London will host its first Satoshi Square event tomorrow (18th January). Satoshi Square events are billed as face-to-face bitcoin exchanges for people to trade the cryptocurrency directly with one another in close physical proximity.
The London event has attracted more than 250 sign-ups on its Meetup event page. It’s organised by Tom Robinson of Elliptic, the bitcoin insurance startup in the UK, and others involved in the London bitcoin scene.
Satoshi Square London will take place at Bishops Square, an open area next to the popular tourist destination Old Spitalfields Market. Bishops Square is also on the edge of the City of London, the city’s historic financial district and the world’s top location for trading in foreign exchange markets. Some 41% of the world’s forex trades go through dealers in the City.
The London event is billed as an “informal social affair” with an emphasis on educating people new to bitcoin about the digital currency. Bitcoiners will meet under the white canopy located in the square to talk cryptocurrency, discuss the latest mining technology and trade bitcoins. The organisers have noted that there will be no formal stands set up to represent companies or individuals, although wifi networks are available.
The event seems to have successfully attracted some of its target audience. A Meetup user named Jacqui, for example, commented on the event page:
“I understand the idea of cryptocurrency and the benefits … I think it could be the future. It’s the technical side which does not compute.”
Satoshi Square events grew out of a gathering of bitcoin enthusiasts in New York City last May. They are now a loosely affiliated global phenomenon. They were started by Josh Rossi, who convened a number of fellow enthusiasts at Union Square Park in downtown Manhattan, according to Let’s Talk Bitcoin. The idea was to create an open-air marketplace for bitcoin.
Satoshi Square transactions are relatively small, as they are often venues for newcomers to bitcoin to get acquainted with the digital currency. However, the largest transaction at a Square event that Rossi knows of was for $10,000.
There are 16 bitcoin-related meetups listed for the UK on Meetup.com at the moment, up from six when CoinDesk last checked in August. Besides social events around bitcoin, users can also check LocalBitcoins for people to meet in real-life to trade BTC.
CoinDesk is a sponsor of Satoshi Square – London
Bishops Square image via Flickr