The Bitcoin Center (BTC) in Greater Manchester opened on September 16, where everything – absolutely everything is Bitcoin-themed or geared. Cointelegraph took a trip to the bar and workshop space, called Satoshi’s Place to meet the founder and raise a glass for the latest Bitcoin talk.
Named after the anonymous creator of the world’s largest and most widely accepted cryptocurrency, Satoshi’s Place offers workshops, co-working spaces for local businesses, and Bitcoin-inspired cocktails. Naturally, they accept Bitcoin via the Lightning Network, and there is also the British Pound to Bitcoin price index in the entry hall.
Adam, the founder (who chose not to share his last name), first heard about Bitcoin in 2012 and has spent the past 10 years experimenting with ways to train and educate people about the magical internet money. He told Cointelegraph over a beer – paid for in Bitcoin via the Lightning Network – that it was the first of many forays into the Bitcoin business.
Unashamedly Space Bitcoin. From orange being the dominant color to the rare Bitcoin art adorning the walls to the almond hand dryer, which generates heat from – you guessed it – a Bitcoin miner connected upstairs, it’s a place where those Bitcoin-obsessed feel right at home. It’s also a space for those who are new to Bitcoin, “beginners”, to learn, ask questions, and learn about Bitcoin, away from the sometimes challenging environments on the Internet like Twitter.
The Gold Rush was the most popular cocktail of the night.
Adam explained that Satoshi’s Place was the result of several Bitcoiner projects. Over the past four years, he has focused his efforts on Bitcoin merchant adoption, which is a growing trend in the UK. Satoshi’s Place started life as a coffee shop and then a pizzeria in 2018. Initially, customers could buy coffee with Bitcoin and even use a Bitcoin ATM to buy and sell Bitcoin, he joked.
“People were putting £20,000 in cash in an ATM a month. From teenagers to I think the oldest was 93.”
Bitcoin ATMs were forced to shut down by the Financial Conduct Authority in March of this year. Adam explained that although he did everything through the book – “a complete exchange system in the literal sense of the word” – the banks made life difficult.
An example of this is part of a broader trend, where the Bitcoin business in the UK is being cornered by banks. Adam’s experience is no different: he ran into problems with Barclays while running a UK-based crypto festival called CoinFest. Even worse, the bank banned his accounts and messages were ignored despite his best efforts to do business on top of the board.
Satoshi’s Place is his third attempt to create a writing space for Bitcoin enthusiasts and pre-currency holders to meet and learn what money is and why Bitcoin might be better. Thanks to the Lightning Network, a Layer 2 Bitcoin solution, payments are now almost instantaneous, frictionless, and essentially free. Many gamblers, Bitcoin enthusiasts, and even beginners bought burgers and drinks with Bitcoin at the bar on Friday.
The strip uses solutions from Fast Bitcoins and CoinCorner, two Bitcoin companies based on the Isle of Man. The CoinCorner team took a trip across the Irish Sea to mingle on Friday and hosted a Bitcoin workshop the following day.
Elsewhere, Nathan Day, “Pleb at Large” and contributor to BTCMap.Org, an open source map showing where bitcoins can be spent Satoshis, is a demo Bitcoin-themed game. Jordan Walker, CEO of Bitcoin Collective, the group behind the UK Bitcoin Conference, is taught by Dai’s son in the game, Sats-Man (like Pac-Man but with Satoshis).
Adam explained that the workshops at Satoshi’s Place will be as close as possible free and open to all. Bitcoin, the currency does not discriminate, after all. The workshops cover “everything from Lightning education to Bitcoin for kids, Bitcoin development, and all the different genres. There are about 16 hosts I have so far who would like to do workshops,” Adam explained.
According to Bitcoin gurus like Ben Arc of LNBits, the first night was a success – while more and more Bitcoin-focused developments and combinations will come to the scene. Bitcoin’s Lightning Node and Lightning Beer Machine are still in progress.
Related: UK ‘Bitcoin Adventure’ Shows BTC is a Family Affair
It has been more than a decade since Satoshi Nakamoto has moved away from public participation in the blockchain community. It makes you wonder what they would have thought in such spaces, a decade later.