By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek.com ….
On December 12, a Bitcoin “embassy” will open in Amsterdam.
In the interest of encouraging the adoption of Bitcoin as a viable electronic currency, the non-profit Bitcoin Embassy Amsterdam will serve as an outreach center to all members of the public who may be interested in decentralized digital currencies such as Bitcoin.
Knowledge about Bitcoin is freely available on the Internet, but not everyone is internet savvy, and the amount of information to sort through can appear daunting. For beginners, this is perhaps the biggest stumbling block. Therefore, many in the community see the need for a brick-and-mortar presence to make Bitcoin more “approachable” to people.
But the Embassy isn’t just for novices. Everyone, no matter their level of expertise, will be able to learn more about Bitcoin–what it is, how it works and how to use it, etc.–and other cryptocurrencies. Computers will be available for use, and a shop will sell various cryptocurrency products. In addition, the Embassy will have facilities for meetings and conferences.
There is also a Bitcoin ATM nearby, courtesy of MrBitcoin, a self-described “Bitcoin ATM collective”. MrBitcoin is just one of the sponsors behind the Bitcoin Embassy Amsterdam; others include Rublon (developers of the Rublon account access manager mobile app), Blocktrail (a Bitcoin payment API developer), and BitBay (an online cryptocurrency exchange).
One of the selling points of Bitcoin is that it is a stateless, decentralized currency, subject only to the rules of the market. As such, it is a global phenomenon, and the establishment of physical Bitcoin “embassies” in various cities around the world has become a recent trend.
In late 2013, Bitcoin emBassy TLV [sic] opened in Tel Aviv.
The first Bitcoin embassy in Europe was the Ambasada Bitcoin in Warsaw, Poland. It opened its doors to the public on May 12, 2014.
The next day, La Maison du Bitcoin opened in Paris.
Québec, Canada is home to one of the largest Bitcoin embassies. The Bitcoin Embassy in Montréal consists of 14,000 ft2 over three floors, each floor dedicated to a particular aspect of the embassy’s mission–a mission not unlike that of the soon-to-open embassy in the Netherlands.
Located at Zeedijk 43, the Bitcoin Embassy Amsterdam is next door to Hofje van Wijs, a famous tea and coffee house in the heart of the city. Feel free to use Bitcoin to pay for your meal.