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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!

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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.

 

 

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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.