Over the past years, the Dutch town of Arnhem consistently made headlines for its exceptional Bitcoin project: Arnhem Bitcoincity. Launched in 2014, the initiative started with 15 bars and restaurants accepting bitcoin and has since grown to include more than 100 brick-and-mortar bars, restaurants, stores and more. With some 150,000 inhabitants, Arnhem might even be the most Bitcoin-dense municipality in the world, and can perhaps be considered a testing ground for Bitcoin-use for retail payments.
To celebrate the project’s two-year anniversary, its local initiators – Annet de Boer, Patrick van der Meijde and Rogier Eijkelhof – will organize a conference in Arnhem: Bitcoin in Use, to be followed by a more informal meetup and pub-crawl through the city. They are joined by Arnhem-resident Otto de Voogd, who himself recently made the news for his long-lasting legal battle with Estonia; the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Baltic country investigated him for Bitcoin-trading.
Bitcoin Magazine spoke with the four about Bitcoin and retail payments, their Arnhem Bitcoincity project, and the Bitcoin in Use conference.
So, what exactly is going on in Arnhem? What is Arnhem Bitcoincity?
Patrick: Inspired by a similar initiative in Kreuzberg, Berlin ‒ which introduced a special Bitcoin area in 2013 ‒