Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images
Last Thursday night, attendees of the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami were treated to an official afterparty at a local nightclub.
Bottom line: As conference-goers soon learned, "nightclub" in this context was code for "high-end strip club." Not a good look for event organizers would already were taking flack for having just 3 women among 88 speakers.
Conference organizer and crypto entrepreneur Moe Levin first told me via email that "there was no sexualized imagery or performers anywhere in the venue" until after the official event was over at 11pm.
Afterparty sponsor Dash didn't return requests for comment.
Leaving aside the fact that most attendees had nowhere else to go afterwards (i.e., many of them stuck around for the more explicit show), Levin misrepresented the formal festivities.
When I followed up by telling him that female attendees had told me about hostesses in lingerie and burlesque dancers on small stages in the corners prior to 11pm, he replied: "We asked the venue multiple times to have their staff dressed professionally and were not accommodated."
Levin also acknowledged that one of the event MCs "made an offensive remark about women in crypto, and was fired immediately."
At this point I stopped emailing back, because it's hard to concentrate when your head is shaking so much.