A new name will be given to one of South Florida’s best-known buildings. After the Miami-Dade County approve a multi-million dollar deal for name change in the FTX Arena, the Miami Heat will soon be playing.
NBC 6 talked last week from home in Hong Kong to Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX.
He added that its new name is a further step towards the crypto-monetary company and a step towards making Miami the next high-tech hub in South Florida.
“I think they’re making a pretty compelling play for it,” Bankman-Fried said.
The $135 million deal was overwhelmingly passed on the Miami-Dade County commission.
The contract is with the US company FTX.us, an equivalent company for a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. It is an equity stock market.
The fact that FTX is taking the footsteps of major companies – American Airlines, Tropicana, Amway – Bankman-Fried said is a sign cryptocurrency here for the long distance.
“I’ll not say it has fully gone in the mainstream,” said Bankman-Fried, one of the youngest tech multi-millionarians of the world. “I’m starting to make a real step in this direction.
Many of them are looking to make Miami the next tech hub in South Florida, including Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami city.
Although criticisms have taken place, Bankman-Fried told NBC 6 that he is a faithful man and wants to encourage people to test cryptocurrencies in the soon-to-be FTX Arena.
“One part of this is that we are trying to get our name out of it,” he said. “Our product is pretty good to us. If people want to try crypto and give it a chance, they’ll like that, we feel good.”
“The FTX.us is an exciting young enterprise in an emerging category of the financial services industry that continues to grow at lightning speed and we are excited to welcome them to Magic City with open arms,” said Eric Woolworth, President, HEAT Group Business Operations. This will draw global attention to a groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind partner in our industry.”
He said, “Without Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s visionary leadership and pragmatism this pioneering new partnership with FTX.us would not have been possible. Mayor Cava, Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Morales and Council of County Commissioners, are to be thankful for their efforts to ensure that our public/private partnership with Miami-Dade county continues to be successfully concluded.”
There were, however, certain concerns when commissioners in Miami-Dade voted on the deal, including the stability of the new industry and how three minority owners of the company live in China.
The action was opposed by Commissioner Rene Garcia and commissioners had only a few days to review it.
“The contract is expected to be concluded in a few hours. That, I don’t understand, my friends. It makes no sense whatsoever. “This is a deal of 135 million dollars,” said Garcia.
But the deal went 10 to 1. It will receive approximately $90 million, much of it for the prevention of gun violence.
Commissioners from areas affected by armed violence delivered enthusiastic speeches in support of the deal.
“It doesn’t mean that we’ll be able to save every life,” Commissioner Jean Monestime said. “It is telling us at least, we’ve done our jobs. Our heart is in the right place. Our mind is envisioning the right thing to do.”
Bankman-Fried told NBC 6 he hopes to build on this investment by working to help local businesses accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
“Make it a real choice for those who aren’t well served by the current choices,” said Bankman-Fried.
CEO Joe Biden was one of the leading donors of President Joe Biden’s presidential effort but said that NBC 6 had no plans to engage in politics in the South.
“This really becomes a hub, specifically for cryptocurrency and technology,” said Bankman-Fried.