Origins and Purpose
CoinFest started in 2013 as a relatively small gathering of 100 or so Bitcoiners, celebrating the adoption of Bitcoin at a Waves Coffee House in Vancouver. It was conceived as a way to incentivize cryptocurrency acceptance while educating the public about its importance and use. Its popular success prompted the Bitcoiniacs to place the world’s first Bitcoin ATM there, which we again celebrated.
By 2014, CoinFest was growing in popularity, and that year it took a new direction: CoinFest spread across Canada and now internationally, exemplifying the border-defying and decentralized nature of crypto. Vancouver lead the way again by booking multiple venues simultaneously for a less centrally organized variety of exhibits, as Satoshi would have wanted. In 2015, CoinFest spread worldwide, and new ground was broken in Latin America and Europe.
Now it is celebrated simultaneously worldwide, Vancouver having lost its throne, and there is no real center of authority. Global activities unite the events across vast distances to maintain a cohesive distributed convention. It has become something like a holiday, typically celebrated the first full week (Monday-Sunday) of April; it is supposed to coincide with Satoshi Nakamoto’s rumored birthday, and is shifted back one week every several years when they don’t align.
How it Works
CoinFest is the event equivalent to open source peer-to-peer technology: the concept and name lie in the open domain, and anyone is welcome to start a CoinFest of their own so long as they adhere to the Spirit of CoinFest. All you have to do is have an appropriatevevent around the same time as the rest of us. Although we cannot force your cooperation, we ask on behalf of the crypto community that you adhere to the following guidelines:
- Although anyone is welcome to join the movement, CoinFest requires a lot of coordination, so it’s imperative that organizers work together in good faith. All CoinFest events around the world are held on the same week, often simultaneously, although you are not required to hold events on all days. Especially for events occurring in close proximity, we will attempt to organize them by theme, to avoid confusion for the exhibitors and guests. This is a friendly competition, and we encourage the sharing of publicity and sponsors.
- CoinFest is strictly non-profit and volunteer-based. To encourage the mainstream public to attend this fun and educational event, attendance is traditionally also free; to encourage this, organizers of ticketed events forfeit any grant funding opportunities. CoinFest is funded by donations and sponsors, and all funds must be used to improve and promote events. If CoinFest Global receives excess funding, it will be given to regional CoinFest organizers, starting with those most in need. Any third-party contractors are strictly vetted and forfeit any right to handle CoinFest funds or influence how they are spent.
- CoinFest was intended to transcend the traditional monetary system. To help prove the viability of a fiat-free organization and reward Bitcoin acceptance with customers and publicity, CoinFest events can only be held at venues that support cryptocurrency currency. Exhibitors and guests are discouraged from using currency backed by the host country, except for the purpose of purchasing cryptocurrency currency, and CoinFest may not hold a traditional bank account. CoinFest venues must therefore accept cryptocurrency for any goods or services, as well as any rental fees.
To Freedom and Beyond
No matter how big it gets, we hope to always maintain the fun and inclusive nature of CoinFest. As its spirit and vision become cemented, the founder hopes to further decentralize CoinFest, gradually reducing his role until his guidance becomes obsolete. CoinFest will inevitably turn into a decentralized autonomous organization, a blockchain-based entity to which the founder will grant ownership of CoinFest.com, .org, .net, etc.; various organizers holding additional CoinFest domain names or other assets are expected to do the same. The authority of the lead organizer will be gradually eroded as the functionality of the CoinFest DAO improves, until CoinFest is left truly uncontrolled or owned by anyone. Representatives and important decisions will be decided by vote on the blockchain, and representatives’ admin powers can be revoked at any time.