Berlin’s Bitcoinists believe the cryptocurrency will triumph no matter what obstacles come before it.
Like anywhere else, Bitcoin’s (BTC) [coin_price] viscous volatility has made it something of an outcast amongst most Germans. Not to mention, the mad dash investments of the 2017 bull run have alarmed regulators around the world. Somehow Berlin stands out as an exception. It’s young and tech-savvy entrepreneurs aren’t the least bit bothered by Bitcoin’s series of short-term price woes.
Going Against the Grain
While Germany’s Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz, believes that digital currencies will never be able to supplant the dominance of fiat currencies, Berliners remain unfazed and once per month a growing group of crypto-zealots converge on Room 77 for a communal meal involving beers, burgers and bitcoin banter. Since 2011, Room 77 has accepted bitcoin payments and it stands as one of the first bars to accept the cryptocurrency.
Jeff Gallas, the founder of the German Bitcoin Foundation explains that “We’re just a social gathering, so there’s no agenda, no talks, we just hang out and talk about Bitcoin.”
According to Gallas, the magic of Bitcoin lies in the capacity for each person to dislodge themselves from relying on “the banking dinosaurs,” while essentially becoming their own bank.
The peer-to-peer nature of cryptocurrency, in general, appears to be what drives many of Berlin’s Bitcoin loyalist. Gallas believes that the excitement and optimism among the German Bitcoin Foundation members will remain strong. Members are focused on how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will shake up the global financial system.
Crypto and Anarchy: A Match Made in Heaven?
Joe Charlesworth is another Bitcoin zealot drawn to Berlin for what he describes as a “kind of anarchist culture that fits very well with the earlier version of crypto.” Charlesworth hails from the UK. Prior to moving to Berlin three months ago, he worked at a venture capital firm. Upon arriving in Berlin, Charlesworth founded PredictionVC, a firm which seeks to help cryptocurrency investors make wiser decisions.
An interesting fact many might not be aware — Germany does not apply tax when Bitcoin is used for making purchases. While this probably is not encouraging Berlin’s hodlers to part ways with their coins, it does add some validity to the notion of the currency functioning alongside traditional currencies.
In spite of the 2018 bear market — and in spite of Bitcoin’s volatility — Berlin’s Bitcoin supporters continue to believe that the future of finance will be dominated and driven by digital currencies.
In fact, Brian Crain, a podcaster for Epicenter Bitcoin and co-founder of a Berlin-based crypto startup called Chorus One, is one of many who adamantly proclaim that “the price volatility doesn’t bother me too much.”
Crain notes having experienced Bitcoin crashing from $1300 to $200, so he perceives himself as being “battle-hardened” while remaining certain that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will
[…] go many orders of magnitude larger and. 10 years from now, there will be billions of cryptocurrency users.
What will it take for German financial regulators to develop a more positive opinion of Bitcoin? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.