In a renowned tech-hub in London, people gathered to sip on alcohol, watch musical performance, and explore the world of digital currency. During “the festival where it pays to Bitcoin,” a number of restaurants, art galleries, and taverns sold goods for Bitcoin in the inner city district of Shoreditch.
The 10 day festival, called BlockStock, just wrapped up last weekend. The ringleaders wanted to give locals to have an opportunity to taste the decentralized currency, which can be a bit different from presenting a credit card or paying with cash. Reading about Bitcoin in the newspapers is one thing, using it is quite another.
Justina Cruikshank, co-founder of the event, told the Hackney Gazette:
“The main aspect of the festival was to get people to accept bitcoin; it needs to be seen as normal.”
The hope is that one day it will lead to mass adoption. It was also a chance, perhaps less so, to introduce people to the economic and political advantages of adopting Bitcoin. Cruikshank works for The Brew, a company that hooks people up with shared offices spaces in London. The company co-sponsored the festival.
Other Bitcoin-centered festivals—and similar events—have popped up in the past year. Some venders at the weekly New York City Hester Street fair accepted Bitcoin over summer.
BlockStock partnered with Coinapult, the Bitcoin wallet service, and even garnered some help from the local Hackney government.
BlockStock hosted a myriad of activities, events, and performances over the course of the week. They even gave away Bitcoin. It was an opportunity to purchase something with a technology that is quick and relatively inexpensive. A shoe store, a cafe, and a tattoo parlor, also made up the merchant roster.
Other wings in the UK are encouraging Bitcoin adoption. Earlier in the summer, the Chancellor of the Treasury George Osborne called on the UK to step up its tech game. He proposed establishing the UK as a Bitcoin hub, or a “global center of financial innovation.”
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