There’s nothing quite like attending a Bitcoin event to make you feel inspired about the work that’s going on in Bitcoin and this weekend marked the inaugural Bitcoin Adventure at Avon Valley in Bristol.
With plenty of activities to get involved with, this was a great opportunity to put faces to names of people that we’ve been following on Twitter and written articles about here on The Bitcoin Manual.
Although I couldn’t attend every presentation and workshop, I’ll do my best to go through the highlights from what I saw and share what I learned, which was a LOT!
The Avon Valley
A quick mention of the Avon Valley, which is actually an adventure and wildlife park, that provided a great family friendly setting for The Bitcoin Adventure.
In between presentations, we had a chance to check out the grounds and the wildlife there, including this cheeky chap, stacking sats and chilling.
I managed to have a brief chat with Douglas, the owner of the park, who said that he’s been looking to accept Bitcoin for a while now on the site and really wanted to host the event here.
After speaking with EssenceSatoshi about it, he was fully onboard and now with options like CoinCorner‘s bolt card and NFC payment readers, many people had, and will have, the option to make purchases with Bitcoin.
This is already a growing trend as I found out from the Berkshire Bitcoiners who have made some serious moves since I last caught up with them a few months ago.
The Berkshire Bitcoiners recently started to onboard pubs, restaurants and local businesses to accept Bitcoin payments via the lightning network, which allows very low fee and instant settlement compared to Visa and Mastercard.
With NFC readers, leaflets and demonstrations available all day, business owners were able to try out these tools and learn more about how they can integrate Bitcoin to their business.
In the last couple of months, they have managed to onboard 2 local pubs with a third one imminent – the Bitcoinshire vision is coming to fruition!
Find out more about their vision on their website
Speaking of racing along with Bitcoin adoption…
They brought along a Citroen that I’d seen whizzing around the race circuit previously and gave a brief presentation of what they are trying to achieve in the coming 12 months.
They mentioned that things are really progressing well with their connections in El Salvador who are primed to support them and spread the word about Bitcoin Racing.
There was also an appeal for sponsorship to help the team invest in a more powerful car which would enable them to get more coverage with more viewership as the Porsche leagues are more widely watched.
It didn’t take long for people to approach them and offer sponsorship as the owner of Avon Valley met them after to discuss options.
Find out more about Bitcoin Racing’s mission on their website here.
With a stand in prime position next to the entrance of the presentation tent, we were able to speak to a lot of people, introduce them to the free educational webinars and gift £10 worth of Bitcoin.
The Bitcoin Pioneers has grown to over 200 members now and has been running for just over a year. Funnily enough, it launched about the same time as The Bitcoin Manual did with the same mission to educate people about Bitcoin.
If you are in the UK and wanted to get started with a £10 gift (no deposit required), make sure you follow the instructions below and register for the next webinar to begin your own Bitcoin Adventure.
Also, if you’re looking to orange pill others in the UK and want to join the Pioneer program, you can do so here – you will get £10 of Bitcoin each time you onboard someone new and get exclusive access to other UK events.
Make sure you mention The Bitcoin Manual on your application to let Jason know who sent you 🙂
Presentations & Workshops
There was a lot happening on the day and I wasn’t able to see all the presentations and workshops but here is a brief summary of what went down.
A big shout out to UK Bitcoin Master for the top work on the MC duties!
Victoria Jones – Bitcoin As A New Form Of Money
Unfortunately, I arrived at the end of the presentation here so I missed a big chunk of it but I caught up with Victoria, who also goes by the name of “Satoshi’s Page“, afterwards and found out that she was a dentist before going full time in to Bitcoin.
However, the credit crunch in 2008 really affected her business and as she caught wind of Bitcoin in the early days, she felt it was too important not to start being a full time advocate for it.
She stayed around to sign her book called “Truth Decay – How Bitcoin Fixes This”, I love the word play on the title there and I am looking forward to reading it!
Alexander & Co – Bitcoin & Tax
The tax around Bitcoin in the UK is an ever changing scene and a professional tax consultant gave a really informative presentation on how Bitcoin is taxed in the UK.
There was a great discussion around it with plenty of questions from the audience, which was not bad for a deep discussion on a Saturday morning about tax!
We have covered UK’s approach to taxing Bitcoin in the past but things change all the time and we are definitely not tax professionals so if you’re in any doubt, always speak to a tax advisor and plan accordingly!
Ben Arc – LNBits
Ben from LNBits was showcasing a wide variety of open-source lightning apps and plug-ins that they have been developing which allow people to tip fractions of a Bitcoin, known as satoshis, for an unlimited number of applications.
I caught up with him after the presentation as there were some very interesting use cases with Spotify and live DJ streaming that caught my attention.
The idea behind it is that curators could potentially be tipped in sats and you also have a kind of jukebox system where restaurants may have a playlist going but a customer can send some sats which then allows them to select a song from Spotify and play that too.
These were all very early concept demonstrations and the plug-ins are still in beta but are all open-source so if you’re a developer, feel free to get involved on their GitHub here!
Christian Moss – ZEBEDEE
Christian, aka MandleDuck, went through an interesting history of how the landscape of currency in games has gone full circle from tokens in the early days, to one-way micro-payments from gamer to company, back around to gamers being rewarded for playing games.
Sam, a 10 year old boy who is working on a few new games with Gamertron (and I will be covering their latest game Sats-Man very soon!), was brought on stage to go through an on-the-spot quiz to learn more about the Lightning Network and win some sats.
I spoke to Christian afterwards and wanted to see what other games they were working on and there’s so much to look forward to this year as they are partnering with more games companies.
There’s another game he mentioned he’s working on that I can’t talk about but when it launches, could be game changing (pun-intended)!
There was also a chance to play Bitcoin Mario Kart and Sats-Man at the event to win sats, so cool!
Neil Woodfine – Defending Against A $5 Wrench Attack
It’s a terrifying thought to face a physical attack to hand over your Bitcoin and we’re all about security and safe storage here at TBM.
Once you get over the most important notion of “not your keys, not your Bitcoin“, then you will probably start looking into maxing out your security.
It’s something worth setting up, even if you have followed all the security tips to get this far.
Jason Deane – Bitcoin Mining Will Destroy The Planet… Or Will It?
As someone who has dabbled in a bit of mining, thanks to my conversations with Jason, I was also really looking forward to this one as Jason is at the forefront of the mining sector.
Anyone who has spent a little bit of time in Bitcoin will have come across the various FUD pieces about how much energy Bitcoin uses. Jason presented a graph from collected data that showed Bitcoin mining makes up the tiniest slither of the world’s total energy.
Not only that but Bitcoin mining is being used as a means to prevent excess energy being wasted or burned off due to gas flaring from oil drilling and the inefficiencies of the energy grids.
In fact, in a previous article we wrote about the Sun Exchange, it was discovered that there’s actually enough solar energy reaching planet Earth from the Sun in one hour to power one year’s worth of human energy consumption – we aren’t short of energy supply.
Add to that all the green energy that’s available from hydro which can’t be transported very efficiently to large towns and cities due to distance, which allows miners to step in that are willing to use that stranded energy.
On the flip side, the negatives that keep him awake at night are the Bitcoin mining operations are still using fossil fuels such as coal to power them, which is not what the vast majority of miners want or actually do, according to the Bitcoin Mining Council.
Encrypt256 – Privacy Is A Human Fight
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see this presentation and rejoined right at the end of it but from what I gathered, the talk centered around seriously considering high privacy practices of not exposing your personal information online or doxing yourself.
The best way of mitigating this is by going to in-person events where you can pay for things via the lightning network and keep your identity offline.
If you can’t do that, then the next best thing is to set up a PO box for deliveries of things such as hardware wallets.
As we’ve talked about before, there are various honeypots that criminals and hackers will want to tap into so make sure you keep yourself as safe as possible.
Daniel Prince & Nathan Day – World Schooling For Bitcoiners
To wrap up the presentations, there was a great talk from Daniel Prince & Nathan Day who shared their experiences of home schooling. This is not the same as the forced “home schooling” as many would know it due to the pandemic.
Instead, it is a new lifestyle where you don’t need to be tied down to the rat race and not see your kids. Or you send your kids to school and don’t have the quality time with them.
They have been bringing their children up in this exciting new way of living, travelling and enjoying their lives as a family which opened my mind to a time when/if I have kids.
It’s not all roses though and the guys went through some of the cons of this way of life but ultimately, it is very rewarding.
I didn’t get a chance to go to any of the workshops sadly – I was mostly in the presentation tent and speaking to various presenters, catching up with people I’d met before and meeting those who I’ve mostly conversed with online.
From what I gather though, there was plenty of family friendly activity with the Mario Kart, Sats-Man gaming and Bitcoin Ballers for some outdoor football fun.
There were also workshops to help build a node on Linux, developing on lightning, building a blockchain with Play-Doh and so much more – the place was a buzz of activity.
To wrap up the whole event in style, those that remained were treated to an entertaining live musical performance from Roger 9000 who had various memes, images and graphics that accompanied the tunes.
UK Bitcoin Awareness Continues To Grow
Phew! What an event, what a weekend! If ever you were feeling bearish, in doubt or letting mainstream media scare you, events such as The Bitcoin Adventure will have totally flipped these feelings upside down.
When you see how many passionate people there are that are actually building, developing and creating useful, fun and innovative products, you can’t help but be inspired by it all.
More open-minded businesses are starting to accept Bitcoin once they have been introduced to the concepts, benefits and ease-of-use of receiving Bitcoin payments, which will only continue to grow.
The Bitcoin Adventure is the first of its kind in the UK as far as I’m aware that has provided a family friendly environment for kids and adults alike to learn and start their Bitcoin journey.
As more events like this start to become more prevalent across the UK, it can only continue to grow the awareness as those who are willing to learn start to unplug from the mindset that filthy fiat creates that causes so much damage.
We’re only too happy to feature more stories like this on our website as we all continue with our Bitcoin adventure, celebrating our first birthday at TBM in the process. Cheers my dears 🙂