Bitcoin Is Stupid: Cryptocurrency Meetup at MHV?

Hi all.
I’ve heard a few people talking about crypto recently and it’s gotten me back into it.
Before we go anywhere, let me say that Bitcoin and Crypto are both stupid.
I was there when bitcoin was $0.20. I remember when people were freaking out about it hitting $1,000.
I remember the stress when it dropped from $900 down to $200.
I remember when it dropped from $20k to $10k to $3.5k
I’ve been on the wild ride, mostly watching the chaos from the back row, sometimes diving into the mosh pit for a bit myself until I got exhausted or a split lip. Bitcoin is very very stupid.

But I won’t deny it is quite fun.

I’m not gonna say “Let’s have a night where we all discuss getting rich!”, that’d be silly.
But I do think it might be fun to have a night where we all discuss crypto shenanigans, blockchain and smart contract tech, and all that good stuff. I’ve heard whispers in the space from people who seem to know a fair bit about all this stuff but are perhaps too ashamed to talk about it.
I want to remove the stigma on talking about crypto. It’s a currency and pyramid scheme second, and a technology first. Let’s focus on the technology.

Additionally, there’s an exchange I’ve been in contact with that’s willing to give $10 worth of bitcoin to anyone who deposits $1, and would give a kickback to the space for everyone who signed up.
I think this could be a fun way not only to support the space, but also to let people play with the cheaper tokens without anyone having to risk any money to get started (well, $1, but come on)
Even if whatever you exchange for drops in price by 90% overnight, you still break even. And even if it totally devalues, the most you loose is $1.
Rather than just sitting around chatting, I think this is a good way to get some coin in peoples hands so they can play around and have some fun with the tech.

Don’t think of it like a currency with value, think of it like a microtransaction in a game: You pay your money and get something digital with no expectation of every converting it back into fiat currency exchanging it for real world objects.
If you view it as nothing more than a bit of fun, it can be safe.
I don’t want any tears here, so I’ll say it again: Bitcoin is stupid.
Who’s interested?

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So far I’ve heard nothing but positive responses to this idea, so I’m thinking September the 24th may be a good day to run the night, just on top of the regular Tuesday.
I’m thinking a trial run of an “Intro to cryptocurrency” night that we could otherwise advertise and run separately. Nothing serious, just me banging on about the fundamentals of crypto for a few minutes in a painfully simplified way, a little history (Here’s when bitcoin was at $20k, here’s a guy on reddit who took out a mortgage on his house at this exact point to buy bitcoin, and here’s what it was worth a week later), ya know, the important bits, then having a chat about the types of wallets, the options available, what to use and when, then finally, setting up an account with an exchange, depositing $1, and getting a bonus $10 of bitcoin to play with and trade.
All this would be pretty silly without something fun and practical to do at the end of the night, so I’ve spent the last few days writing code for a crypto-based vending machine that now pretty much works.
The idea being that, at the end of the night, people could use the crypto they bought to buy some drinks from a can dispenser in our fridge. I’ll try to laser cut the dispenser next Tuesday, but I don’t see any reasons for it not to work.
As much as “sitting around and having a yarn about dogecoin” sounds fun, I think a little primer to get everyone going first could help.
And, again, depending on how smoothly things go, this could be something we run and open to a more general audience at a later point.
Any and all suggestions are welcome, but I’ll be damned if the vending machine uses any currency other than Ethereum, because changing two lines of code and finding a new website with an API to monitor balances just seems like far too much work for me.

Other ideas for future sessions include making a paper wallet, building a hardware wallet from a ~$10 kit (don’t even ask how much I just paid for an off-the-shelf unit), and getting the vending machine to dispense drinks for free, because all those bugs and glaring security holes I left in are “features”.