November 28, 2022


Cointelegraph took a trip to Satoshi’s Place on Friday, the Bitcoin (BTC) hub in Greater Manchester. Named after the anonymous creator of the world’s largest and most widely accepted cryptocurrency, the bar and workspace offers workshops and co-working spaces for local businesses and Bitcoin-inspired cocktails.

Adam, the founder (who chose not to share his last name), first heard about Bitcoin in 2012 and has spent the past 10 years experimenting with ways to train and educate people about the magical internet money. He told Cointelegraph over a beer – paid for in Bitcoin via the Lightning Network – that it was the first of many forays into the Bitcoin business.

Everything in space – absolutely everything – is Bitcoin themed or branded with Bitcoin. From orange being the dominant color to the rare Bitcoin art adorning the walls to the loos’ hand dryer, which generates heat from – you guessed it – a Bitcoin miner plugged in upstairs.

The Gold Rush was the most popular cocktail of the night.

Adam explained that over the past four years he has focused his efforts on Bitcoin merchant adoption, which is a growing trend in the UK. Satoshi’s Place started life as a coffee shop and then a pizzeria in 2018. At first, customers could buy coffee with Bitcoin and even use a Bitcoin ATM to buy and sell Bitcoin, he joked.

“People were putting £20,000 in cash in an ATM a month. From teenagers to I think the oldest was 93.”

Bitcoin ATMs were forced to shut down by the Financial Conduct Authority in March of this year. Adam explained that although he did everything through the book – “a complete exchange system in the literal sense of the word” – the banks made life difficult.

An example of this is part of a broader trend, where the Bitcoin business in the UK is being cornered by banks. Adam’s experience is no different: he ran into problems with Barclays while running a UK-based crypto festival called CoinFest and had his bank accounts blocked and emails ignored despite his best efforts to do business.

Satoshi’s Place is his third attempt to create a writing space for Bitcoin enthusiasts and cryptocurrency enthusiasts to meet and learn what money is, and why Bitcoin might be better. Thanks to the Lightning Network, a Layer 2 Bitcoin solution, payments are now almost instantaneous, frictionless, and essentially free. Many gamblers, Bitcoin enthusiasts, and even beginners bought burgers and drinks with Bitcoin at the bar on Friday.

The strip uses solutions from Fast Bitcoins and CoinCorner, two Bitcoin companies based on the Isle of Man. The CoinCorner team took the journey across the Irish Sea to socialize on Friday and host a Bitcoin workshop the following day.

Elsewhere, Nathan Day, “Pleb at Large” and contributor to BTCMap.Org, an open source map to show where Bitcoin customers can spend their Satoshis, and showed Bitcoin-themed games. Jordan Walker, CEO of Bitcoin Collective, the group behind the UK Bitcoin Conference, was tutored by Dai’s son in Sats-Man (as Pac-Man but with Satoshis).

Related: UK ‘Bitcoin Adventure’ Shows BTC is a Family Affair

The workshops at Satoshi’s Place will be as close as possible and open to everyone: Bitcoin, the currency does not discriminate, after all. The workshops in the front room workspace cover “everything from Lightning education to Bitcoin for kids, Bitcoin development, and all the different types. There are about 16 hosts I have so far that would like to do workshops.”

It has been more than a decade since Satoshi Nakamoto has moved away from public participation in the blockchain community. It makes you wonder what they would have thought in spaces like this, all these years later.