Our newsdesk recently caught up with Bitcoin.com’s community manager Chris Bridgman who discussed the recent expansion of Bitcoin Cash-focused meetups worldwide. Over the last two years, Bridgman and his partner Akane Yokoo have seen BCH meetups grow from a small handful to around 90 BCH-based gatherings in a number of different countries.
There are numerous ways people can learn about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology and most of the time individuals research these subjects online. However, learning everything online can be daunting to some people as it can be much harder to ask questions and sometimes online forums are filled with useless trolling and infighting. Bitcoin Cash meetups, however, offer a different ‘hands-on’ approach to learning and spreading the knowledge of BCH to the masses. In the last few years, the BCH community has grown significantly and individuals worldwide are organizing small groups or assemblies of like-minded people to discuss and promote the innovative benefits of bitcoin cash. Bitcoin.com is a big believer in spreading economic freedom through tools like bitcoin cash. A testament to this is how many of our staff members, alongside well known members of the BCH community, have been passionately bolstering BCH-centric meetups.
On Friday, news.Bitcoin.com spoke with Bitcoin.com’s community manager Chris Bridgman about the expansion of BCH meetups and how they plan to continue advancing these efforts. Bridgman explained that with the help from Bitcoin.com staff members, Akane Yokoo, Monica Rea, and many Global Bitcoin Cash Leaders, the team has been working to grow the Bitcoin Cash meetups around the world and looking to provide the support individuals need. “We’ve been setting up new meetups with local organizers onsite in areas like Miami, Jakarta, Dubai, Seoul, Mexico City, Budapest, London, Sweden recently and we’ve also been working with existing meetups,” Bridgman remarked. “We’re looking to grow the engagement there, grow the volume of these groups, enhance the frequency of meetups and things like that.” The community manager added:
We’re also doing something new which is expanding into new demographics and new industries. Essentially trying to bridge the gap and showcase the benefits of using bitcoin cash. Whether it’s in a totally different ecosystem or cross-coin platforms and really just trying to enhance this incredible global community any way we can.
Bridgman emphasized that the individuals they call Global Bitcoin Cash Leaders are inspiring and the team has connected with people that are really driving adoption and working to grow the BCH ecosystem. Both Bitcoin.com community managers believe these individuals are literally planting the seeds of global adoption and the growth of peer-to-peer cash. Bridgman noted that the meetup community comes from all walks of life and they all bring ideas of their own. He said that if people are interested in getting involved with the BCH meetup community, the first thing to do would be to check and see what’s around you. “We’ve got an awesome platform called events.Bitcoin.com and there’s a great interactive map there that showcases where all the existing BCH meetups are,” Bridgman detailed. “If you can’t find one, you can reach out to us at events.Bitcoin.com and we’ll set you up with a meetup if there isn’t an existing one already.”
90 Bitcoin Cash Meetups Worldwide
Additionally, Yokoo and Bridgman have also been utilizing Telegram as a platform to connect individuals and working with other global leaders in a collective group. The members of the group could be starting BCH meetups or driving bitcoin cash adoption Bridgman said. “Within that group, we can then branch off and create individual groups and pull in the right people to really grow the BCH meetup community’s connectivity — Provide the support these individuals need, but also connect the dots with other passionate people,” he noted during the conversation.
Bridgman went on to explain that when it comes to meetups, there really is no guide book and there is no right or wrong way to accomplish local gatherings that bolster adoption. As long as you set a date, a location, you can just bring yourself, some enthusiasm and your mobile device. “It’s really just that energy of people getting together — And it can be different with unique organizers, and distinctive locations,” Bridgman added.
For instance in Tokyo, Bridgman said, Yokoo is hosting meetups every week on Wednesday evening and she’s been doing incredible work onboarding new merchants. To the community manager that’s just one aspect of how a meetup can be created and how it showcases the benefits of the BCH community. Bridgman asserted:
There are so many ways you can start a meetup. We’ve had individuals host meetups in public parks in New York from people meeting up at the local coffee shop. Meetups can discuss adoption, new developments that are happening, using social media and the censorship-resistant platforms that are being created on Bitcoin Cash.
Bridgman further said that he, Yokoo, and many others have been involved for close to two years now working directly with the community. The community managers have seen it grow from just a handful of meetups and now there are about 90 different meetups around the world. “It’s really awesome to see because a lot of these gatherings are grassroots and just electric — You can also see the meetups growing alongside the network as it’s echoing the progress that’s happening with Bitcoin Cash development and adoption,” Bridgman said. He went on to highlight that at meetups, you might see different facets open up that individuals can identify with whether it’s the social aspect, development, or just merely sharing the benefits of peer-to-peer cash.
Bitcoin.com’s community manager further stated that there are so many outlets that people can get excited about and the team has started to tap into new industries. “In the past, we’ve worked with Students for Liberty and the events they hold like Libertycon are great outlets to share bitcoin cash with people,” Bridgman opined. “What we’ve found recently is that with Ethereum groups, there’s a lot of development that’s been happening there and we’re working toward bridging both communities. Like creating events around hackathons and with the introduction of the SLP tokens it really opened up an opportunity to showcase all the awesome potential that can now be built on Bitcoin Cash to various blockchain communities.”
Incentivizing the Ongoing Growth of the Bitcoin Cash Community
Bridgman later highlighted that lots of progress have been due to community leaders like Akane Yokoo, Monica Rea, a slew of Bitcoin.com staff members and individuals from organizations like Eatbch. He said that Bitcoin.com has also helped a great deal by paying for Meetup.com sponsor fees and donating educational resources, stickers, and swag. A few Bitcoin.com staff members have also volunteered to be organizers/co-organizers for some of the meetups as well. “The passionate members of the Bitcoin Cash community and Global Bitcoin Cash Leaders have really been the ones that have pushed BCH meetups to new levels,” Bridgman emphasized.
Additionally, Bridgman concluded by explaining that the team is in the midst of creating a BCH meetups reward program. “We’re hoping to incentivize the ongoing growth of the BCH community and structure with a BCH meetups reward program. Essentially we’re creating an SLP token idea that will essentially be for Global Bitcoin Cash Leaders and the token will be a backbone for the rewards program,” he added.
If you are looking to get a BCH meetup started or want to connect with Chris Bridgman for BCH meetup support, you can email him at: Chris@Bitcoin.com. Also, check out the existing BCH meetups across the globe:
What do you think about the growth of BCH meetups? Do you think BCH meetups are important for spreading adoption and crypto education? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Images credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, Chris Bridgman, Akane Yokoo, Bitcoin.com, and Pixabay.
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Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written thousands of articles for news.Bitcoin.com about the disruptive protocols emerging today.