Could Northern Ireland be the Hong Kong of Bitcoin?

It is exciting times in N.Ireland in regards to Bitcoin at the moment with the first upmarket coffee shop in Belfast starting to accept Bitcoin, the arrival of the first exchange terminal making purchasing the currency as easy as sending a text message and the Non-Profit Bitcoin Association Northern Ireland holding its first regional meet-up in Belfast on the 28th of May.

Could Northern Ireland be the Hong Kong of Bitcoin?

It is exciting times in N.Ireland in regards to Bitcoin at the moment with the first upmarket coffee shop in Belfast starting to accept Bitcoin, the arrival of the first exchange terminal making purchasing the currency as easy as sending a text message and the Non-Profit Bitcoin Association Northern Ireland holding its first regional meet-up in Belfast on the 28th of May.

Bitcoin in the North of Ireland had been lagging behind the rest of the United Kingdom and Ireland in regards to education, promotion and adoption in the past, although that all seems to have changed in the last few months.

The Non-Profit Bitcoin Association Northern Ireland was founded by me in November of 2014 after a previous six months of preparation in getting an official non-profit status registered.

Since then I have been amazed at the amount of support I have encountered here in regards to digital currencies and having an organisation specifically focusing on education, promotion and adoption.

The mainstream press here especially the Belfast Telegraph has been covering Bitcoin related news in a fair, truthful and transparent manner which has been a brilliant help.

There are numerous start-up businesses which are all Bitcoin related that I know of registered and soon to be launched throughout the year, and with the announcement of Fidor Bank opening in the UK things couldn’t be looking any better.

There is even some speculating that N.Ireland could be the Hong Kong of Bitcoin when the corporation tax cut to 12.5% takes place, leaving us with a worldwide advantage as a base for new businesses and with it much needed employment.

This would leave the North of Ireland with the lowest corporation tax rate in the United Kingdom which is currently at 21%. Include this with having the most crypto friendly environment in the world and you have a recipe for success.

Northern Ireland has seen more than their fair share of young highly educated individuals emigrate to find work in the four corners of the globe since the recession began. In previous years students from N.Ireland were counted as the best in the western world in areas such as mathematics according to major US studies.

This FinTech era we are rapidly moving into has the potential to create an entire industry here and keep the majority of our talent from leaving the shores, giving them access to the same opportunities they could get anywhere else.

The part the Non-Profit Bitcoin Association Northern Ireland can and will be playing in this is by being there to assist the community with education, knowledge and support in regards to Bitcoin and its related applications.

There will be free access to the digital currency industry worldwide, and this shall all begin at our meet-ups.

We are delighted to announce after many months of hard work behind the scenes, that we will be holding the first of our regional monthly meet-ups on the 28th of May 2015 at Boden Park Coffee Company Ltd, 317 Ormeau Road, Belfast, County Antrim BT7 3GB, between 6:30pm & 8:30pm.

I would like to thank the owners of Boden Park Coffee Co. for kindly hosting this event.

They are the 1st coffee shop in N.Ireland to accept Bitcoin for their delicious selection of coffee and freshly baked products. In addition Boden Park Coffee Co. Ltd. have also procured the 1st exchange terminal in N.Ireland (Coinkite) so anyone can come to the premises and purchase Bitcoin in a simple and efficient manner.

Their launch was scheduled for Monday 4th May past.

I would also like to thank our sponsors for their support, The Coin Cave is an up and coming highly reputable Irish based exchange for multiple currencies and Bittylicious is the most well-established UK based exchange of multiple currencies.

Bitcoinmarketingteam.com is an Irish based company specialising in specific areas of Bitcoin marketing.

Osk&r Juliet Ltd is a design studio based on the north coast of Antrim, N.Ireland. They work with people & businesses to develop ideas from concept through to reality.

BitPay is the largest global bitcoin payment service provider headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in May 2011 by Anthony - Antonio Gallippi and Stephen Pair, the company has been called the "PayPal of Bitcoin".

BitPay provides payment processing services for more than 50,000 businesses and processed over US $100 million worth of bitcoin transactions in 2013. In 2014, BitPay started processing $1 million USD daily.

Netki was founded in 2014 to remove barriers to entry for consumers, and help foster mass-market adoption of digital currency. Its Wallet Name Service offers enterprise-grade solutions that allow developers to offer consumer friendly digital currency applications, while still promoting scalability and security

Without you guys and the support of the Bitcoin community this meet-up wouldn't be happening!

In keeping with the true spirit of the decentralised nature of Bitcoin as envisioned by the creator Satoshi Nakamoto, the meet-up is by the people for the people.

As a non-profit organisation we are here to provide a service to the Bitcoin community of N.Ireland with no corporations or any type of entity being in control.

We are strong believers in decentralisation and are trying to involve it into everything we do! 

I have been watching and listening to the Bitcoin community all over the world for a few years now and the main problem that I continually hear is that organisations that were set up to educate and promote Bitcoin in their area have taken control of the industry and monopolised on it, leaving the community it was created to serve out in the cold.

In my eyes Bitcoin was brought to where it is now by the support of the grassroots community and they are a very important element of the journey going forward.

The BANI meet-ups are being held to inform people who have an interest in bitcoin, and to give them an opportunity to meet people with a similar interest in the applications of the technology.

For us old hands it is an opportunity to come together and discuss Bitcoin, Blockchain and cryptocurrencies without being told to shut up by the wife (or husband), and for entrepreneurs to network and discuss creating businesses for a Bitcoin ecosystem here with access to free support from global experts in the industry.

Also at the meet-up there will be a very important opportunity to discuss and decide on the way forward for Bitcoin in N.Ireland in regards to promotion, education, adoption and regulations.

BANI has been asked to be representatives for N.Ireland in the upcoming United Kingdom HMT consultations, and this gives us a perfect opportunity to use our position to fight regulations that will stifle innovation.

There will be a free Bitcoin coffee supplied to every attendee sponsored by Bittylicious and we will have some promotional gifts to give away on the evening sponsored by Bitpay.

Everyone is welcome and we would like to see you there as we begin our journey, as the saying goes there is strength in numbers!

Email if you require further information or just to let us know you’re attending [email protected]

The Future is Bright, The Future is Crypto!