The Bitcoin Amsterdam conference has gathered thousands of Bitcoiners in Amsterdam. Our correspondent Thomas Semaan shares his experience.
“Bitcoin Is Making History in Amsterdam” reads the sign with bright orange color. When you’re walking along the historical Jordaan street of Amsterdam, it’s hard to overlook.
The hype is real for the European version of the bitcoin conference by BTC inc. mostly known for Bitcoin Magazine.
The event starts on Wednesday the 12th of October. The first keynote happens on the main stage. The so called “moon stage”. An entire venue that looks like the surface of the moon. Above the stage an astronaut holding a bitcoin logo.
At the entrance of the stage a huge B made from Dutch tulips presented by a company that mines bitcoin and uses the heat to plant Tulips in The Netherlands. The irony is obvious here, a cheeky jab at the nocoiners. Is Bitcoin a Tulip mania? Think again.
Greeting everyone on stage as the hosts of a Dutch bitcoin podcast called “Radio Satoshi” jump on stage. The titles of the talks are as simple as “What Is Bitcoin?” and “What is Lightning?”. The perfect introduction.
Throughout the conference, plenty of panels and talks from bitcoiners and bitcoin entrepreneurs educate the audience.
However, what is even more interesting is how the bitcoin conference is a focal point for freedom advocates and activists. The heart-breaking but also thought-provoking appearance by Stella Assange, Julian Assange’s wife has left an lasting impact on listeners.
For anyone who’s not familiar with Wikileaks and Assange’s story, this talk is an eye-opener. Assange is among the very few first adopters of bitcoin, using it as a way to circumvent the exclusive fiat system which bared Wikileaks from receiving donations to continue its truth-seeking and leak revealing service and mission.
The talks follwing range from general bitcoin education, bitcoin products and privacy tech to freedom advocacy, economics and politics.
Outside the stages is the food court. Multiple food stands serving food and accepting bitcoin payments via Lightning. 4,000 Lightning transactions were made during the 3 days period, topping the former record of BTC22 in Innsbruck. This area is also where all the bitcoiners met each other. Certainly, the highlight of the conference is meeting plebs from all corners of the world.
After 2 days of fiery talks, meetups and networking, the last approaches. The “Sound Money” music festival. The moon stage is turned into a DJ set. To no surprise, Bitcoiners danced the night the way to the tunes of “pump it up”.
The event was overall successful. The industry and people around bitcoin are just as bullish as bitcoin itself. It was an inspiring experience to spread the B logo everywhere in the world and build connections based on the values and ethos bitcoin represents.