‘Bitcoin Fair’ held in Foster-Powell

See why this offbeat event attracted folks from outer East Portland with lots of Bitcoin in their ‘wallet’ and wanting to spend it …

People gather at a food cart pod in the Foster-Powell neighborhood to buy, sell, and talk about using digital currency – specifically, Bitcoin.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Imagine a small festival held at a food cart court along S.E. Foster Road, where cash and credit cards were not accepted. However, Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer electronic cash system, was the currency of the day at this fair.

That was the premise of the gathering that organizers called “Puddletown on Lighting Rails” on March 27 at the FOPO Food Carts on Foster Road at 73rd Avenue.

Bitcoin crusader Clay Graham, owner of PDX Coin Exchange, stands ready to help businesses learn how to accept this digital form of money for payment.

“We’re having a ‘Bitcoin party’ here today, at which everyone who participates is using the digital currency called ‘Bitcoin’ for payment,” explained co-organizer Clay Graham, owner of PDX Coin Exchange. “One of the reasons we chose this location is because my ‘business-in-a-box’ is located within this pod. It’s a laboratory to help small businesses learn how to take Bitcoin for payment.”

That afternoon, the three food carts, and four art vendors present, were all accepting only Bitcoin as payment.

Custom candle maker Lauren Kroger of Pearl Goods Portland says she’s glad to be able to take ‘satoshis’ as payment for her unique creations.

“Why we’re hosting this event is all about adoption,” Graham explained. “It’s about showing people that it is possible to pay – easily and quickly – using easily obtainable Bitcoin.”

Asked how a Bitcoin, now worth $45,000, can be easy to obtain and spend, Graham said there is a simple answer. “Actually when dealing in Bitcoin, we talk in terms of ‘satoshis’.

(Satoshi Nakamoto was the developer of Bitcoin, and is now very wealthy, estimated $73 billion as of this writing; his value fluctuates with the daily value of Bitcoin).

Eddy Chaltibl says he’s at the fair to promote the group Portland Bit Devs, a new organization that hosts seminars and gatherings sharing information about Bitcoin.

“Basically a satoshi is a ‘small sliver’ of a Bitcoin; with roughly 10 million satoshis to one Bitcoin – so right now, it’s roughly 2,200 satoshis per dollar,” Graham explained. “So, everything for sale here is priced in satoshis, to make it easy to calculate.”

Why the evangelism for Bitcoin?  “It’s better for the businesses,” Graham asserted to East Portland News. “The costs-per-transaction are way less than a credit card, roughly around 1% transaction fee; and it’s faster than using credit cards.

Attending the fair is Dennis Porter, a “Bitcoin advocate” and political strategist with singleissuevoter.com.

“And, people who are into Bitcoin really want to know that they have an option to use it at businesses to buy real things, in the ‘real world’,” Graham said as he went off to meet people coming into the fair, and to spread the word about Bitcoin.

>> On our Front Page: Holding up a Bitcoin lapel pin is Ronald Bynoe, a “tech enthusiast who discovered Bitcoin and feel that it is a way forward for money.”

© 2022 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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