Date: 25 April 2013
Location: Kaplan Offices
Organizer: Jonathan Mohan via the BitcoinNYC Meetup group
Format: Roundtable discussion followed by breaking into smaller groups about various Bitcoin topics.
Attendee Count: ~23
Posted Agenda: None
Jonathan Mohan led this group of around two dozen people interested in Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrencies existing or on the horizon including Litecoin, Novacoin, Terracoin, and Ripple. The meeting was started off with an around-the-table session of simple introductions, including why each person was interested in the Bitcoin platform, and the answers were fairly diverse, including a lawyer, a few people strong financial trading backgrounds, an experienced programer looking for something to hack, a guy who wanted help with unlocking his wallet, and a dating coach who wanted to know how it might help his business. From there, the floor was completely opened to any/all questions related to Bitcoin. Highlights included:
- The observation that this Meetup group – established at the end of March of this year – used to be so small that they could comfortably meet at a Starbucks.
- A call for the necessity of Bitcoin futures speculation allowing it to become a true investment vehicle.
- A discussion as to the recent Fincen rulings that have resulted in the shutting down of Bitfloor and other exchanges, leaving some concerns about MtGox in terms of security and the concerns that if MtGox falls, nobody is in position to pick up the slack.
- An introduction to Ripple, which is based on the Bitcoin-like cryptocurrency OpenCoin however Ripple wants to be more of an “omnicurrency” in that it will accept, transfer, and convert dollars – as well as other major existing currencies – along with Bitcoin all across the world.
- How to incentivize merchants to start accepting Bitcoin and the flip side of looking at the barriers to entry for most people.
- Learning of a documentary currently in production [2 May 2013 Update: possibly this one?] that speaks to Bitcoin’s popularity gains in Argentina as a way to stave off inflation concerns.
- Ways to incentivize merchants to start accepting Bitcoin and addressing possible concerns they may before doing so.
- One attendee claimed to have used a Bitcoin ATM at the Liberty Forum event in New Hampshire in February of this year however she was not able to provide a detailed account of the experience.
- The potential for Zerocoin – a potential add-on to the current Bitcoin system by which transactions could indeed be anonymous and untraceable – and how adopting this might spell Bitcoin’s doom as governments would not tolerate such a system.
- A discussion about best practices for dealing with leaving Bitcoins to others who might not fully grasp what significance a few paper wallets might be.
- A brief exploration of the units of measurement for Bitcoins – either going into SI units (centi-, mili-, micro-) or building up from the base-level “Satochi.”
- A mention of the Coinapult service for fast Bitcoin transfers.
- Lots of interest in the potential of ASIC mining engines which, save for those produced by Avalon, do not appear to be actually shipping.
- An anecdote of an ebay seller who only wanted payment in Bitcoins.
- Various security measures and suggestions following one member’s misadventure with his Bitcoin wallet after encountering some suspected malware.
Following the roundtable format, the meeting took a page from the Occupy movement where people who considered themselves authorities in a particular aspect of Bitcoins – financial, legal, technical – raised their hands so that members who were interested in that subject could find them and listen or ask questions.