChainMonkey,

Wizards in the shower

Earlier this year, Taproot Wizards, an NFT collection, gave people the opportunity to complete quests to acquire a Taproot Wizard. One included dressing up as a wizard and filming yourself in the shower.

Wertheimer, speaking on a panel, estimated they received about 4,000 submissions.

“I actually really like what’s happening with Taproot Wizards and BRC-20s,” said Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at Coinshares. “There are all these incredible things that are happening that are driven by people having fun, and it’s funny, yesterday, someone asked me, what’s it going to take to get a dramatic leap forward in Bitcoin adoption? And I said, ‘Honestly, it’s probably going to be something silly that looks and feels like a toy, that makes people feel like Bitcoin is fun.’”

“Bitcoin’s becoming fun again. We’ve got people taking showers fully dressed to try to get a Taproot Wizards,” Demirors said on a panel.

Joe Vezzani, co-founder & CEO of LunarCrush, agreed.

“It’s all about fun,” he said. What’s his project? He’s sending bitcoin to the moon in the form of an address carved into a lunar rover “about the size of a dog.”

The question is: Chihuahua or Great Dane?

© 2023 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.