"They wanted to show that they didn’t have any limits."
Like a lot of other folks out there, the sullen owners of Miami nightclubs have lost out in the crypto crash — although not necessarily because they invested their savings into the cryptocurrencies. Instead, they're missing out on the business of high-rolling crypto millionaires, who according to club owners sought to loudly flaunt their newfound wealth on the city's world-renowned nightlife scene.
"Out of the blue, all these kids from crypto started coming down and spending a lot of money," Andrea Vimercati, director of food and beverage at Moxy Hotel group and former director of Groot Hospitality, told the Financial Times. Groot Hospitality operates Liv, Story, and Swan, three major Miami hotspots. "Like, an insane amount of money."
But as FT reports, the "young," "nerdy," and eager-to-spend crypto bros who not too long ago were hitting the clubs en masse — so much so that clubs like E11even even started to accept payment in crypto — are noticeably missing from the same hotspots they once swarmed. And considering that the current state of the cryptosphere, it's unclear whether they'll ever come back.
Jordan Belfort Lite
According to club operators, the wealth displayed by the crypto rich was genuinely extreme. Per the FT, the debauchery included bathtubs filled with champagne and handing rapper Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson III a "bunch of cash" to throw to club-goers during a performance. The tackiness even reportedly included clubgoers literally just showing people how much money they held in their crypto wallets.
"They wanted to show that they didn’t have any limits," Vimercati told the FT. "They were ordering 12 or 24 bottles of the most expensive champagne and just showering themselves without even drinking."
Indeed, if there was anywhere for these young entrepreneurs to attempt to live out their nerdy Jordan Belfort fantasy, Miami — with its flashy night scene, crypto-optimism and, at the time, low COVID restrictions — was the place. As the FT points out, the annual Bitcoin Conference even relocated to Miami from Los Angeles, and the Florida town's mayor even pushed for widespread crypto integration throughout the city.
To that point, none of this is terribly surprising. The cryptosphere is a market that, especially at its peak, has always been driven by hype, promotion, and a "get rich quick" mentality, and few things might encompass all of those things more fully than publicly showering yourself with luxury champagne, without even stopping to drink it.
READ MORE: Miami nightclubs mourn absence of high-rolling crypto entrepreneurs [Financial Times]
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