HT-NEXT 2021 Dives into the Ramifications of Cryptocurrency in Hospitality

Join us on Dec. 14 as we discuss what hoteliers need to know about this type of digital currency.
Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor (Hotels)
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For years, cryptocurrencies have been met with skepticism. How could a digital currency created by a company replace America’s gold standard? But the rise of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other major players in this space indicate that the American people are ready for and interested in this digital currency. So, what does that mean for the hospitality industry? From enhancing payment security and loyalty programs to improving the speed and ease of transactions, there are a significant number of reasons why hoteliers may want to consider this blockchain based currency. Join us on Dec. 14 at 11:30 MDT during HT-NEXT 2021 for a panel discussion on cryptocurrency titled: Cryptocurrency & Hospitality: The Future Is Now. Panelists include, Bo Friddell, President of Sunrise Salvador, Richard Levin, partner and chair of the FinTech and Regulation practice for Nelson Mullins, David Khalif, Head of Operations at Viridi Funds. Moderating the panel will be Ron Tarro, Executive in Residence, SalientVoice Ventures, LLC.

Don’t miss out on this and other great sessions that will be happening Dec. 13-16 at HT-NEXT! To register for the event, click here!

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Bo Friddell

An American living in El Salvador, Bo owns and operates the Garten Hotel in El Zonte. The hotel has been accepting payments in bitcoin since it opened about a year ago and has been a favorite retreat for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

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Richard Levin

Richard is chair of the FinTech and Regulation Practice and was one of the first lawyers to focus on the regulation of blockchain and digital assets. He is considered a thought leader in the FinTech space. Richard brings his experience as a senior legal and compliance officer on Wall Street and in London to bear in advising clients on corporate, FinTech, securities, and regulatory issues. A problem-solver by nature, he has been advising FinTech clients on legal and regulatory issues since the start of electronic trading in the late 1990s. His practice focuses on helping financial services and technology clients identify and address regulatory issues as they build their businesses.

Richard’s practice focuses on the representation of early stage and publicly traded companies in the FinTech space, including investment banks, broker-dealers, investment advisers, peer-to-peer lending platforms, digital currency trading platforms, alternative trading systems (ATSs), exchanges, and custodians. He represents these firms before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), state regulators, and Congress. Richard has represented clients before regulators in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

Richard has been identified by Chambers and Partners as one of the leading lawyers in the Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies category since the inception of the category.

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David Khalif

David Khalif is the Head of Operations at Viridi Funds at just 23 years old. After two years at Microsoft, Khalif’s interest in offering a simple way for investors to gain exposure to blockchain technology led him down the path to start Viridi Funds, a registered investment advisor providing crypto-related investment products. The Company leverages its experience in building and operating crypto mines, in tandem with its capital markets experience to identify companies that are believed to benefit from the global expansion of cryptocurrencies. The Viridi Cleaner Energy Crypto-Mining & Semiconductor ETF (“RIGZ”), is the first actively-managed ETF that invests solely in the crypto mining vertical consisting of companies that utilize energy sources to secure the bitcoin network. RIGZ provides investors exposure to the underlying crypto assets, in a tax-efficient manner. RIGZ uses proprietary valuation metrics to identify mining companies that are believed to have a strong prospect for growth, in addition to utilizing clean energy sources.

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Ron Tarro

Ron Tarro is a veteran tech CEO widely known across the hospitality industry and has spent the last few years mentoring – and investing in – industry innovators and entrepreneurs. Ron helps emerging technology companies with fundraising, products, customers, markets, and growth. He works with business incubators and private equity in developing their processes, focus, and portfolio returns. Ron’s background is in software engineering, information and telecommunications services, network technology, information security and encryption, cloud services, and enterprise software systems. Ron lives in Delray Beach, Florida USA.


Hospitality Technology (HT) and Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) are collaborating for the fifth year in a row to host HT-NEXT 2021, a unique conference for the hospitality technology industry. HT-NEXT 2021 will take place Dec. 13-16 at the Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale, Az.

HT-NEXT ( brings together hotel technology solution providers with leaders and influencers from leading hotel companies spanning IT, finance, marketing, distribution and operations. The event typically attracts nearly 500 hospitality professionals. After the event, 87% of attendees say they meet a valuable new contact at the show, and 97% of attendees say they brought back a specific idea to implement at their organization.

HT-NEXT features emerging trends and the ability to dig in to work together to solve current industry problems. The program will feature thought-provoking keynotes, diverse educational sessions, HTNG workgroups and a technology exhibit hall for attendees to discover cutting-edge solutions. The Hotel Visionary Awards and the HTNG TechOvation Award are also presented live during the event.