Miami club owners told the Financial Times business is slumping as the crypto industry takes a blow.
Crypto, tech, and hedge fund leaders came to the city en masse during the pandemic.
But in the wake of the FTX implosion, some of the city's top spenders have vanished.
Crypto leaders aren't the only ones feeling the blow of the cratering market and the downfall of FTX — so too are the Miami club owners who profited from regularly hosting some of the industry's top spenders.
Requests for $50,000 tables and bottle service for top-shelf liquor at the city's hottest venues are drying up, according to a new report from the Financial Times. The scene has become so bleak that Andrea Vimercati, director of food and beverage at Moxy Hotel group, told the outlet that high-rolling crypto regulars have "completely disappeared."
Miami became a hotbed for crypto enthusiasts, tech execs, and hedge fund managers early in the pandemic, prompting a mass exodus to the Florida city. Many said it had potential to rival Silicon Valley, but as the crypto industry takes a blow, the future of Miami as a major tech and finance hub remains uncertain.
Vimercati told the FT that until recently, many clubs had grown used to serving a new demographic of "95 percent men, young ... with a kind of nerdy style," in reference to the swelling crypto scene.
"Out of the blue, all these kids from crypto started coming down and spending a lot of money — like, an insane amount of money," he said.
Now, with the downfall of companies like FTX, club owners and promoters aren't quite certain if big spenders will return, as the value of cryptocurrencies take a nosedive and major players like Sam Bankman-Fried hemorrhage vast amounts of their net worth.
Though FTX was based in the Bahamas —where Bankman-Fried and his close-knit group of friends, lovers, and business associates lived together — the company also had a large presence in Miami. According to the FT, FTX paid $135 million to secure 19 years worth of naming rights to FTX Arena, home to the Miami Heat.
Gino LoPinto, operating partner at the club E11even, told the FT that the company has only brought in $10,000 in the past three months, after raking in more than $6 million last year — much of which came from crypto clients.
LoPinto told the outlet the club began accepting cryptocurrency in 2021, and once hosted an unnamed company that celebrated its sale at the venue with a 50 Cent performance and "bathtubs of champagne" to the tune of $1 million — all paid in crypto.
"You wouldn't normally show your bank account, but people do show their crypto wallets," he said. "I've seen more crypto wallets in a year than I've seen bank accounts in a lifetime."
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