It’s that time of year again. February. Cold, dark, windy commutes to work. Slow news days in the world of sports. And the burgeoning global event that is the fourth-annual Coinfest, circa 2015. Last year, only three cities were in attendance. Yet, with the dramatic changes and growth in the Bitcoin industry just in 2014, Coinfest 2015 is set to be the largest Coinfest ever. It has now grown 300% to include one dozen cities worldwide in their annual winter Bitcoin awareness event.
Coinfest: A small idea gone global
The idea behind Coinfest is surprisingly easy to implement on a global scale. Anyone can create a corresponding Coinfest given the following parameters: It must be held within the time frame of the event, this year February 20th-22nd, 2015. Attendance must be free of charge. The event must be non-profit. And the event must be held at a venue that accepts Bitcoin currency directly. This last part may’ve been the greatest stumbling block, but with Bitcoin passing 100k merchants worldwide, acceptance parameters are now easier than ever to achieve. Thousands are expected to attend the cadre of events.
“Many Bitcoin conferences end up being kind of an elitist thing,” Vancouver’s Bitcoin Co-Op Director and Coinfest Founder Andrew Wagner told The Georgia Straight. “They charge hundreds of dollars to attend. The (Coinfest) events are (free and) thematically organized at different venues around the (Vancouver) downtown core. They form a path, kind of a squiggly line, such that you could walk along it and visit each one.
Being that Coinfest began in Canada, the events have spread fastest there. CoinFest 2015 events are planned to take place in Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal. Elsewhere, events are being organized in Denver, Colorado; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rome, Italy; Kumasi, Ghana; Hyderabad, India; and five cities in Russia. Given the Russian government issues with Bitcoin, their requirement of venue acceptance has been waived.
“The idea of it being simultaneous worldwide is beautiful because it makes us a cohesive community of highly individualistic people,” Wagner said of CoinFest. “Only a decentralized autonomous network could unify such an individualistic culture.”
February 21 represents the top events of Coinfest 2015 in Vancouver. Float House Spa will host a hardware demonstration by Bryan Hellard, founder of the BCIT Bitcoins. A Cryptocurrency-mining rigs, a Trezor hardware wallet, and Lamassu and Skyhook ATMs will all be on display.
A Bitcoin-themed art show will be held at the Fall tattoo parlor, and a networking event will take place at Francesco’s Italian Restaurant. The game room at India Gate restaurant will offer freeroll poker, blackjack, and roulette, with chips redeemable for millibits. (One bitcoin equals 1,000 millibits.), so there will be something for everyone, no matter your tastes.
Bitcoin Co-op director Yuri Yerofeyev owns the Lamassu ATM at Steamrollers. He will support Coinfest 2015 by sending a Skyhook ATM to the event’s organizers in Gaborone, Botswana. This is part of a larger initiative, as he is the founder and CEO of Taurus Crypto Services, which is planning to launch an online Bitcoin exchange in the coming weeks. Yerofeyev is working to provide a customer-centric exchange with great service, low fees, and most of all, the highest security, by using multi-sig wallets to secure customer’s Bitcoin accounts.
“That’s an advantage because of the hacks; multiple hacks of different exchanges. Multi-signature wallet is virtually impossible to hack unless you can hack several parties at the same time.”
Sounds like a great time will be had by all Bitcoin owners and enthusiast’s later this month, February 20-22, and some new projects will be borne out of this event. My only thing is…..Canada and Russia in February? Really? May need to work on the timing, as the locations seemingly will work themselves out.
Can you attend a Coinfest event? Like to start your own in 2016? Share above and comment below.