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:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Portsmouth, NH – The Seacoast Repertory Theatre’s bitcoin vending machine now offers Dash. The founder of Portsmouth-based digital currency company AnyPay, Steven Zeiler, says “Dash is newer than bitcoin and is more widely used on the Seacoast. Dash offers faster confirmation times and greater privacy than bitcoin.”
Bitcoin has been a popular digital currency in New Hampshire for years. Because of its recent rise in use worldwide, the fees for sending payments have increased significantly — from about 5 cents per transaction a few years ago to about $3 per transaction today. “This is great for large companies sending millions of dollars across the world instantly,” says Zeiler. “$3 is a real bargain compared to what they currently pay. But everyday bitcoin users accustomed to buying a $2 coffee with bitcoin are unwilling to spend an extra $3 just to use the digital currency.” This created an opportunity for new digital currencies to enter the market and specialize in faster payments and lower fees.
Seacoast residents have been using Dash for about a year, buying everything from soaps and salad dressing to haircuts and bacon. Some even offer a discount for customers who pay with Dash. But getting it was always a problem. Users needed to have bitcoin first, or trade a good or service to get Dash. Zeiler says, “Until now, it was only possible to get Dash in exchange for another digital currency. Now people can retire their dirty old federal reserve notes into the machine where they’ll be shredded. Just kidding.”
The price of one Dash is currently just under $200. Users can also buy bitcoin from the machine for under $3,000. Digital currencies offer users a way to hide their money from the government and buy things that would otherwise be impossible to purchase like high-quality lab-tested recreational drugs. New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu signed legislation this week extending protection to businesses that use digital currency from regulation, making it the most cryptocurrecy-friendly state in the nation.
The bitcoin vending machine is located to the left of the box office inside the Seacoast Repertory Theatre at 125 Bow St in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The Seacoast Rep accepts bitcoin for tickets to their live performances.
Last night I went to Strange Brew Tavern in Manchester for their 200th bitcoin meetup. It is the longest running consecutive bitcoin meet up in the world — going for almost 4 years now.
People talked about mining ethereum and being dash masternodes — they talked about successful strategies for encouraging businesses and individuals to take cryptocurrencies as payment — and they talked about achieving more personal freedom in New Hampshire. I was impressed by the turnout. About 2 dozen or so people. A range of all types: gay and straight, techies, real estate people, media people, old, middle aged, and young mothers and their children. The group gets the whole back room in the tavern and received excellent service the whole night.
I asked if I could tip my waiter in bitcoin, but he said that he doesn’t have a wallet anymore. He got a new phone and lost all the bitcoin the patrons had given him over the past years. After that, he was really sour on bitcoin and was unwilling to accept it, even as a tip on top of the cash tip I left him. After about 2 hours of chatter, people started to clear out. I was disappointed that there wasn’t a big photo op moment where everyone crowded in and memorialized this event. I supposed I could have tried organizing that, but I didn’t.
I should mention also that there’s another bar in Manchester, Murphy’s Taproom, that not only accepts bitcoin but they also have one of the best bitcoin vending machines for hundreds of miles around. I don’t understand why this bitcoin meetup group doesn’t support Murphy’s and instead goes to a place that doesn’t accept bitcoin, but I see it as an opportunity. There can be a meetup for the crowd that likes cheap beer and a meetup for a crowd that likes to spread bitcoin.
For now, I’ll continue spreading the word about bitcoin in my hometown of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where my Bikram Yoga Studio started accepting bitcoin this week. Namaste.
I should add:
Weekly meetups like the one in Manchester give the bitcoin community a pulse. It says to the world, “We’re alive and growing — bitcoin hasn’t gone anywhere.” In fact, the people at this meetup would be just as happy to help a n00b set up their first bitcoin wallet as they would to discuss Ethereum mining or their Dash Masternode. Manchester’s monumental 200th meetup also shows outsiders that crypto is mainstream — not a bunch of geeks in forums. Bitcoiners are your neighbors, your waitress, and the guys playing pool at the bar.