A customer purchased a “Live Free or Die” wood plaque and a “Legalize Gay Marijuana” bumper sticker at the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe in Portsmouth, New Hampshire using an encrypted digital currency called ZCash. The cryptocurrency is the most private money ever created, relying on a complex mathematical principle called a “Zero-Knowledge Proof”. Essentially this customer took some digital cash, locked it in a box with a secret key, and sent the shop the key. There is no discernible trail left. No observer can look up the transaction on the blockchain, not even those who know the sending/receiving addresses. Pretty slick! Here’s what it looked like:
This marks yet another turning point for human freedom. An evolution on the creation of bitcoin, this new cryptocurrency offers features and advantages that bitcoin simply doesn’t. While many are still holding fast to the promises of failing Federal Reserve Notes, others are seeking alternatives and building more reliable systems that make extortion far more difficult. Learn more by following the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe on Twitter and by joining our email list.
The bitcoin meetup this week was a blast! We packed one corner of the Kitchen restaurant with people of all ages and experience levels. We celebrated Mark, the owner of Portsmouth Smoke and Vape, becoming the newest addition to the World Famous Bitcoin Tour. His business is unique on the tour, as it is the first downtown retail store to take cryptocurrency — and he takes a lot! They accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, and ZCash.
Some people had heard about the meetup from the flyers posted around town — others from visiting the store — and still others from searching Meetup.com. It was a good mix of people. One guy downloaded his first bitcoin wallet and funded it by trading someone at the table for $5 in cash. He was surprised how fast and easy it was, and that it required no signup at all.
The food and service was notably excellent, as it often is at the Kitchen. The staff knew we were having a bitcoin meetup and treated us super nice. They delivered some food out to us (which is not normal — usually you pick it up from the counter yourself). And they let us linger a bit after they closed, since we were having so much fun talking and learning from each other.
Charles shared with us about a cool thing the Portland Bitcoin meetup group is doing: they’re issuing their own cryptocurrency and awarding it to people who attend and participate by speaking. It would be so awesome to have someone spend that cryptocurrency to purchase merchandise at the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe!
The next Portsmouth bitcoin meetup will be at the Fresh Press on Sunday, October 15 at 2pm. The Shoppe will be closed for the next 2 weeks as Steven and Derrick will be in Prague for the Hackers Congress. We’ll have lots of great info and fun pictures and video to share, so follow us on Twitter.
Wow, what an incredible day. It began at noon, when a man who had walked in weeks prior to buy his first bitcoin, returned to spend some on a 3D-printer kit to build with his son. Then, nationally-syndicated radio hosts Ian Freeman, Mark Edge, and Darryl W. Perry arrived and set up microphones to record an episode of their show Free Talk Live. Finally, we all headed over to the Seacoast Repertory Theatre for the 5-year Anniversary Screening of Victimless Crime Spree!
Here’s what you missed:
Broadcasting From the Free State Bitcoin Shoppe’s Grand Opening in Portsmouth, NH :: Operating the Store :: Is Bitcoin the Best? :: Bitcoin and Banks :: World Famous Bitcoin Tour :: Derrick J’s Favorite Customer Stories :: Joel Valenzuela from Dash Force News Joins Us :: Cryptocurrency Acceptance in Other Countries :: Bitcoin Vending Machine :: Victimless Crime Spree Fifth Anniversary
The Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth is screening Derrick J’s Victimless Crime Spree Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 7pm. All are welcome. Drinks and concessions are available for purchase with bitcoin (and dash). 2 large framed movie posters will go home to the luckiest raffle winners.
This Independence Day, I am pushing the meme of New Hampshire Independence. It is its own country of 1,331,000 people with a unique set of cultural, economic, and philosophical values. It’s about time you and I start referring to NH as a country. Forget “draining the swamp” — Leave the swamp!
When most people think of New Hampshire, a few images come to mind: colorful trees, maple syrup, covered bridges, people with guns, and the great outdoors. They probably don’t think of high-tech cryptocurrency. But that’s changing, thanks to the great libertarian migration of the 21st century.
Anarchists and libertarians are moving en masse to escape oppressive political masters in their homelands to find peace and prosperity in tax-free, freedom-loving New Hampshire. With them, they are bringing their favorite freedom-enhancing technology: blockchain-based money.
Overstock.com reported that the day they started accepting bitcoin for payment, a third of all their orders came from New Hampshire. New Hampshire is only state that explicitly exempts crypto-currency businesses from requirements to register as money transmitters, attracting job-creating startups like Lamassu, LBRY, AnyPay, and more. No longer does Silicon Valley hold a monopoly on tech: the Swarm.City team could have launched from anywhere in the world, and they chose Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This week the Monadnock Shopper, a New Hamphire newspaper with 40,000 readers, published a front-page above-the-fold article about bitcoin and all the businesses in the area that accept it.
It can be hard to keep track of all the cryptocoin development happening in New Hampshire. That’s why David Jurist started Shire Cryptocoin, a website that tells you the closest businesses where you can buy and spend your cryptocoins, which ones they take, and when there are meetup groups in your area where you can learn and get your questions answered.
Shire Cryptocoin recently appeared at SomaliaFest 2017, and they were the best vendor there in my opinion, because they helped people get better money than what they had in their pockets. I used their service to trade bitcoin for litecoin, dash, and ethereum. I had a great experience, and I wanted to spread the word. Here’s a video I made about them:
You won’t believe this. Even I can’t believe it. I had to stop investigating this story because the rabbit hole of corruption was so deep that I lost sight of where it began. So let’s start at the end and work backwards…
Chris Brackett, the head of the jail in Dover, New Hampshire decided to impose a policy of obstructing all inmate mail. No more letters from the outside world. An article published by the Portsmouth Herald cites recent inmate overdoses as the potential justification for this excessively restrictive action.
There are two problems with that theory. First, the jail doesn’t allow packages of any sort, including birthday cards or anything other than ink and paper (at least, until last week’s new policy took effect). Second, it is policy for jail employees to physically open and check the contents of all inmate mail for any contraband and remove it before it reaches the inside. There is no way inmates were receiving heroin through ink and paper letters, and preventing their delivery will have no effect on inmate overdoses.
Who’s in charge of hiring these top-notch individuals working at the Dover jail? Well, none other than Bruce Pelkie, the Superintendent of Strafford County Jails, who was himself arrested earlier this year on felony charges of impersonating an officer. Apparently while enjoying more than a year on paid vacation on taxpayer’s dime, Bruce thought it would be great fun to get his personal vehicle outfitted with red and blue police lights and pull people over. Is he a cop? No. Does he have the authority to pull anyone over? No. Then surely the local police would notice this happening and stop him? Nope. A State Trooper was finally the one to catch the Superintendent of the jails pulling people over in his personal car. And all while he is out on “administrative leave” for what he claims are medical reasons. Surely this means he loses his job, his pay, and the taxpayer-funded medical insurance he’s been collecting? Also no. The superintendent of the jails continues to receive paychecks for not doing his job, and committing crimes on the side.
There are countless more crimes and stories of corruption emanating from this public embarrassment of a facility — too many to list in this one article. I had no idea what a can of worms I’d be opening when I dug into the first story about jail guards obstructing inmate mail. Is this even legal? Should groups like the ACLU and prisoner’s rights groups file a lawsuit against Chris Brackett and the people who are obstructing mail delivery to inmates? Please share this article and video with your friends and family and ask them what they think. Building a free society depends on people like you to think, speak, and act — especially when it is easier to do nothing.
On May 24 2017 I attended, “Exposing the Free State Project,” 90 minutes of slander and lies by Zandra Rice Hawkins. Hawkins is a propagandist with Granite State Progress, a political arm of the New Hampshire Democrats. She apparently missed her calling as a preacher of the fire and brimstone variety, given the fear, mistrust, and terror she attempted to sow throughout the crowd. In the end, attendees seemed rightfully doubtful of Hawkins’ spurious claims that Free Staters are wolves in sheep’s clothing, secretly plotting to dismantle every beloved societal institution they can. Instead, Free Staters were seen as open, willing to engage others on the issues that matter most to them, and find common ground where possible to make a better life for everyone.