A group of Mancunians fundraising for an ethical coffee shop and creative space have received a helping hand from the city’s small dogecoin community.
Manchester-based Future Artists Live Creative Coop was raising money to open The Home of Honest Coffee on King Street, which currently houses at least eight empty shop spaces. Halfway through their Kickstarter campaign, they were slightly behind their targets when the dogecoin donations started coming in.
Mark Ashmore, one of the key figures driving the campaign, was not exactly sure what to do with the $10 worth of dogecoin when he first received them.
“I knew about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, but I didn’t know about dogecoin,” said Ashmore.
Dogecoin miner and enthusiast, Chris Buckey of Pixel Kicks was the first person to donate doge to the campaign.
“He donated $10 worth, which apparently is quite a lot,” said Ashmore.
“I didn’t know how to accept it, so he walked me through the process of how to set it up and the explained the exchange rate. Now I have a dogecoin wallet on my mobile phone and you can put donations in and I can take cash out.”
Buckey also set up Dogetipbot on Reddit, along with tweeting about the campaign to garner exposure.
The Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed its £5,000 goal and raised £5,571, at least £25 of which came as dogecoin donations. Ashmore says that dogecoins keep coming in everyday and on last check he had received about 90,000.
Buckley, who drove the dogecoin donations by publicizing the campaign, recognizes that £25 (or $40) isn’t a lot of money. However, he thinks the exposure helped Ashmore and the gang.
“Dogecoin gave The Home of Honest Coffee a little bit of extra exposure that was needed and a week later, they hit their target. It was not directly through the money we raised with dogecoins, but with added exposure.”
And in return, Buckley met other dogecoin enthusiasts in the Manchester area after he took the lead on publicizing this initiative.
“There are quite a lot more than I actually thought,” said Buckley about the dogecoin community in Manchester. “I have been introduced to 5 or 10 people in the area after this.”
This isn’t the first time the dogecoin community has come together to support a fundraising campaign. In January, they raised $25,000 for the Jamaican bobsleigh team which enabled them to participate in the Winter Olympics. The Dogecoin Foundation also raised $50,000 for Kenya’s water crisis in March.
The Home of Honest Coffee
The idea behind The Home of Honest Coffee is to create a not-for-profit café, which would serve fair trade coffee and pump profits back into the community for health and well-being initiatives, businesses and startups. Above the coffee shop will be a co-working space that anyone can use for 5p a minute. It’s aimed at freelancers and small start-ups.
“You don’t need to use it everyday,” says Ashmore. “There is no membership fee. You could just drop in and drop out. There are a few examples of this set-up in London but there is nothing like this in Manchester.”
The Next Steps
Now that the team have exceeded their fundraising target, it’s time to start planning for the launch.
They are holding at meeting with their 155 or so backers next Tuesday to get their input on how to get things going. They are aiming to open the café in August and Ashmore says they’ll be accepting dogecoin and bitcoin from day one.
“We could accept digital currencies before we can accept normal ones,” he said.
As someone who just recently learned about accepting virtual currencies, Ashmore seems quite sold on the idea already.
“I got sent a cheque for a couple of grand for my business the other day. I took it to the bank to cash it in and it was a bank holiday and they said it would take 10 days for that £2000 to be available. On the other hand, these people sending me dogecoins are just tweeting it. And it’s in my account. There is no percentage going to anybody.”
So, Ashmore is excited about accepting dogecoin at The Home of Honest Coffee and Buckey is excited about spending his doge in Manchester, which currently lacks retail outlets accepting digital currencies.
“When it opens in August, I will be going to get a coffee and I will pay in dogecoins and hopefully be the first person to do so,” said Ashmore.