For Arnhem Bitcoincity's six-month anniversary, the Arnhem Bitcoin Metropolis event gathered nearly 100 people, who made 176 Bitcoin transactions. The team is now seeking governmental support to expand the project.
Talking to Cointelegraph, Arnhem Bitcoincity's Patrick Van Der Meijde, Annet de Boer and Rogier Eijkelhof shared their happiness and pride after the event's success:
"About 90 visitors showed up, and we got tons of positive reactions and feedback."
Occurring on November 28, the Arnhem Bitcoin Metropolis event was the opportunity for bitcoiners to spend their coins at local businesses, as well as for novices to be introduced to the technology.
Some merchants took a step further and even offered special promotions for the day, either in the form of "Bitcoin menus" for restaurants, or through numerous discounts when paying using the digital currency. During the evening, talks and workshops on various subjects were held in different locations to educate the curious, explained the team.
During the Arnhem Bitcoin Metropolis event alone, 176 transactions were made, which represent more than 65% of the total amount of transactions occurring during the whole month of November, said the team behind Arnhem Bitcoincity.
Seeking government support
"We've been in touch with the local government to see if we can get any support from their end in terms of contracts, promotion and networking—no financial support," explained a team member of the organization.
The primary goal here would be to get traditional organizations such as museums, cinemas, expositions and libraries to start accepting the digital currency. The team also hopes the move would familiarize government institutions with Bitcoin "in a more positive, constructive way than all the crappy news stories we've all seen from the mainstream media."
Arnhem Bitcoincity had partnered up with Dutch POS system provider BitKassa to motivate merchants in accepting the digital currency, while having to deal with neither daily price fluctuations, nor storage or security:
"That really helped to convince merchants to give Bitcoin a try. It's 100% free of risk, costs or hassle, and converts bitcoins to euros—unless they wish to actually keep bitcoins. [...] Basically we've set things up in a way that there's really no reason for any merchant not to try Bitcoin."
Last week, Dutch retail chain giant Spar joined the Arnhem Bitcoincity initiative and announced its outlet Spar Arnhem Centraal is now accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. While the local Spar franchise owner, Luke Van Gelder, isn't a Bitcoin user himself, he told CoinDesk he found the project interesting and fun to support, adding:
"I don’t personally expect to gain a huge amount of extra revenue by accepting bitcoin, but perhaps we’ll attract a couple of new customers this way."
According to Arnhem Bitcoincity's team, the Spar formula "is all about adapting to [their] local environment and joining the local community." The organization reached out to the Dutch Spar board, which stated that "they liked the initiative from the Spar Arnhem Centraal franchise, but for now, are not planning on adopting Bitcoin into their corporate program."
Since last Friday, several businesses have signed up to start accepting Bitcoin as well, including a therapist, a massage salon and a hairdresser, announced Arnhem Bitcoincity.
The Arnhem Bitcoincity project kicked off in May, and has already signed up more than 40 local businesses to accept the digital currency. The project's ultimate goal is to give locals the ability to pay for their everyday expenses in Bitcoin, and it is definitely on the right path toward building the ultimate Bitcoin city.
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