The Bitcoin MeetUp: StartUps, Gov’t Agencies & Entrepreneurs

On Saturday, the 20th of January 2017 a meetup was organised by Tomorrow Breed and sponsored by Impact Hub Accra to discuss and be educated on the topic of Bitcoin, what it is, how to get it and what it’s future could mean for the business and the world as a whole.The meetup was led by Damien L. DuChamp (Hospitality and Tourism Lecturer at St. Joseph College, New York) and Klenam Fiadzoe (COO of Sika). 

The four hour meetup did much to clarify what bitcoin is and what its success means for the future.

Damien began the meetup began with introductions made by everyone present, how much they knew about bitcoin and if they owned any. Quite a number of the people present and the hosts themselves owned a few bitcoins or satoshis.

He then went on to explain the basics of cryptocurrency.

Crypto 101.

Cryptocurrency is a virtual currency that has value based on the market, usually in relation to bitcoin. There are several ways to get cryptocurrency. You can mine your own. But that’s pretty expensive. You’d need several very powerful machines to run very difficult algorithms to be able to mine any cryptocurrency. Buying is another option and the most preferred. There’s an impressive number of cryptocurrencies to buy and many places you can buy them from. It is important to make sure you are buying from reputable portal that does not crash and leave you without the coins you purchased, make sure to research any portal you purchase from. Some portals for buying that were mentioned include: Coinbase, Remitano and Pay Plux. The last two are suggested if you are looking to buy in cedis. The last way to get your hands on more cryptocurrency, especially if you have some already, is to trade.

The blockchain was also discussed. The blockchain is “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”. Every cryptocurrency runs on its own blockchain which track the transactions and trades within the blockchain and across different blockchains.

The future of blockchain could revolutionise the way people, companies and business exchange data and money within themselves and between each other. With the current technology available, large organisations and institutions could create their own cryptocurrency for employees. For example the University of Ghana could set up a cryptocurrency that runs within the school. Departments and students could pay each other for services used. All transactions would be carried out through the currency and tracked accurately by the blockchain. Data can also be stored and exchanged as well. It would be the true meaning of a paperless society.

However, before we can even get to this point, more information has to be shared about what cryptocurrency is and what it can do for us, especially now that people are using the opportunity to spread wrong information about Bitcoin and using it to dupe people out of money. Meetups like this are very important because the right information needs to be disseminated.

Breakout sessions were had where we discussed the different impacts bitcoin and blockchain. (pics courtesy of Klenam Fiadzoe and Tomorrow Breed)

It was an insightful meetup. A lot of questions concerning cryptocurrency and bitcoin were answered and explained expertly. Looking forward to attending more meetups and conferences like this, that educate and inform the public. At the end of the day we were reminded that cryptocurrency is not just an investment option, it is primarily a currency. We should therefore look towards a future where that can be utilised.

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