The first Bitcoin Consumer Fair comes to the Loudermilk Conference Center in Atlanta, Ga. on April 17 and 18. The educational and trade event addresses consumers and merchants who are interested in expanding the use of bitcoin in the Atlanta area, as well as those interested in working on the business and technology side of bitcoin.
The purpose of the fair is to bring together consumers, merchants and payment companies to interact and facilitate the use of bitcoin as a payment mechanism.
Jason Cronk, co-organizer of the event, told CCN that between 100 and 200 are expected to attend this inaugural event.
“Our goal is to reach a new audience for bitcoin,” said Cronk. “We want to teach as many people as possible about its benefits and answer questions for people who may have heard about bitcoin but don’t know that much about it.”
Consumer education seen as lacking
“I go to a lot of bitcoin conferences and I was always struck by several things,” Cronk said. “First was the lack of vendors accepting bitcoin for products or services and second was the heavy focus on Bitcoin 2.0 technologies. I wanted an event that stuck to the original purpose of bitcoin, as a payment mechanism and really showcased that functionality and the benefits of using bitcoin that way.”
“A few of us who are involved in the Atlanta bitcoin community realized that Atlanta needed its own bitcoin event. Atlanta is a financial technology hub and has a big bitcoin presence already. We thought it was a perfect opportunity and location.”
The event is the first of its kind in Atlanta. A full list of times and activities are available at the event website: bitcoinconsumerfair.com.
Exhibits and seminars
There will be about a dozen exhibitors, Cronk said. Most accept bitcoin for products, including a food truck that will serve lunch. Mycelium, a bitcoin wallet, will hand out $2 paper wallets to each registered attendee.
The event begins with a welcome reception for vendors and exhibitors on April 17. On April 18, attendees will have the chance to interact with vendors and exhibitors and hear from a list of guest speakers on various topics related to current trends and future expansion of bitcoin. Event exhibitors will run the gamut from those providing information on bitcoin to those selling various consumer items for bitcoin.
Exhibits will be available for viewing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“I reached out to people I knew in the community who I felt could contribute to the discussion around bitcoin. As we gained publicity, some speakers reached out to me to offer a suggested topic. If it fell in line with our message, we added them to the speaker line up.” Cronk told CCN.
Saturday, April 18 begins with a free hashbrown breakfast and a food truck. The day closes with a disco dance party to say goodbye to, as the New York Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin M. Lawsky once called it, “a disco-era payment system.”
The organizers chose Atlanta for the Bitcoin Consumer Fair because of its diverse population and the numerous financial technology companies that have a strong presence in the city, according to Cronk. “There is an underserved market in the traditional banking system. We want to highlight the benefits of using Bitcoin for both consumers and merchants,” he said.
Merchants selling items for bitcoin, startups, and non-profit organizations can get 6-foot tables and two chairs for $95.
Standard exhibitors pay $995.
ATM, AVM and kiosk exhibitors pay $95 per machine.
Bitcoin wallet exhibitors pay $195. The fair wants wallet sponsors to give out bitcoin to attendees who install bitcoin in their wallets at the show.
Two education tracks
Track 1 speakers on Saturday include:
Eric Martindale of Bitpay, speaking on “Copay, the wallet for everyone.”
Scott Driscoll of Curious Inventor Youtube Channel, “Bitcoin 101.”
Shawn Wilkinson of StorJ, “A brief history of bitcoin.”
Jason King of Sean’s Outpost, “How bitcoin can transform non-profits.”
Reggie Kimble, NCR Silver, “NCR Silver and bitcoin.”
Tony Sakich, Augur, “Decentralization and bitcoin in entertainment and why the world needs a decentralized prediction market.”
Dmitry “Rassah” Murashchik, MyCellium, “Wallets: From A to hierarchical deterministic.”
Adella Toulon-Foerster, Coin Outlet, “Bitcoin ATMs: On-ramp for the unbanked.”
Kevin McGree, Avid Entrepreneurship, “Bitcoin and the future of microfinance in developing countries.”
More speakers will be added.
Track 2 speakers include:
Andrew Miller, University of Maryland, “The technical limits of bitcoin.”
Megan Burton, CoinX, “The future of banking.”
Christopher Hopkins, Esq., Ackerman, “Bitcoin litigation.”
Andrew Tepper, PS Coin, “Correct incentives to stabilize bitcoin and other markets.”
Aaron Williams, Atlanta Bitcoin, “Bitcoin ATMs: like traditional ATMs only harder.
Daniel Pusateri, PS Coin, “PS Coin: Incentivized bitcoin markets.”
Christopher Gerke, PWC, “Bitcoin tax issues.”
More speakers will be announced.
The cost for “track 1” attendees is $49. Attendees can hear conferences, participate in a food truck rally, attend a Friday night reception, the Saturday night disco party, and participate in contests including bitcoin trivia, bitcoin bingo, a startup sticker hunt, and a QR code quest.
Bitcoin bingo has participants print their bitcoin public address on a sheet of paper. Random letters and numbers will be called out. The first address called wins 1 BTC.
The QR quest is a scavenger hunt with QR codes. Users will scan QR codes that will give them clues to find the next QR code. The first person to find the last QR code will one 1 BTC.
The cost for “track 2” which is for business and technical groups costs $225. It includes participation in business seminars, validated parking, participation in a food truck rally, the Friday evening reception, the Saturday night disco party, contests.
The Loudermilk Conference Center is at 40Courtland St., NE, Atlanta.