Tales from the crypto

YL.Crypto.jpg

Tales from the crypto

In 2016, yacht retailers announced they would now accept Bitcoin. Maybe this reflected crypto-bullishness by yacht sellers. More likely, it reflected the obscene amount of wealth rapidly acquired by goofy young men lacking prudence or frugality.

For six years, at least, corners of the luxury economy adapted to the swelling ranks of crypto bros. In 2021, Bentley saw record sales figures, as did Rolls Royce, all while regular carmakers saw new-car sales fall. One reason: Millennial males who had gone long on cryptocurrency found themselves with hundreds of millions of dollars — and not a lot of productive things to spend this money on.

Geography was part of this. Rich lobbyists spend their ill-gotten gains in downtown Washington. Wall Street millionaires make it rain in Manhattan. Hedge funders bankroll fancy restaurants in Connecticut. Cryptocurrency moguls, wanting to plant roots in the tax haven of the Bahamas, congregated around Miami and its environs — thus the yachts.

And thus the bizarre change of clientele at Miami Beach’s nightclubs.

“Out of the blue, all these kids from crypto started coming down and spending a lot of money — like, an insane amount of money,” one industry source told the Financial Times.

“They were booking tables for $50,000,” one nightclub manager said. “And it was like, who the hell are these people?” One group reportedly gave some of their cash to performer 50 Cent so he could shower it out on the audience.

For a period, the most exclusive nightclubs down there were overrun by cryptocurrency nerds.

He who lives by the cryptocurrency boom dies by the cryptocurrency bust, though. So the recent cryptocurrency catastrophe has had economic ripple effects.

“Miami nightclub owners are struggling with slumping sales after losing top-spending crypto clientele,” reported Business Insider. “Requests for $50,000 tables and bottle service for top-shelf liquor at hottest venues are drying up.”

“‘Revenge of the nerds’ screeches to a halt after collapse in value of digital currencies,” the FT reported from across the Atlantic.

The Italian-designed 170-foot superyacht christened Much Wow, which is an inside, very online joke related to the nearly inexplicable Dogecoin, went back on the market at the front end of this recent cryptocalypse.

Some thought the cryptocurrency boom would change Miami forever. Maybe it only changed it for about a year or two.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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