Monday, June 24th 2013, was clearly a day for the record books at Satoshi Square NYC – New York City’s primary open-air Bitcoin exchange! Held on Monday afternoons in the northern part of Union Square Park, both the air temperature and the market was blazing hot despite the shade of the park’s tree line where a turnout of nearly 40 people gathered to buy and sell Bitcoins. Within the first half hour, the trade volume quickly shattered the previous record of ~25 BTC set just the week before. While exact counts are difficult to obtain with such a decentralized system, it is believed that upwards of 90 Bitcoins exchanged hands across the day and possibly more. There were even at two attendees who came hoping to participate in some Litecoin trading – certainly something to watch in the future.
Possibly contributing to the size of the crowd was the scheduled appearance of the crew shooting the upcoming documentary “The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin“. They were accompanied by the renowned Fred Wilson, a managing partner at Union Square Ventures and also a founder of Flatiron Partners. An on-camera walk-through demonstration was conducted where the details of in-person transactions were laid out to Fred after which he bought a small amount of Bitcoin himself. Then Fred paid a visit to another market maker, Owen Gunden, who aside from trading has been known to sell t-shirts for either cash or Bitcoin (at a relative discount) at various Bitcoin-related events in the city. Being a global player, Fred did not want the BNYC-branded version from Owen’s t-shirt line, preferring the geographically-ambigious variant.
General trading continued on into the evening with the documentary team also interviewing Bitcoin-celebrity couple Charlie Shrem (BitInstant, EVR) and Courtney Warner on the sidelines of the general market area until the “closing bell” (note: still no actual bell) rang at 7:00, whereupon the group left the park to get some post-exchange refreshment at a local bar.
And as a personal note I, David Moon, made my first sale of a tangible item using Bitcoins. Having recently taken a course on laser cutting at NYC Resistor, I brought a few Bitcoin-themed objects I created to show and share with some of the folks there. Jonathan Mohan, coordinator of various meetings and forums under the BitcoinNYC Meetup group he helped form, liked the first piece he saw and so I showed him some others. Upon seeing the singular mirrored variation of the design, he insisted on buying it. After fumbling with my Blockchain account for a bit, I was able to receive payments and in short order, I was 0.03 BTC wealthier for the day!
At this rate, all eyes will definitely be on Satoshi Square NYC in the weeks ahead as many people want to know when this event will break barriers for 100, 500 and even 1000 levels!