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Alumnus Spotlight: Samuel Armes on the Front Lines of Cryptocurrency, Blockchain Surge in Florida

By Keith Morelli

Samuel Armes

TAMPA (October 14, 2021) -- Sam Armes has a front-row seat to the cryptocurrency revolution taking place in Florida. The 2018 USF graduate with bachelor’s degrees in economics and finance is the founder and president of the Florida Blockchain Business Association, a nonprofit focused on promoting cryptocurrency- and blockchain-friendly policies in Florida.

He is a Certified Bitcoin Professional who sees this sea change in the way commerce is conducted as the wave of the future. His organization, which is helping stage an upcoming bitcoin and blockchain summit in Tampa, was created to pave the way for entire communities, including businesses and individuals, to have a voice in the political process that is needed to encourage these revolutionary concepts.

“My interest in bitcoin and geopolitics is what actually got me interested in economics and finance,” he said. “Since graduating USF, I have gone on to found Florida’s largest blockchain and crypto-trade organization.

“Through advocacy and education,” he said, “the Florida Blockchain Business Association’s goal is to make Florida a global destination and an innovation hub for the blockchain community.”

So new is this concept, the general public is somewhat clueless about it. And so are many business owners and executives. Armes said the idea isn’t that complicated, really, and he and others in the industry are striving to increase awareness of what one day likely will become a part of everyday life much like credit and debit cards have done over the past several decades..

“Bitcoin,” he said, “is a decentralized virtual currency, which is built upon a variety of technologies brought into one economic system.”

The USF Muma College’s Business’s Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance is embracing the concept and is poised to become an educational and research leader in cryptocurrency and blockchain. Fueled by seed money provided by the university, the school is embarking on a path that will place it among the most respected in academia and in the business world.

USF academic leaders say the way to achieve this goal is clear: hire world-class educators and researchers, recruit the best and brightest students dedicated to learning from this accomplished faculty, establish a fintech experiential learning center that will provide opportunities for students to learn and work in real-world settings and involve the community of fintech-industry leaders.

The new world of cryptocurrencies will eventually rule commerce and the administrators are confident the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance will be a prominent players in this field.

Armes sees this coming.

“USF seems to be already teaching courses in blockchain as it relates to business development and supply chain,” he said. “There needs to be a heavy emphasis on finance on how decentralized platforms will change the logic of how the current financial market works. Borrowing and lending via DeFi protocols, or autonomous programs that address setbacks in the financial sector, is a new skill that must be taught to anyone in the field of finance.”

USF finance graduates are attuned to what’s happening in the world of finance and investments and are already involved in impactful cryptocurrency and blockchain research being conducted by the field’s foremost professors.

Armes’ Florida Blockchain Business Association is helping stage the Florida Bitcoin & Blockchain Summit taking place at the Amalie Arena in Tampa on Nov 4-5, where his organization will be on hand, he said, to promote its legislative agenda, “and educate those in government about different aspects of the blockchain and cryptocurrency space.”

The summit is Florida’s first blockchain-and-fintech-in-Florida-focused event to highlight the ever-expanding financial technology industry. Organizers say it will bring together stakeholders, businesses and political leaders from all over Florida and the nation to collaborate on a strategy that will drive growth inside and outside the state, benefiting this emerging industry.

“Our event will unify the fintech communities, businesses, advocates and political leaders all over the world as well as the leaders within the state of Florida,” Armes said. “This conference will be used to craft a clear and unique strategy on making Florida the leader in blockchain and financial technology.”