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Author Topic: Organizing local bitcoin usage - bitcoin communities  (Read 635 times)
paultramarine
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February 02, 2013, 10:20:20 PM
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I've been involved with bitcoin for over year and been lurking about bitcointalk but haven't had anything worth posting about til now.

I'm interested in trying to get btc used enough in my community that people could actually get by accepting it and using it for purchases without having to exchange to or from USD - essentially, having a real, local bitcoin community that has a closed loop of bitcoin usage.   I'm sure there are others who want this but I don't know how to find discussions of it on the forum (none of the search terms I'm using are working).  Could someone point me in the right direction? 
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February 02, 2013, 10:40:05 PM
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Sure. Here's my suggestion:

Step 1: BitcoinTalk
Go to this board's Meetups section and post a new topic like such:

This will allow you to judge the level of interest in your area. After replies come in, you can join others in your area for a physical meetup in a public place nearby.

Step 2: LocalBitcoins
Go to LocalBitcoins and either place an order or accept someone else's. Find a place to meet up with them to finish the business. While doing business, talk about Bitcoin and the local area.

Step 3: Found a collective
Find a public park nearby and invite some of the people you met to discuss making a local collective. Make sure to spread the news through bulletin boards like this one and through signs on signage, etc.

Step 4: Tell your friends
We all have meatspace friends, and they are probably going to be more receptive of your interests than others in the area. Once your friends are aware of Bitcoin, you can have them join the collective.

Step 5: Tell small business owners
While inviting someone to lunch, to the movies, bowling, or something else to that effect, choose smaller businesses. Ask them, "do you accept Bitcoin?". If they ask further, explain in person and give them a member of the collective's email to learn more.

Step 6: Organize a local Bitcoin district
When some small businesses have committed to accepting Bitcoin, it's time to reap the fruits of your labour. Make your intentions of a local Bitcoin district public. Put up signs advertising the merits of accepting Bitcoin. Convince friends to endorse and go to stores that accept Bitcoin, and while there, pay with Bitcoin. Eventually, others will be begging to accept this new currency.
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February 02, 2013, 11:11:11 PM
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I found one local to me on meetup.com

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paultramarine
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February 03, 2013, 07:42:00 AM
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Thanks, folks, those are some useful suggestions.  I have a number of friends in town who run/own businesses and I've started talking to them about accepting bitcoin.  I think that getting information out there in general is very important, just putting bitcoin on peoples' radar.  What I've started thinking about it a more intentional approach to adoption, working with a specific set of businesses that would automatically create a closed loop economy if the all adopted bitcoin simultaneously.  I find the important because vendors only see the financial benefit of avoiding CC companies once they can also avoid similar fees (~3-4%) of BitPay, etc, that offer to manage accounts for vendors and convert directly to USD.  Of course companies can set up their own Mt Gox account but I think most of the vendors/companies that I'm trying to convince to take bitcoin won't want to deal with that hassle, at least not until they are getting a sizable income via btc.  So these vendors will really benefit when they can hold some btc and use it locally for their regular expenses.  Thus my desire to create a closed loop at the time of adoption. 

So what I'm really interested in is knowing whether other bitcoiners have taken such an approach (or live in a place where so many local companies accept it that there already exists a closed loop economy) and how they went about it.  Or if others are interested in trying such an approach in their cities, I think discussing how we each go about it could help each local campaigner a lot.
paultramarine
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February 03, 2013, 07:44:37 AM
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Oh, and also I checked out the Meetups section and no one has posted out here (Fort Collins, CO).  In fact, the only reference I've found to Colorado at all is a completely unrelated use of the word "Denver" once in a forum.  Anyhow, once I get out of this play pen I'll try and get a meetup going here.
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February 03, 2013, 04:18:09 PM
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I love this idea of promoting local use. There are a lot of "buy local" groups in communities around the country, which encourage people to support local, independent businesses - reaching out to those groups would be a great way to educate many of the local businesses in a community at once. Independent businesses would be easier to convert because each business can decide for itself, without going up the corporate ladder and trying to change the culture of a huge organization.

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paultramarine
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February 04, 2013, 02:45:50 AM
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@hephaist0s: I think you're right, it will be easier to convert independent businesses than businesses with large corporate structure. 
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