What We Can Learn From Local Bitcoin Communities
Local events like those that take place in Southern California are paramount to the continued growth of the Bitcoin community.
The idea of Bitcoin as a network and technology is one that is global, interconnecting and expansive. As the price of bitcoin has continued to increase, the scope and scale of what is occurring across the world increases as well.
While Bitcoin is a macro-scale phenomenon that will have extensive economic and historical impacts, we shouldn’t forget to pay attention to community-level utilization of the technology.
On April 24, in Newport Beach, California, OC Bitcoin (aka Orange County Bitcoin) will be hosting a bitcoin payments launch party for Nexx Burger, a gourmet burger restaurant. The event, sponsored by Strike and Bitcoin Is, with music provided by Bitrefill, is an example of the expanding reach of bitcoin on a local level and its potential impact.
OC Bitcoin has been one of the most consistent and large-impact arrangers of bitcoin community meetups; I was lucky enough to talk to some of the people arranging this event, and they gave me fantastic insight into the various aspects of Bitcoin localism.
First, Dimitrios Politis, CEO of Nexx Burgers, gave comment as to why he chose to begin accepting bitcoin at his business:
How did you first learn about Bitcoin, and what was your impression of it?
“I was first introduced to Bitcoin sometime in December of 2017 from a good friend. He explained what Bitcoin was created for and how it worked. Bitcoin interested me and I saw how it could become a futuristic digital currency. I started to really dive into Bitcoin last year in March and have been learning ever since.”
At what point did you decide Bitcoin was right for your business?
“I decided Bitcoin was good for Nexx Burger this February. Nexx Burger can test Bitcoin out and improve on it now before it becomes completely mainstream.”
What has been your experience in the Bitcoin community thus far?
“The Bitcoin community has been great. Brian from the Orange County Bitcoin network has been a great help educating me on Bitcoin even further.”
Comments from OC Bitcoin’s Lead Organizer Brian Harrington expanded on how local gatherings of like-minded individuals leads to the spread of ideas and practices, in turn motivating business leaders to implement real change:
“This has happened to us multiple times now at Orange County Bitcoin Network, we get business owners starting to drop in on the meetups and want to know how they can implement Bitcoin payments in their stores. We love it and are always happy to help. The Bitcoin circular economy is growing in Orange County and we couldn’t be more excited.”
Local growth and use of bitcoin is paramount to the adoption of Bitcoin on a macro scale. In fact, Bitcoin started out as a small network in use among cypherpunks subscribed to an email list. These small interactions laid the groundwork for earth-shifting change, and demonstrate continued necessity to grow the network.
If bitcoin is to be accepted across the world, there must be focus on converting the microeconomies surrounding us. George Mekhail from Bitcoin Is, a bitcoin circular economy advocacy and information outlet, spoke with us about what this looks like.
How long have you been working in the Bitcoin industry, and what do you define as your role in the Bitcoin space?
“I’ve been in Bitcoin since 2017. I’m most passionate about helping develop bitcoin communities and making the moral case for bitcoin while encouraging people to exit the corrupt fiat economy. I’m also a co-author of ‘Thank God For Bitcoin: The Creation, Corruption And Redemption Of Money.’”
What inspired you to start Bitcoin Is?
“In September of 2019, Russell Okung and I were looking for the best ways to engage with Bitcoiners. We decided to put together a last-minute event in L.A. that focused on helping newbies gain exposure to the best voices in the space. Bitcoin Is now works with a handful of Bitcoin startups, provides resources for getting people started and consults with meetups across the country.”
Bitcoin Is educates people on joining “the Bitcoin circular economy.” Can you explain what that is?
“The Bitcoin circular economy is the economy that exists outside of the legacy fiat system. It is a new paradigm that encourages people to preserve their hard-earned money in sats, and promotes vendors who accept BTC for payment.”
And why is this important?
“If enough people adopt this mindset, society can move to sound money which will result in a dramatic shift in the economy. In a bitcoin circular economy, goods and services become more affordable as savings and purchasing power increases rather than the current paradigm of bailouts and stimulus packages debasing our currency.”
The continued mission to empower business owners via the Bitcoin circular economy is one which is clearly underway in Southern California. It is the responsibility of Bitcoin advocates to encourage and express clear desire for continued expansion of access to bitcoin payment services in local economies. The event taking place in Newport Beach is but one example of the success local Bitcoin meetups can have — previous meetings influenced a business to begin accepting bitcoin, and perhaps now further businesses will look to copy the successful utilization of the technology.
Anyone in the Southern California area is encouraged to check out the OC Bitcoin network, as well as attend the launch of bitcoin payments at Nexx Burger in Newport Beach, on April 24 from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Getting immersed in a local Bitcoin community is a practice that expands one’s conversation around Bitcoin, and is immensely beneficial to both the network and local economy.