Categories
Meetups

Dash Meetup Beasts Bitcoin Meetup — Again

Here’s what the first regular Dash Meetup looked like last night:

By the numbers, Dash continues killing it in Portsmouth. Despite my best efforts, the scrappy #13 coin appears by all metrics to secretly be #1.

The Portsmouth Bitcoin Meetup took place just one day before the DASH meetup. Here is what it looked like:

Categories
Meetups Staff Thoughts

Lecture on Dash Scalability

Dr. Darren Tapp and Nakul Chawla, two Dash developers, present the results of their latest tests on the viability of different scaling methods for cryptocurrency. They shared this valuable information with the public at the Blockchain Institute of Technology. Here is a link to the paper they produced, and here is their official publication on which the paper is based.

Video of the event:

Friday, June 29, 2018 7p-9p

 

Categories
Meetups Staff Thoughts

Dash Steals the Show on Bitcoin Pizza Day 2018 in Portsmouth

Well well well. The 8th Anniversary of the first-ever cryptocurrency purchase (10,000 Bitcoins for 2 Papa John’s pizzas in Jacksonville, Florida), and digital cash enthusiasts everywhere are celebrating by gathering to eat pizza and and spread their favorite money. Portsmouth, New Hampshire (aka “Bitcoin Village“) was no exception!

Bitcoin Pizza Day 2018 at STREET’Za in Portsmouth

Hometown favorite restaurant STREET’Za made it happen for us. They have been taking Bitcoin and a handful of other cryptocurrencies since they opened in 2017. Their sister restaurant STREET led the way for Portsmouth and the entire Seacoast region by being the first in town to accept the new currency. Their adventurism has paid off big-time, regularly drawing in new business from cryptocurrency lovers from out of town and even out of state.

Bitcoin Pizza Day 2018 at STREET’Za in Portsmouth

Even though the Boston Bitcoin Cash Meetup group just had an event there Saturday, a guy in Portland reached out to me and said the Portsmouth Bitcoin Network should have a meetup of its own on the official Bitcoin Pizza Day (May 22). We did, and it was excellent.

Bitcoin Pizza Day 2018 at STREET’Za in Portsmouth

Only 4 people RSVP’d to the event, but you never can tell with these things. Eleven people showed up! One attendee works for Coinbase in New York City. He received some playful ribbing. Another has a business setting up merchants to take cryptocurrency. A few asked for his card. One was finance professor at a local university researching ICOs. He asked about classes at the Blockchain Institute of Technology. Three were students home for the summer. They installed their first hot wallets on their phones and loaded them with some coins. Attendee ages ranged from 16 to 55, with the average probably around 30. The Boston Bitcoin Meetup the previous Saturday drew in 4 people total, one from Haverhill and one from Portland.

Bitcoin Pizza Day 2018 at STREET’Za in Portsmouth

The best part? Everyone used cryptocurrency to pay. Without exception. Some friendly nudging was offered when all but 2 attendees paid with Dash instead of Bitcoin. Rightly, these people were ridiculed. After all, we were there for Bitcoin Pizza Day. But then again, Dash has benefits over Bitcoin that make it more attractive for customers. First, transaction fees are lower. Much lower. Like 20 times lower. Those who paid with Bitcoin paid an extra twenty cents in fees on top of their payment compared with Dash’s fee of less than one cent.

Bitcoin Pizza Day 2018 at STREET’Za in Portsmouth

Not really a big deal, but then get this: Dash-Back. Because STREET’Za accepts their crypto using the Anypay digital cash register, their customers receive an instant rebate when they pay with Dash. In my case, I paid $12.50 for some chicken wings and received a dollar of Dash right back into my wallet. Not bad. All things being equal, when faced with the choice between two cryptocurrencies, using Dash makes a lot of sense if the merchant is using Anypay. Why not use the coin that pays you to use it instead of the one that you have to pay extra to use?

Here are some shots of folks enjoying and paying for their meals.

Bitcoin Pizza Day 2018 at STREET’Za in Portsmouth
Bitcoin Pizza Day 2018 at STREET’Za in Portsmouth

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Many of the attendees asked if they could pay the server’s tip with their crypto. The manager said yes and took the tips on his phone with the promise to pass them along to our server after setting her up with her own wallets, or paying her out in cash (whatever her preference). In the past, this has been a great way to introduce new people to crypto. They know it has real value because they can see it being used to buy things where they work.

Bitcoin Pizza Day 2018 at STREET’Za in Portsmouth

So…How was Bitcoin Pizza Day in your town? If it was uninspiring, consider moving to New Hampshire, the Crypto Capital of the World!

Categories
Meetups Staff Thoughts

Bitcoin for Organizations: One Vault, Many Keys

Steven Zeiler of Anypay.Global led an awesome group activity last night at the Satoshi Nakamoto Lecture Hall. The topic was multi-signature wallets: how to create them and how to spend from them. The lecture was 60 minutes long and was followed by another 60 minutes of hands-on application. Everyone left with the ability to lock up funds in a unique new type of digital vault: one where the contents can be known at all times, but whose contents can’t be spent without permission from a number of agreeing parties.

“Multi-sig” wallets are also called “M-of-N” wallets. That’s because the creator can specify each of the variables for M (number of keys required to unlock the vault) and N (total number of keys to the vault). A 5-of-7 wallet, for example, would be a wallet that contains 7 keys, of which 5 are required to spend funds.

Where is this applicable?

Say you have a charity organization of 7 people. You raise donations in Bitcoin. If you use a traditional wallet (with 1 private key), you have a problem. Anyone who wants to spend the organization’s money needs the private key. If you’re all sharing the same key, there’s no way to prevent one person from running away with all the money — and there would be no way to tell who did it.

This is a perfect scenario for a multi-sig wallet. Your organization could raise funds in a wallet that requires several of you to sign off on a transaction before funds are sent. Maybe you want to allow majority rule and make it a 4-of-7 wallet, so that even if others disagree on an expenditure, they can be outvoted. Or perhaps you want total consent before any funds are spent. In that case you could create a 7-of-7 wallet. Or maybe you just want anyone in the group to have the ability to spend the money, and you just want to all share access to the same wallet. In that case you can create a 1-of-7 wallet.

Multi-sig wallet addresses are an example of something called “pay-to-script hashes”. These are essentially little bits of code that the bitcoin network has special instructions on how to read. The code is then processed through an algorithm (hashed), and the output is a unique style of public address. You can recognize pay-to-script hashes by the first digit. BTC pay-to-script hashes begin with a 3 (standard BTC addresses begin with a 1). DASH pay-to-script hashes begin with a 7 (standard DASH addresses begin with an X). Look for this next time you make a payment — you’ll see it everywhere. Every time you use Shapeshift, you’re using a pay-to-script hash.

We learned several ways to sign the transactions securely with various degrees of privacy. To try it for yourself, attend the next lecture on this subject by joining the Portsmouth Bitcoin Network on Meetup.com.

Here are some pictures from the lecture:

Categories
Meetups Staff Thoughts

Running a Monero Node and Mobile Wallet

Steven Zeiler presented an advanced hands-on lecture at BIT walking attendees through the steps of setting up their own Monero node and remotely connecting to a node from their mobile wallet. After one short hour, we were all passing around Monero from our computers to our phones just as easily as we would send bitcoin.

The advantage to using Monero is privacy. Bitcoin addresses are trackable by anyone. The blockchain stores the addresses involved with each transaction as well as the amount of each transaction. With Monero, transactions can be logged, but the amount sent is unknown. Even if a bad guy got a hold of your public address, he couldn’t see how much Monero was in there. The wallet we used was Monerujo and the full node software we used was the official client.

If you live in the Portsmouth area, join the Portsmouth Bitcoin Network so you get notifications about these meetups weeks before they happen.

Categories
Meetups Staff Thoughts

Boston Bitcoin Cash Meetup Crashes the Portsmouth Dash Party

Of course. Where else would Bostonians who love bitcoin meet up? There are only 15 retail shops and restaurants that accept the digital currency as payment. Welcome to the Free State. Bring your cryptocurrency, and keep your Federal Reserve Notes in the fireplace where they belong.

The event was organized by the Bitcoin Cash Meetup group of Boston. They usually meet in Boston, but after a recent visit to Portsmouth (aka “Bitcoin Village”) by one of their organizers, the group decided to take the trip north an hour to visit Liar’s Bench, a popular brewery that accepts Bitcoin Cash, Dash, and Bitcoin Core.

The thing is — they didn’t take bitcoin cash until the meetup was scheduled. Only once customers arranged an outing to spend BCH did the business owner feel any impetus to accept *another* cryptocurrency. They already take Dash and Bitcoin Core — what’s this new bitcoin?? Well, by the end of the evening, Liar’s Bench accepted Bitcoin Cash.

It was great. Most people used the Bitcoin.com wallet. At the end of the night, there was a line of 5 people paying their tab with their smartphones. It was a sight to behold. Fortunately, I grabbed some video so you can see for yourself here.

Oh and of course they use Anypay.

Categories
Meetups Staff Thoughts

Lecture: How To Protect Yourself from Hacking

Members of the public attended an open lecture at the Blockchain Institute of Technology (BIT) yesterday on the topic: Protecting Your Digital Assets. The presentation was arranged by Billy Leibundgut, the co-founder of the University of New Hampshire Cryptocurrency Club and the General Manager of the Bitcoin Shoppe in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He has helped hundreds, if not thousands of people level up their digital security through his work. Yesterday, he shared that knowledge with the Portsmouth Bitcoin Network, a Meetup.com group open to people of all ages and skill levels. Everyone, no matter how advanced, left with a deeper understanding of what vulnerabilities lurk behind our keyboards and mobile devices — and how we can better protect ourselves. The presentation is the second to took place in the Satoshi Nakamoto Lecture Hall. The first was a lesson by software developer Steven Zeiler on the topic: Spending Bitcoin on Amazon, Expedia, and CheapAir.

Last night’s event was catered by Fezziwig’s Food and Fountain, the number-one cryptocurrency-friendly restaurant in the Bridge District of Bitcoin Village. After the talk, some attendees stayed to chat in the Hal Finney Lounge. The next open lecture at the BIT is scheduled for Friday, April 6 at 7pm. The topic is Securing Cryptocurrency with Multi-signature Wallets. Steven Zeiler will present in the Satoshi Nakamoto Lecture Hall. Space is limited. Please RSVP here. Light refreshments will be catered by our friends at Fezziwig’s.

Categories
Meetups Staff Thoughts

Bitcoin Meetup: BIT Lecture on Wallets, Digital Security

Billy Leibundgut, co-founder of the Cryptocurrency Club at the University of New Hampshire (“UNH Crypto“), presents a valuable primer on wallets and digital security in the form of an open lecture at the Blockchain Institute of Technology (BIT) on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 7pm EST. RSVP as “Going” on Meetup or Facebook.

This is the first meetup scheduled at the BIT, another crypto space in the internet-famous “Bitcoin Village” of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Until this Friday, Portsmouth’s meetups, like most others around the world, took place at restaurants — great places for large groups of strangers to gather and talk, but less-than-ideal for in-depth, hands-on learning. This meetup affords attendees an opportunity to go from “zero-to-one” with bitcoin: Get your first bitcoin wallet, load it with some coins, and lock it up securely. Even longtime bitcoin pros will learn something from the many crypto-advanced traders and programmers in attendance.

Know what to expect before walking in. Read about past events here. Light refreshments served at 6:30pm

Categories
Meetups Staff Thoughts

Another Victory for STREETZA – Leaders in Cryptocurrency Cuisine!

This week’s bitcoin meetup was awesome. Street’za is perfect for the occasion. 8 Seacoasters gathered to talk bitcoin, litecoin, cardano, and decentraland! 3 people who showed up for their first time came to get info about cryptocurrencies. They each installed an app called Dash Wallet onto their phones and left with cryptocurrency in their back pockets.

The staff was especially accommodating and kindly separated all of our checks (I know what a hassle that can be). The best part is: this allowed everyone to pay their bill with dash.

I learned about the latest with Decentraland: people can now claim their stake of land by converting the coin, called “Manna” into land on the platform’s 3-dimensional universe. Decentraland is the first and only ICO in which I tried to participate. Sitting curled tightly over my laptop, finger hovering over the trackpad ready to tap with fury the second the ICO went live, and — What’s this? — It’s over?

I didn’t make the land-grab in time. In 39 seconds, a group of people raised 86,260 ETH (approximately 25 million USD). And I had missed it. I tried, but I didn’t get to be part of the launch. The story is more complicated and worth looking into, but I just shrugged and moved on.

The guy who told me about it at one of these meetups months ago successfully got his manna and told me he had “converted it to land”! He said he claimed somewhere out in the boonies, but I think owning any land on a blockchain-based virtual reality platform is such an impressive expression of human imagination and engineering to own property anywhere on this digital new “Second Life”. The next meetup is at Dos Amigos in Portsmouth, Thursday, Jan 18. Please RSVP here so that we can save a seat for you! It’s an important part of these meetups to be good  cryptocurrency ambassadors, so we always pay with cash or cryptocurrency. No cards. And bring a tip for the establishment for letting us crowd their space for a little while.

 

 

Categories
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.