While the acceptance of Bitcoin is overwhelmingly spreading over the world, the new co-working spaces aimed to gather Bitcoin developers and dudes with a true Bitcoin passion are emerging for the accumulation of the brainpower to cultivate Bitcoin ecosystem worldwide. Since the beginning of 2014, more and more cities are getting involved in the Bitcoin creative world. To mention the most prominent ones, the one in Toronto called Decenetrale has grown up to a huge Bitcoin accelerator having the base for companies such as Ethereum and KryptoKit. Paris-based “La Maison Du Bitcoin” (“The House of Bitcoin”) has been launched this spring following a great opening of a Bitcoin Center in York City CEX.IO was visiting recently. Being a heart of underground cultural scene, as well as the center of innovative tech start-ups and develops, it is time for Berlin to play the game.
A new Bitcoin Center Berlin launched less than two weeks ago with a big opening party, in a true Berlin style, gathered around over 100 Bitcoin-lovers. Among special guests was Jeremias Kangas, a founder of Local Bitcoin, and Joerg Platzer, an owner of Room 77, the first Berlin café to accept Bitcoin. Following the trendy tune, we talked to one of the co-founders of the Bitcoin Center Berlin, Brian Fabian Crain.
“There are a lot of people working on different Bitcoin projects in Berlin. We`ve just wanted to create a space where we can work together and communicate, and also to gather people who want to learn about Bitcoin so that they can come to us,” said Brian.
Brian became obsessive with Bitcoin a year ago, so after finishing his master in cognitive science he decided to devote his life to the emerging sphere of cryptocurrency, and, in particular, Bitcoin. Now, he is organizing meet-ups every two weeks where different people involved in Bitcoin scene in Berlin or other parts of the world present their work and ideas. Together with Sébastien Couture he is also making a weekly Bitcoin podcast show called Epicenter Bitcoin.
Basically, Bitcoin Center in Berlin serves as a platform for the developing of a huge Bitcoin Berlin scene full of creators, developers, tech freaks, and all those who see the bright Bitcoin future is ready to start. A new office is situated not far from Checkpoint Charlie, one of the touristic Berlin Mecca (Besselstrasse 13), in a big loft area.
All the people who are working on Bitcoin start-up projects to make Bitcoin more acceptable in the world are welcomed in Bitcoin Center Berlin. So what can you do if you are a young developer who needs a space for inspiration and connecting with people infatuated by Bitcoin?
One of the options is to rent a fixed desk at the Bitcoin Center for 200 euros per month and come to work there whenever you want. Another option is to rent a flexible desk for 100 euros per month so to be able to choose the days of your working time there. As long as your activity is somehow related to Bitcoin, – if it`s a Bitcoin Foundation, exchange platform, wallet or any other start-up, – there is a great opportunity to work in a place where plenty of other people with a similar mind-set are working for the shared goals. Hence, it has been always not only about the place and desk, but also more about the space, which can drive your own ideas and plans encouraged by people around you.
Moreover, being a part of “Rainmaking Loft”, a co-working space and a home of start-up bootcamp based in the same building, members of the Bitcoin Center can easily grab all the advantages of a well-known co-working centre. For instance, all the people working there can easily use the spaces of “Rainmaking Loft” in other cities, such as London or Copenhagen and, possibly, in Istanbul in the nearest future. “So we are sort of a co-working space inside of the co-working space,” said Brian. Of course, they have intentions to grow and expand renting a new building and creating “a space from the scratch”.
Currently, there are around 12 people who are permanently working in the Center. Some of them are working on different projects, or Bitcoin start-ups, or they are doing some freelance activity. To put some examples, among the members is Radko, a co-founder of Bitbond, peer-to-peer Bitcoin lending platform, and Levin Keller, founder of a blog BitcoinAge and a member of German Bitcoin lobby group. Another member we had a chance to have a quick chat with is Felix Weis who is working as a developer of a Bitcoin Wallet Bitalo.
“I follow the idea of having the place where people can come and talk about Bitcoin, meet fellow people that they would work with or just exchange ideas. I hope this Bitcoin Center will be an established place in Berlin and Europe. We are also going to do a lot of events for educational purposes where we can teach people about Bitcoin. Right now in Berlin there are a lot of places where you can spend Bitcoin. Actually, I am even debating if I would change my dentist cause there is a dentist in Berlin that accepts Bitcoin. I think, Bitcoin is a very good fit for Berlin,” said Felix.
Talking about the prospects, as Brian has mentioned, co-founders of the Bitcoin Center Berlin are having discussions with Pamir Gelenbe, CoinSummit organizer, so to create a space in London where the members of their Center can come and easily work there.
“I know Pamir pretty well, and because they are doing the conference in London, and we are doing something similar here in Berlin, of course, it would be cool that people from Berlin can come to London and work in a big co-working space there, and vice versa. We`ve been talking about this with Pamir. It`s not confirmed yes, but I hope it will be possible in future”, – argued Brian.
Furthermore, Bitcoin Center creators are willing to make a sort of Bitcoin accelerator where Bitcoin start-ups can get some funding for some months to work on their projects. Berlin seems like a good option for all of the featured plans and aims.
“There are several advantages of being based in Berlin. There is a cheap accommodation and broad start-up scene, and, in general, people like Berlin. That`s why, it`s comparatively easy for us to attract people from all over the world to come here to work on Bitcoin stuff. So we hope to build a great Bitcoin infrastructure in Berlin. And it`s happening already. I hope that Berlin will become one of the best places for Bitcoin start-ups,” said Brian.
So whenever you are in Berlin don`t miss a chance to come over to the Bitcoin Center Berlin which is opened 24 hours per day and 7 days per week. If you are lucky enough you would find people who will share their Bitcoin inspiration with you. Or will not. Berlin has been always unpredictable in a way.
April Ash for CEX.IO