By John Barrett

As the host of the podcast Bitcoins and Gravy. I have a lot of experience with the challenge of getting unfamiliar family members, friends and coworkers to understand the power of Bitcoin. Luckily, there is Meetup, the social networking website that facilitates offline gatherings. Its the perfect solution for taking the largely online fan base and organizing real-world discussions that help advance the technology and promote education.

As an organizer of the “Nashville Bitcoin Meetup,“ which boasts nearly 250 members and monthly events in Music City. I have found the website to be a tried and true solution. Here are a few tips to help you start a successful group of your own.

Get the Word Out

For any Meetup group to be successful, youll need to get your name out there and attract new members. A wide variety of social media platforms are available to help you get the word out about your new group. As you gain momentum, make sure to ask for help from other members. It doesnt have to be a one-person show.

Scout a Location

Choosing a good Meetup location can be challenging, especially when it comes to Bitcoin. Users dont always live in the same neighborhoods and finding an easily accessible location, such as a group-friendly restaurant coffee shop or pub. is key. Some groups hold their meetings at the public library and many college campuses offer public meeting areas. (Note: Make sure your venue has adequate parking.)

Finalize an Agenda

Have a well-thought-out agenda for your Meetups. Maybe its nothing more than an hour of sitting around and talking about developments in the Bitcoin space. In fact, thats usually what we do at our events — share stories and exchange ideas. Some Meetups bring in speakers to talk about specific topics or provide tutorials. Other groups hold a “Satoshi Square.” where people meet to buy and sell bitcoins using their mobile wallets. Be creative, make it fun and be welcoming to everyone.

Socialize

Make sure each Meetup has a social aspect. Usually this means good conversation with refreshments provided by the organizers. To grow your group, create a sense of community from the onset and at every Meetup. Socializing leads to sharing ideas, solving problems and building things together. Ive found that building friendships is a better approach than evangelizing. You definitely dont want to come across as cultish or desperate for recruits.

Ask for Tips

Once your group is established, dont be afraid to ask members for bitcoin tips. People are usually happy to tip a few hundred Satoshis toward Meetup costs such as refreshments, guest speakers, advertising or possibly a venue fee should your group require a large space. Make sure to always use the same Bitcoin tipping address so that everyone can see the coins coming into and out of the same wallet. This transparency builds trust among members and encourages ongoing donations.

Dont Be a Boss

Bitcoin is all about decentralization, so do your best to organize your Meetup in a way that gives all members equal power. Working together on equal ground will make for a fun and successful Bitcoin meetup.

The crypto economy has witnessed an explosion of innovation in the last few years. From altcoins to private blockchains to initial coin offerings (ICOs) and everything in between, new projects have been launched and new experiments are always under way.

Bitcoin has. in many ways, served as the gold standard for this emerging crypto economy. As the oldest and largest cryptocurrency, it is the one that tends to make the most mainstream headlines and first attract those new to the ecosystem.

But since 2017. a new trend has emerged. Bitcoin has undergone “hard forks.” splits between the individual nodes running the Bitcoin network over which version of the Bitcoin blockchain is valid. While forking is not completely novel, several hard forks have been deployed over the past year to create incompatible blockchains on purpose, effectively creating new coins that share a blockchain history with the original Bitcoin network, but institute fundamental changes in order to. in the eyes of some developers at least improve upon it

The explanations below offer insight into forks from Bitcoins point of view as well as the perspective of one of Bitcoins most successful forks. Bitcoin Cash. While Bitcoin

Purists might argue that the main network is the original and most secure digital currency with the most solid track record, advocates of Bitcoin Cash would say that it provides an update to the system thats necessary to keep up with the growing numbers of transactions.

Your stance, and your place in the constantly evolving cryptocurrency landscape, will be up to you to decide.

Forking has become a way for those who want to Improve upon or build projects based on the main Bitcoin network. Since 2011, significant forks have occurred both to the software client of the Bitcoin network and as “coin splits” of BTC.

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