Food, drink and incredibly dense visualizations of bitcoin data were on-hand last night at a New York bitcoin "halving party" co-hosted by investment firm Digital Currency Group and UK banking giant Barclays.
The otherwise rare combination of food, fun and geeky bitcoin trivia will likely be seen with increasing frequency at events popping up all over the world between the time of publication and sometime on Saturday (or maybe early Sunday), when the reward that miners are paid for transaction verification on the distributed network is cut in half.
While the prospect of a decreasing incentive to mine bitcoins and ensure the soundness of the network may seem like reason to be concerned, this is all part of a design to limit the amount of cryptocurrency in circulation and theoretically control inflation.
Still, the co-host of last night’s event said the events cropping up spontaneously around the world are evidence that bitcoin first caught on not because it was an exciting and intricate new technology, but because people found a common interest in the cryptocurrency's philosophy of decentralization.
Digital Currency Group director Meltem Demirors told CoinDesk:
"Bitcoin was and still is a technological experiment and a social experiment. It started as a community of people who really felt passionate about the underlying philosophical principals of bitcoin and it still is."
Likely, a search online wherever you live will turn up some small clan of bitcoiners gathering to mark the occasion, forecast by TheHalvening.com to occur on 9th July at 17:14:02 GMT.
But we’ve identified a few that stand out as notable for various reasons, regardless of where you live. (Hat tip to The Halvening for assembling this list of halving parties around the world).
Earlier this week, we reported that Uber's Argentina subsidiary is now doing business with bitcoin wallet Xapo as a way to sidestep a crackdown by local authorities. On Saturday, Bitcoin Argentina is hosting a meetup with pizza, drinks and a "show de fuegos artificiales," or fireworks.
There’s at least two halving parties in Australia, where blockchain news has been breaking regularly this year, from $16m worth of bitcoin being sold at an Australian auction to the nation’s government approaching a decision on bitcoin exchange regulation to the Australian Securities Exchange affirming its support of blockchain.
"Of course, there will be beers, chatting and trading on the night," according to the site.
Earlier today, we reported that Coinbase would no longer be able to service Canadian clients after the closure of its processing service, Vogogo, an event that should give those in Montreal plenty to talk about.
Since the halving won’t happen at a set time, but will change based on block processing times, the event hosted at Montreal’s Bitcoin Embassy, is scheduled to begin 25 blocks before block 420,000 (the block where the network change will be introduced).
Over in France, bitcoiners in Paris will have plenty to talk about in the wake of Britain’s departure from the European Union, of which the nation is a member, and French Presidential hopeful, Marin Le Pen’s call for a ban on bitcoin.
La Maison du Bitcoin is hosting an event in Paris on Saturday.
Bitcoin Amsterdam is hosting an event in Café Fonteyn on Saturday.
Over in North Carolina in the US, the halving partiers will have plenty to discuss at the Asheville Food Park, now that the state’s governor, Pat McCrory signed House Bill 289 into law, which expands the state’s Money Transmitters Act to cover activities related to bitcoin.
In addition to a bar, this party is set to include a coffee house and two food trucks.
Disclaimer: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group.
Image of Bitcoin Halving Party via Michael del Castillo