The leaders of the Bitcoin Charlotte meetup group put on the spooky HODLween event as a fun way to connect locals with the wider Bitcoin scene.
This is an opinion editorial by Chris Alaimo, the multimedia producer and host of Bitcoin Magazine's Twitter Spaces.
It was a dark and cold night in the midst of the bear market, when a group of Bitcoiners gathered in Charlotte, North Carolina, to speak about hard money and a better world.
On Friday night, attendees got to eat a meal prepared by Texas Slim and Gourmet Cavemen, who talked about the importance of food intelligence and how the quality of food around the world has declined in value since 1971. They used this equation to justify their position: value equals quality divided by cost. They asserted that the quality of food has been decreasing while costs increase, resulting in food of lower value.
After their moving talk, we had a chance to feast upon the awesome meal they had prepared, drink and be merry. Bitcoiners’ creative side was on display that night with a chance for people to show off their pumpkin carving skills. Pumpkins depicting Guy Fawkes masks, “₿’s” and even one with the Federal Reserve burning down were on full display. After cleaning up the pumpkins, it was time to have a nightcap and prep for the talks and partying the following night.
The next day started off with an awesome talk from BTC Sessions about the importance of self-sovereignty and the journey toward becoming more independent from the system. He warned everyone about becoming overwhelmed by all the Bitcoin terms and jargon of various hardware wallets, CoinJoin implementations and various nodes, but to take one small step to improve their setup and become slightly more self-sovereign.
After the keynote speech, the day’s schedule split off into two different tracts: one with various talks and the other with workshops.
The energetic emcee Michael had various costume changes between sessions: a McDonald’s manager, Jason “Going Parabolic” Williams, everyone’s favorite “my star will continue to rise” guy and a few others. He did a great job emceeing the event.
One of the talks I saw was Dan Finley’s “What is Inflation?” This was about being in bitcoin for a few years, having a basic understanding of macroeconomics and the insane time theft that occurred with all the money printing over the last few years. I can say his succinct talk about inflation was one of the best I have ever heard.
Another talk that I enjoyed was about bitcoin mining and the electric grid by Justin Orkney. He spoke about his 10-year journey in the energy industry and what it’s like trying to orange pill energy suppliers and contractors that help supply energy to everyone’s homes. Orkney spoke about the problems with the current energy grid and solutions that Bitcoin provides.
Jon Gordon of Crowd Health talked about the bloat of the health insurance industry and the vast corruption that reinforced Texas Slim’s idea that value is quality divided by cost. The quality of healthcare has gone down greatly and the cost has only risen.
After lunch, I was able to go to the “Run Bitcoin: Bitcoin Nodes And The Lightning Network” talk by Andy LeRoy of Exponential Layers who gave a talk about Bitcoin Core, mempool and the Lightning Network. We then had a demonstration about setting up nodes and channels. He did a demonstration about liquidity using washers and string. It was encouraging to see many older individuals who were curious to learn about all the intricacies of Bitcoin and Lightning in this workshop. Many great questions were asked.
The last workshop was “Obscure Bitcoin: Buying Privately” with Mike Palmer and Shawn Flowers. It started with Palmer talking about Azte.co and buying a bitcoin voucher with cash, Cash App, Strike, Venmo or a credit card. I had heard of Azte.co and seen things on Bitcoin Twitter, but the in-person demonstration was helpful and showed how this is a great option to buy bitcoin in a private manner. Flowers followed up by explaining other ways to privately buy bitcoin using RoboSats and Bisq.
One of the last talks was from Guy and Jeff Swann. They had a great conversation about bitcoin and how it changes the power dynamics of money peacefully, instead of with coercion and time theft. Bitcoin is freedom to opt in and takes away the ability for money to be debased, unlike the fiat system.
It was time to crack open the beers and uncork the wine bottles as the day was capped by a live conversation of “Toxic Happy Hour” with Pubby and Anders.
I was not able to stay for the party at the end, but I heard it was a great time with costumes of Craig Wright in an orange jumpsuit, with appearances by “Jerome Powell” and “Satoshi Nakamoto.”
All in all, it was a great bear market Bitcoin event! I am grateful for Jacob Parrish, Liz Parrish and the Bitcoin Charlotte meetup for planning and hosting. I hope to be able to make it next year when the bull market subsides and hopefully we will have more hardened Bitcoiners in our ranks.
This is a guest post by Chris Alaimo. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.