Wall Street's New Cryptocurrency Headquarters: Inside the Bitcoin Center NYC

Why does a virtual currency need a physical location?

"I was in college, and now instead of going to college I'm doing Bitcoin," says Louis Parker, an entrepreneur who has set up shop at the Bitcoin Center NYC, a cavernous storefront in lower Manhattan's financial district that's fast become a central gathering spot for New York City's cryptocurrency traders, programmers, and enthusiasts. "There's no college class on Bitcoin, except in Cyprus, and I wasn't ready to move there," he says.Satoshi Square at the Bitcoin Center NYC |||

Every Monday night, Bitcoin traders holds a meet up called Satoshi Square, named in honor of Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of Bitcoin, in which participants exchange virtual currencies for U.S. dollars. Before Satoshi Square relocated to the Bitcoin Center NYC a couple weeks ago, it was held in the shopping aisles of a Whole Foods grocery store on the Lower East Side.

Why exchange Bitcoins for dollars in person when it's easy to do so on the web? For one thing, online trades require a bank account, which some Bitcoin users lack. Trading in person also reduces transaction fees and enables haggling. "There's a lot of benefits to coming together on an exchange," says Scott Tuddenham, who helps manage the order book during Satoshi Square. "Commerce has been conducted in city centers since the beginning of time," he says.

Bitcoin Center NYC |||The cofounder of the Bitcoin Center NYC is Nick Spanos, a tech entrepreneur and the owner of the New York City real estate brokerage firm Bapple. He says his interest in Bitcoin and other virtual currencies is partly driven by concern that over printing of money by the U.S. government could lead to runaway inflation.

"Maybe people just by learning about Bitcoin will slowdown the dollars being printed as an educational function of its existence," says Spanos.

About 3.15 minutes.

Produced by Jim Epstein and hosted by Naomi Brockwell.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Why did you get involved in bitcoin in the first place?"

    "How else would I get a British Vampire Jessica to talk to me?"

  • Loki||

    Actually it looks like she's a daywalker - no freckles.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Also, IIRC, she's an Ozzie, not a Brit.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Yes. Her lack of freckles is the result of the genetic engineering program to allow them to survive in the Outback.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Bitcoin is what the world is becoming, decentralized networks is how the world is progressing, and as far as a physical place for that, the Bitcoin Center NYC is the center of the world right now."

    Decentralized probably means something different in New York.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I think that in New York it means that it isn't happening inside City Hall.

  • ||

    It's a relative term, 'not centralized here'.

    Since bitcoin is centered in Japan rather than NYC, he's using it correctly.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Nice going, blabber. Now Bloomberg's de Blasio's private shock troops will swoop in and do a big smash and grab.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Reason should really try and bribe us with more Naomi videos for the next donation drive.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Are you not looking forward to happy hour with VP?

  • John||

    Can lunch with Naomi be had for the right donation? I wonder sometimes if Reason has any understanding of its readers. Lunch with Naomi would raise a lot more money than lunch with the Jacket.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    John, I am offended at the implication that I would pay to have dinner with an intelligent redhead with a cute accent and...

    Wait, that's exactly what I did 2 weeks ago (though I only paid her in food). Nevermind.

  • ||

    redhead

    I think that red came out of a bottle.

  • John||

    Yeah. I would be surprised if the drapes match the rug.

  • BakedPenguin||

    After some of the comments on previous posts she's been in, I suspect she wouldn't be amenable to that, and I couldn't blame her.

  • John||

    Sometimes you have to take one for the cause.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Or maybe they could get Ed K. to chaperone, or something.

  • John||

    He would probably have to come armed to do any good. Can Ed handle himself with a weapon?

  • BakedPenguin||

    If he can't, he's in the wrong place.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I meant that he would be an odd libertarian, not that I think anyone is coming for him.

  • lap83||

    "held in the shopping aisles of a Whole Foods grocery store"

    artisanal currency

  • NoVAHockey||

    it's certainly organic

  • hermoda||

    How long till the bubble bursts? Wagers entered in Dogecoins

  • Jon Lester||

    Moon!

  • anon||

    Naomi is I Moan backwards.

  • John||

    This is why we can't have nice things and the cute girls never come around.

  • anon||

    Damn, and here I thought it was because my huge throbbing erection made everything awkward.

  • John||

    That doesn't help, but there are so many of those, I doubt yours does much harm.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yeah Man, everyone go hide their women and their whiskey, Anon is in town!

  • SQRLSY One||

    But does I-Moan Well-Brock really Brock all that Well? Would I really MOAN (out LOUD? out LOAD?) if I brocked her good and well? Now ya got me ALL confused!

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