Raising a glass to Satoshi's Place and the challenge of running a Bitcoin business

Raising a glass to Satoshi’s Place and the challenge of running a Bitcoin business – Mail Bonus

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Cointelegraph took a trip to Satoshi’s Place on Friday, a Bitcoin (BTC) hub in Greater Manchester. Named after the anonymous creator of the world’s largest and most recognized cryptocurrency, the bar and workspace offers studios, workspaces for local businesses and Bitcoin-inspired cocktails.

Adam, the founder (who chose not to share his last name), first heard about Bitcoin in 2012 and has spent the last 10 years experimenting with ways to get on board and educate people about the magic of cyber money. He told Cointelegraph over a beer — paid for by Bitcoin over the Lightning Network — that it was the first of many forays into Bitcoin trading.

Everything in the space – absolutely everything – is Bitcoin-themed or Bitcoin-branded. From the dominant color orange to the rare Bitcoin art that adorns the walls to the hand dryer in the ceiling, which generates heat from – you guessed it – a Bitcoin miner connected upstairs.

The ‘Gold Rush’ was the most popular cocktail of the night.

Adam explained that for the past four years he has focused his efforts on the adoption of Bitcoin merchants, a growing trend in the UK. Satoshi’s Place started life as a coffee shop and then a pizzeria back in 2018. At first, customers could buy coffee with Bitcoin and even use a Bitcoin ATM to buy and sell Bitcoin, “back when it was legal,” he joked.

“People were putting £20,000 of cash into ATMs every month. Everything from teenagers to I think the oldest was 93.”

Bitcoin ATMs were forced to close by the financial regulator in March this year. Adam explained that despite the fact that they did everything by the book — “a full exchange literally by the minute,” — the banks made life difficult.

An example that is part of a wider trend, Bitcoin companies in the UK are suffering from banks. Adam’s experience is no different: He ran into trouble with Barclays while running a crypto festival in the UK called CoinFest and has had bank accounts blocked and emails ignored despite his best efforts to do business over the counter.

Satoshi’s Place is his third attempt to create a booked space for Bitcoin enthusiasts and precoiners to meet and learn what is money and why Bitcoin might be better. Thanks to Lightning Network, a layer-2 Bitcoin solution, payments are now almost instant, frictionless and basically free. Many competitors, Bitcoin enthusiasts and even newbies bought burgers and drinks with Bitcoin at the bar on Friday.

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The bar uses solutions from Fast Bitcoins and CoinCorner, two Bitcoin companies based in the Isle of Man. The CoinCorner team made the trip across the Irish Sea to mingle on Friday and host a Bitcoin workshop the following day.

Elsewhere, Nathan Day, “Pleb at Large” and contributor to BTCMap.Org, an open map to show where Bitcoiners can spend Satoshis, demonstrated Bitcoin-themed games. Jordan Walker, CEO of Bitcoin Collective, the group behind the UK Bitcoin Conference, was taught by Day’s son at Sats-Man (like Pac-Man but with Satoshis).

Related: UK’s ‘Bitcoin Adventure’ Shows BTC Is a Family Affair

The workshops at Satoshi’s Place will be as close to free as possible and open to everyone: the Bitcoin currency does not discriminate, after all. Workshops in the lobby workspace cover “Everything from Lightning Education to Bitcoin for Kids, Bitcoin Development, all different types. There are about 16 hosts I’ve had so far who want to host a class.”

It has been more than a decade since Satoshi Nakamoto retired from public participation in the blockchain community. It makes you wonder what they would have thought of such a space, all these years later.

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