Last Saturday, it was time to attend the Ghent Bitcoincity event. With 27 merchants accepting Bitcoin payments either online or at their brick-and-mortar location, there were plenty of places to visit and many bitcoins to spend. Plus, the first 100 attendees received a goodie bag with some interesting items. It was a fun day; the weather was good, and the BTC was flowing freely in Ghent!
Goodie Bag and Opening Notes
The Ghent Bitcoincity initiative is all about educating people on Bitcoin and digital currency while also offering a convenient way to spend this currency. As you would expect, there was quite a large gathering for this free event, which kicked off at the Outpost Game Center. With roughly 60 people in attendance – including quite a few females – the tone was set for a great day.
As soon as you walked up to the first floor, you were greeted with a spacious area and lots of sitting room. Every attendee received his or her goodie bag, which includes a large map of all the places to visit if you want to spend Bitcoin. There was also a discount code to use on Pizza.be, one of the sponsors of the event. And more importantly, everyone received 2,75EUR worth of Bitcoin for free, compliments of Anycoin Direct! A nice touch to get everyone acquainted with BTC and setting up a mobile Bitcoin wallet.
Which brings us to the education part: what is Bitcoin, why should you use, and more importantly, how do you go about using it? A small presentation on the Bitcoin concept and technology was given, after which everyone was invited to install a mobile Bitcoin wallet on their phone and redeem the code provided by Anycoin Direct. For those who wanted, there is a Bitcoin ATM – thanks to Orillia – located at Outpost Game Center from which you can purchase Bitcoin in exchange for fiat currency.
Once everything was set and done, we headed out as a group to venture into the world of Ghent Bitcoincity and spend some digital currency! But it has to be said that the first stop on the list was closed, as they only open after 5PM. We went back later with a few people for an evening snack and paid for it in Bitcoin though!
Drinks, Food and Good Times
As much fun as it is to travel across a city like Ghent with like-minded people in tow, it’s not exactly a practical solution if you intend check out the participating retailers. Most of the shops are rather small in size and it is best not to enter with more than a dozen people at a time. But that’s all part of the fun and experience, plus it gives us a good excuse to come back some other time!
With such a great variety of places to visit – Cafe Molotov for a beer on the terrace, Jin Jiang (Chinese) or Eat-Aly (Italian) for a decent mail and Caffe Rossario for a Latte Ferrero – there is plenty to do. And you are treated to an excellent view of Ghent city, with most of these locations close to the Leie and the sun shining on our faces all day.
All in all, over 2,000 EUR worth of Bitcoin was spent during the Ghent Bitcoincity event, which sets a new record so far. Keeping in mind that most merchants only signed up in March, there is plenty of room for organic growth.