Samson Mow, Jack Mallers plan major announcements at Bitcoin 2022

Quick Take

  • Although El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, will not be attending Bitcoin 2022, several other people who have focused on the Latin America region will be speaking. 
  • Former Blockstream CSO Samson Mow and Strike CEO Jack Mallers plan to make announcements Thursday.

Despite the news Wednesday that El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele would be canceling his Thursday appearance, the event agenda still includes speakers who have been actively working to increase bitcoin adoption in Latin America over the past year.

At least two big announcements are planned for Thursday. 

Samson Mow, Pixelmatic CEO and former Blockstream chief strategy officer: April 7, 10:45 a.m. 

Former Blockstream Chief Strategy Officer Samson Mow will appear at the Bitcoin 2022 conference to make a morning announcement.

Mow played a key role in developing El Salvador’s bitcoin bond, which was scheduled to launch in March and is now on hold until further notice. Those bonds would be issued using Blockstream’s Liquid Network sidechain. 

Mow announced on March 1 that he was leaving Blockstream after five years to “focus on nation-state bitcoin adoption.” While some rumors have emerged about whether a country could follow El Salvador in making bitcoin legal tender, nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

“I guess I have to use 100x leverage on my announcement tomorrow then,” Mow tweeted after it was announced that Bukele would not be attending the conference.  

Jack Mallers, CEO of Strike - April 7: 4:35 p.m.

Strike CEO Jack Mallers is returning to the Bitcoin conference this year to make an announcement.

While details have not been announced, it may involve connecting merchants to the Lightning Network-powered mobile payments app based on information Mallers has teased ahead of the event. The app is currently available in the US, El Salvador and Argentina. 

“We need to get more merchants on board,” Mallers told podcast host Natalie Brunell during a March 31 interview when asked to give a preview of what Bitcoin 2022 attendees could expect. He said that attracting merchants has been a priority for him in recent months. The event agenda shows a picture of Mallers next to a description of the talk, which cryptically says “Untitled” and “Jack Mallers Announcement Keynote.”

On March 24, Mallers posted a series of images to Twitter, including a graphic with logos of Starbucks, CVS Pharmacy, Whole Foods, Best Buy, The Home Depot and Target alongside a screenshot of a QR code that would be used to pay for fast food items. On the other side are logos of companies including Strike, Cash App, Muun and Tor.

“With Bitcoin as the monetary network, the financial system will be cheaper, faster, more innovative, and more inclusive,” Mallers tweeted. “Two weeks.”

Mallers was scheduled to appear just after Bukele, before the president dropped out of the event.

At the Bitcoin 2021 conference last year, Mallers gave a speech about opportunities for countries to adopt bitcoin, which ended up being the moment when Bukele announced he would make bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador. Mallers said he had played a role in helping form the legislation to make that happen. 

Ricardo Salinas Pliego, Chairman of Salinas Group: 10:00 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.

Mexican billionaire and Salinas Group chairman Ricardo Salinas Pliego will be speaking during two panels at Bitcoin 2022.

While it is unclear whether he will make any announcements, Salinas is one of the most high-profile speakers at the event and a key bitcoin supporter in Latin America. One of his companies, the popular retailer Grupo Elektra, accepts bitcoin payments.

Salinas will first appear on the panel entitled “Billionaire Capital Allocators,” along with Thoma Bravo’s Orlando Bravo, ex-SoftBank COO Marcelo Claure, 10T Holdings’ Dan Tapiero and bitcoin strategist Greg Foss. Later, he will give a talk entitled: Cult of the Central Bank: A Fiat Religion. 

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to correct a reference to when El Salvador's bitcoin bond was scheduled to launch.

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