On Friday, Cointelegraph traveled to Satoshi’s Place, a Bitcoin (BTC) hub in Greater Manchester. Named after the anonymous creator of the world’s largest and most accepted cryptocurrency, the bar and workspace offers workshops, coworking spaces 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 engage and educate people about the magic money online. He told Cointelegraph over a beer — which pays Bitcoin through the Lightning Network — that it’s the first of many forays into the Bitcoin business.
Everything in the space – absolutely everything – is Bitcoin-themed or Bitcoin-branded. From orange being the dominant color to the rare Bitcoin art that adorns the walls to the hand dryer in the restrooms, which generates heat from — you guessed it — a Bitcoin miner plugged into the floor.
Adam explained that 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. At first, customers could buy coffee with Bitcoin and even use a Bitcoin ATM to buy and sell Bitcoin, “Back then it was legal,” he joked.
“People were putting £20,000 worth of cash into the ATM a month. From teenagers to I think the oldest was 93.”
The Financial Conduct Authority forced Bitcoin ATMs to shut down in March this year. Adam explained that the banks made life difficult, despite doing everything by the book — “a complete exchange system literally down to the minute.”
In an example that is part of a wider trend, Bitcoin businesses in the UK are being besieged by banks. Adam’s experience is no different: he had trouble with Barclays while running a crypto festival in the UK called CoinFest and had his bank accounts blocked and emails ignored despite his best efforts to do business outside the borders.
Satoshi’s Place is his third attempt to create a common space for Bitcoin enthusiasts and forerunners to meet and learn what money is and why Bitcoin could be better. Thanks to the Lightning Network, a layer 2 bitcoin solution, payments are now almost instantaneous, frictionless and basically free. Many enthusiasts, Bitcoin lovers and even newbies were at the bar on Friday buying burgers and drinks with Bitcoin.
— Satoshi’s Place® – UK-based Bitcoin Hub (@SatoshisPlaceUK) September 17, 2022
The bar uses solutions from Fast Bitcoins and CoinCorner, two Isle of Man Bitcoin companies. CoinCorner’s team traveled across the Irish Sea to hang out on Friday and host a Bitcoin workshop the following day.
In second place, Nathan Day, “Pleb at Large” and associate BTCMap.Org, an open-source map showing where Bitcoiners can spend satoshis, demonstrated Bitcoin-themed games. Jordan Walker, CEO of Bitcoin Collective, the group behind the UK Bitcoin Conference, schooled Day’s son in Sats-Man (like Pac-Man, but with Satoshi).
Related: Britain’s ‘Bitcoin Adventure’ Shows BTC Is a Family Affair
— ⚡ BTC Map ⚡ (@BTCMapDotOrg) September 19, 2022
The workshops at Satoshi’s Place will be as close to free as possible and open to all: the Bitcoin currency doesn’t discriminate, after all. Workshops in the front room workspace cover “Everything from Lightning Education to Bitcoin for Kids, Bitcoin Development, all different kinds. So far I have about 16 hosts who want to do workshops.”
It has been more than a decade since Satoshi Nakamoto retired from public involvement in the blockchain community. Makes you wonder what they would think of spaces like this, all these years later.