Staff Thoughts

Portsmouth Optometrists See Clear Advantage to Bitcoin

As of today, Lens Doctors in Portsmouth began accepting the popular cryptocurrencies bitcoin and dash for payment eye exams, contact lenses, sunglasses, corrective lenses, and eyewear accessories. This is great news for Seacoast residents, many of whom intentionally seek out businesses who accept the digital currencies. Until today, there were no eye doctors offering this necessary for bitcoin — perhaps anywhere in the world!

Lens Doctors has 4 locations in New Hampshire: Manchester, Plaistow, Dover, and Portsmouth

Crypto-users on the Seacoast will likely recognize the locally-produced free point-of-sale Anypay when they buy their next pair of lenses!

Meetups Staff Thoughts

Free State Blockchain Digital Assets Conference a Huge Success

This weekend, the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe went mobile for the first time. We attended a bitcoin conference happening in our hometown of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The occasion is the arrival of bitcoin powerhouse Bruce Fenton, his businesses, and his family, to move to NH as part of the ongoing freedom migration that’s been happening for almost 2 decades. The conference attracted some of the most exciting and important minds from across the country to talk about the latest in digital assets.

The Free State Bitcoin Shoppe had an enormous presence, being one of the event’s sponsors. A booth loaded with crypto-themed shirts and accessories, plus pocked-sized secure bitcoin vaults, and a towering bitcoin vending machine kept busy all day as items were flying off the shelves. We sold out of many items, and were delighted to see our last digital vault go to a customer who asked to pay in encrypted Zcash. We still haven’t heard of any other retail store in the world doing that.

After a full day at the conference, we went to not one–but two–bitcoin meetups. They were both record-breaking. First, the cryptonauts drank crafted draughts from local bitcoin brewery, Liar’s Bench.They started taking bitcoin and dash about a month ago after a bitcoin meetup where almost everyone asked if they could pay in digital cash. Good thing for them — all these new customers from out of town came to them because they do.

After a few drinks, people walked a couple blocks to the newest Bitcoin Village favorite, STREET’ZA. Their sister restaurant STREET has been taking bitcoin for about 2 years now, and it’s been a big draw attracting new customers who prefer to use bitcoin. Naturally, every one of the 21 attendees to the meetup paid their bill with their favorite cryptocurrency.

The conference and the meetups were huge successes — bringing together great minds to learn and share information, make new friends, and enjoy using our favorite money.




Staff Thoughts

NH Family Buys Luxury SUV with Digital Cash, Bitcoin

Reposted from NH News Site

For Immediate Release:
Manchester, New Hampshire. Nov. 28, 2017.

New Hampshire is home to many early adopters and users of cryptocurrencies. One recent example is the purchase/sale of a used Lexus automobile for crypto, half Dash and half Bitcoin. Parties used their phones to easily transfer funds within a Jaxx wallet—no bank involved!

Seller Mark Warden, broker of Porcupine Real Estate, works with property buyers and sellers who will transact in Bitcoin. Buyers Matthew and Brittany Ping, of Ledgeview Commercial Partners, run a residential property management firm, manage over 100 units in Southern New Hampshire and their company accepts rental payments in both Bitcoin and Dash. Both parties moved to the Granite State because of Free State Project.

New Hampshire is home to dozens of businesses that accept payment in cryptocurrency. There are multiple BVM (bitcoin vending machines) around the state. There is even a store in Portsmouth that transacts solely in crypto: Free State Bitcoin Shoppe.

This is at least the third recorded sale and purchase of a car in exchange for bitcoin. (There was one in 2014 and one in 2015 — both in New Hampshire). It marks a first for the cryptocurrency DASH, which has climbed the ladder of top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap all the way up to the #5 slot, thanks in large part to its widespread adoption in New Hampshire. Portsmouth alone has more DASH-accepting retail stores than anywhere else in the world — 16.

Real-world bitcoin and cryptocurrency use is common in New Hampshire. Bitcoins are scarce and offer users more privacy and fewer roadblocks than banks. Like cash, users can make payments without revealing personal data. Like email, they can be instantly sent from person to another, even across the world. Visit the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe in Portsmouth, NH to get started using bitcoin, or visit

Meet other Cryptonauts in the Portsmouth area by joining the Portsmouth Bitcoin Network on and on Facebook. If you don’t live in New Hampshire and you love cryptocurrency, consider moving and reinforcing the network effect already taking place here.

Meetups Staff Thoughts

Bitcoin Meetup | Fresh Press

Again the Portsmouth cryptonauts found ourselves at the Fresh Press, lunching on healthy salads, wraps, smoothies, and juices. It’s an intimate venue, so we scattered ourselves around the back area so as not to take up too much space, but we ended up using 4 tables! Our group spanned 8 people this time, one coming as far as Portland.

Our presence must have had an impact, too, because immediately after, the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe received a message from Fresh Press Owner Aaron Smith asking to set his restaurant up to take bitcoin. Of course, this is a free service that we at the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe are happy to offer — indeed, setting up new businesses to take bitcoin is our favorite thing to do!

Topics for this meetup included: the Ethereum byzantium hard fork, Bitcoin Gold Hard Fork, hard forks vs soft forks, how to store crypto on a hardware device, using a hardware wallet in conjunction with an Android device, setting up businesses to take bitcoin, point-of-sales that incorporate bitcoin and other crypto, portable bitcoin vending machines, shapeshift, best wallets, running your own bitcoin node, and trading platforms. A meetup full of great info, lots of conversations, and delicious food!

Many thanks to the always-awesome Fresh Press for hosting this week’s meetup. Next one is at Domo sushi restaurant on State St — Monday, October 23 at 7pm. See you there!

Staff Thoughts

Shielded ZCash Transaction at NH Retail Store

A customer purchased a “Live Free or Die” wood plaque and a “Legalize Gay Marijuana” bumper sticker at the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe in Portsmouth, New Hampshire using an encrypted digital currency called ZCash. The cryptocurrency is the most private money ever created, relying on a complex mathematical principle called a “Zero-Knowledge Proof”. Essentially this customer took some digital cash, locked it in a box with a secret key, and sent the shop the key. There is no discernible trail left. No observer can look up the transaction on the blockchain, not even those who know the sending/receiving addresses. Pretty slick! Here’s what it looked like:

This marks yet another turning point for human freedom. An evolution on the creation of bitcoin, this new cryptocurrency offers features and advantages that bitcoin simply doesn’t. While many are still holding fast to the promises of failing Federal Reserve Notes, others are seeking alternatives and building more reliable systems that make extortion far more difficult. Learn more by following the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe on Twitter and by joining their email list.

Staff Thoughts

Cool Customers October 1, 2017

Featured Customer: Maisie Mises the Doge

Cryptocurrencies and other related cool stuff mentioned in the Shoppe by cool customers today: – A website for buying gift cards, at a discount, with crypto
Fuck Token
UE Token – Useless Ethereum

Meetups Staff Thoughts

Bitcoin Meetup | The Kitchen

The bitcoin meetup this week was a blast! We packed one corner of the Kitchen restaurant with people of all ages and experience levels. We celebrated Mark, the owner of Portsmouth Smoke and Vape, becoming the newest addition to the World Famous Bitcoin Tour. His business is unique on the tour, as it is the first downtown retail store to take cryptocurrency — and he takes a lot! They accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, and ZCash.

Some people had heard about the meetup from the flyers posted around town — others from visiting the store — and still others from searching It was a good mix of people. One guy downloaded his first bitcoin wallet and funded it by trading someone at the table for $5 in cash. He was surprised how fast and easy it was, and that it required no signup at all.

The food and service was notably excellent, as it often is at the Kitchen. The staff knew we were having a bitcoin meetup and treated us super nice. They delivered some food out to us (which is not normal — usually you pick it up from the counter yourself). And they let us linger a bit after they closed, since we were having so much fun talking and learning from each other.

Charles shared with us about a cool thing the Portland Bitcoin meetup group is doing: they’re issuing their own cryptocurrency and awarding it to people who attend and participate by speaking. It would be so awesome to have someone spend that cryptocurrency to purchase merchandise at the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe!

The next Portsmouth bitcoin meetup will be at the Fresh Press on Sunday, October 15 at 2pm. The Shoppe will be closed for the next 2 weeks as Steven and Derrick will be in Prague for the Hackers Congress. We’ll have lots of great info and fun pictures and video to share, so follow us on Twitter.

Staff Thoughts

Portsmouth Smoke and Vape | Bitcoin Preferred

The crypto-economy grew a little bit larger today when the popular downtown shop Portsmouth Smoke and Vape started accepting Ethereum, Dash, ZCash, Litecoin, and Bitcoin. Customers can now buy all the glass, incense, vaporizers, cleaning kits, tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and accessories they could possibly want — all using digital cash.

They sell online too, so if your current local shop won’t take your litecoin, consider getting your items sent right to your house instead by buying at their website! You can keep the same privacy you would get from a cash transaction as your local shop, plus you get the advantage of online shopping.

My partner and I learned that the owner was looking to take bitcoin due to increased demand from customers asking if they could pay in the digital currency. He thought it was a great idea and stopped into our shop to ask how he would get set up to take it as payment. We met the next morning, and it took less than an hour from start to finish. All it took was downloading an app and clicking through a few prompts to set up 5 different secure digital wallets. Now his business can take payment in 5 popular cryptocurrencies.

One cool and unique thing about the way they set it up is that the owner linked his store’s crytpo wallets with his phone. That enables him to see when a payment has come in, no matter where he is, plus he can then send the coins to a secure wallet that employees can’t access. Try doing that with a traditional cash register!

Meetups Staff Thoughts

Bitcoin Meetup | Cava

Cava was the best meetup yet by far. 14 people showed up to talk bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 3 people set up their first wallets. The food and service was 5-star, top-notch friendliness and attentiveness. Afterwards, some of us went to hang out at the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe and listen to music and talk some more.

One of the owners, John, called me earlier in the week because he saw our advertisement posted on a telephone pole and wanted to make sure he could accommodate our group. We reserved seats for 9, and were surprised by some additional folks who forgot to RSVP, but John was able to pull up another table and chairs for our extra guests. Our server, Bridget, who is also an owner, amazed me with her ability to handle such a large group.

This could be a server’s worst nightmare: an indeterminately large (and growing) group of people, sitting down an hour before the kitchen closes, some guests not buying food, folks changing seats, and then asking for separate checks. She handled it all with a smile and made every guest feel comfortable.

I had the medjool dates stuffed with manchego and serrano ham, the pork tenderloin with mojo picon and salt wrinkled potatoes, and the beef short rib with chanterelle mushrooms, barley, and porcini truffle broth. For a beverage, I had an espresso martini. Yes, everything was as good as it sounds.

I’ve been wanting to come to this spot for a while, and the timing was never right for some reason. Now I’ll be making sure to come back often because everything on their menu looked so good and they treated us so well! Of course, a lot of people were asking if they could pay in bitcoin. Cava does not yet take it, but I’ll bet they will when they hear from enough customers. So go visit them, enjoy their incredible food and drinks, and tell them you’d like to pay in bitcoin. Otherwise, they won’t know!

Many of the people who showed up for the bitcoin meetup had been to Cava many times before, but since they’ve never mentioned bitcoin to John or Bridget, the owners don’t know that people even want to spend bitcoin there. Remember, no one is going to do it for you. You have to ask yourself.

I left a 5-star review on Facebook and Yelp after this meetup. I can’t emphasize enough how amazed I was at the greatness of this place. Clean, beautiful, elegant, delicious, friendly, easy. Thank you John and Bridget!

Staff Thoughts

Cool Customers Sept 20, 2017

A guy came in today and shared something noteworthy with me, so I thought I’d pass it on to you, the readers of our blog.

He mentioned that his brother has a cannabis shop in Seattle, and that people want to buy plants and candies with credit and debit cards, but can’t. Why? Because cannabis prohibition is still ongoing in Washington, DC.

“But cannabis is legal in Washington state,” you say.

That’s true. But banks and corporations that issue credit and debit cards fear the Feds will shut them down if they process transactions for cannabis shops. So what are the shops to do?

As you might expect, many turned to bitcoin. But after Washington State threatened to make it illegal for cannabis shops to take bitcoin, a new bank-and-regulator-friendly cryptocurrency appeared. It’s called POSaBIT, and apparently the shops and customers are using it. Here’s what I found after a quick search:

POSaBIT Raises Seed Funding to Provide Digital Currency Payments Solutions to Industries Lacking Financial Services (prweb)

Pot-Friendly Bitcoin Payments Startup Raises $1.5M (Coindesk)

That reminds me — I keep seeing an ad pop up on Facebook — maybe you’ve seen it too. It’s for “Paragon Coin” and it has a pot leaf symbol. It seems to be aiming for the same market. Currency for pot sales. I personally don’t get why there would need to be a certain currency for a particular object, like cannabis. Why can’t they just use bitcoin? If you know, please tell me!