President Cancels Bitcoin Conference Appearance to State of Emergency

El Salvador’s president has canceled his appearance at the Miami Bitcoin Conference after a state of emergency was declared following a series of gang killings in the country.

In a letter posted on the conference’s Twitter page, Nayeb Bukele wrote: “I have just made the decision of canceling my participation in the conference due to unforeseen circumstances in my home country that require my full attention as president.”

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Bukele’s speech was scheduled for today. With the rise of gang wars in the country, however, he had to “make the hard decision” of not participating in the event.

President says 7,000 arrested


El Salvador has been in a state of emergency since March 29 when police reported 62 killings. Bukele also added that around 7,000 gang members have been arrested and that he may cut rations for prisoners.

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The world’s biggest Bitcoin conference kicked off yesterday at the Miami Beach Convention Center and will run for four days. Many big names in the industry are scheduled to appear, including Anthony Pompliano, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor and billionaire Peter Thiel, among others.

Bukele was expected to be one of the key speakers at the conference where last year he made headlines when he announced El Salvador would accept Bitcoin as legal tender.

Another key participant will be Jack Mallers, the CEO of the mobile Bitcoin payment app Strike. He was one of the most important figures in El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption. He said in an interview that he is “willing to die for” what Bitcoin stands for and the message it delivers.

Miami has one of the most crypto-friendly mayors with its welcoming environment for the industry. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has already attracted some cryptocurrency miners to South Florida.


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