With more than 200 businesses accepting bitcoin in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California is one the easiest places to learn about the currency. Home to conferences like the Blockchain Expo and the CoinAlts Fund Symposium, the state’s forward-thinking culture and love for innovative tech made these cities a hotbed for bitcoin. Across California you can use bitcoins to pay for everything from your lunch or a haircut, to an apartment lease, then go to one of the hundred bitcoin ATMs across the cities to buy or sell bitcoin. Consistent with Silicon Valley, plenty of companies see bitcoin itself as a business opportunity. Companies like GemOS and Coinbase have developed successful bitcoin “wallet” apps to store coins in, while mining operations are also popular in LA.
Not only states are benefitting from the bitcoin boom. Citizens from Buenos Aires and Argentina have seen bitcoin as a solution to the country’s rapid and crippling inflation. As the price of the peso drops, Argentina businessmen have turned to bitcoin as a means of trading internationally without losing massive profits. The cryptocurrency is now common for hotels, tourist industries and even some everyday purchases across the Latin American country.
The state passed a law in June that exempted currencies like bitcoin from other state regulations on transmissions, making it one of the few states to actively address cryptocurrency. As a result, the state has embraced this market, bringing a plethora of accepting shops and ATMs, one of the longest running bitcoin meetups, as well as a few bitcoin-focused businesses. When Overstock began to accept bitcoin, they reported one-third of their first day orders were from New Hampshire. Many point to New Hampshire’s political values: decentralization, little regulation and room for political experimentation. Combined with the lack of income or sales tax, the state is a digital goldmine.
Gil Valentine, founder, Athena Bitcoin
“Bitcoin has been called the first ‘triple-entry’ bookkeeping system ever to exist. This technology has the potential to replace trust relationships in many areas of society. While speculation is rampant and many doubted that it would ever work, bitcoin has not only survived but flourished over the past eight years of its existence.”
Nejc Kodric, CEO and co-founder, Bitstamp
“All those who value financial sovereignty and independence will be attracted to bitcoin. Already well established as a strong alternative to the existing monetary system, it has heralded a series of significant changes. Not only does your personal wallet become your own private bank, you can stay in complete control and custodianship of your funds.”
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