BitPay has teamed up with the startup BitStraat to launch the Amsterdam Bitcoin City project. The project aims to establish Amsterdam as the “Bitcoin capital of the world”.
Interest and the news spy competition
In order to do justice to the news spy title, BitPay and the news spy BitStraat have jointly developed a Bitcoin terminal which is distributed free of charge to exactly 100 dealers in the Netherlands. BitStraat was founded by Max Barendregt and Kasper Keunen and acts as an intermediary between Bitcoin accepting companies and the payment processor BitPay.
“It makes perfect sense to establish Amsterdam as the Bitcoin capital,” Barendregt says.
“The Dutch capital has proven in the past that it is open-minded, forward-looking and open to new technologies. A decentralised currency for the people would be very welcome. We try to make it possible for all citizens and visitors in the city to pay with Bitcoin. This includes hotels, trips, museums and food in local restaurants.”
The community comes first
Barendregt and Keunen presented BitPay’s ambitions at the Bitcoin2014 conference last May in Amsterdam. BitPay had opened its new headquarters in Amsterdam just a month earlier and was immediately enthusiastic about the idea, according to Moe Levin of BitPay:
“Our community created us, so our philosophy remains simple: We put the community first. This means that every local project that Bitcoin distributes further also spreads interest and brings Bitcoin a bit closer to the mainstream”.
The Point-Of-Sale (POS) terminals for Amsterdam consist of a tablet with special software. The tablet is located in a specially made stand that can be set up at almost any shop counter.
The terminal, the installation and the BitPay payment processing are free of charge for the first 100 companies with a turnover of at least 900 Euro.
Companies that register afterwards have the choice of paying: 10 Euro per month for the complete service or they buy a terminal for an unbeatable 120 Euro.
So far there are 18 registered dealers, but some still need to install the terminal. BiStraat and BitPay hope to have reached the 100 dealers next spring.
To become the Bitcoin capital of the world, Amsterdam has to catch up with another Dutch one: Arnhem`s Bitcoincity had already recruited 15 Bitcoin accepting companies in May and has more than doubled the number to 36 since then.