Bitcoin Starts 2015 with Strong Presence at CES

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Members of the Airbitz team rolled into Las Vegas Tuesday to attend the 2015 Consumer Electronic Show (CES). A bitcoin collective, appropriately termed Bitcoin World, was set up on the second floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Official hosting of the area was provided by BitPay, with the following companies crowded in to the space: Kraken (the bitcoin exchange), Circle, Blockchain, Coin Vault ATM (they had a Robocoin machine carrying out transactions), BitStamp (well… they actually weren’t there — you know why if you follow the news), with reporting provided by Bitcoin Magazine/yBitcoin, Follow the Coin and TheProtocol.TV. While Airbitz did not have an official presence at the show, that did not stop our evangelism from going full tilt to attempt converting fiat serfs to the Bitcoin Protocol.

Beside bitcoin, our favorite topic, the show was loaded with zillions of TVs, drones, wearables and backup/rechargeable batteries conveniently located in Chinatown (the term given to Chinese manufacturers of low-end items delegated to the crowded nether regions in the back of the convention center). Paul visited his old friends at Nvidia, who are busy supplying electronics and internal video displays for this 1,000 horse power electric battery monster, and deservedly took a selfie.

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The bitcoin collective sat comfortably below a halo suspended 25 feet above the floor that displayed the Bitcoin Symbol and the word bitcoin. The area, fortunately, was subject to a lot of traffic, especially from newbies interested in discussing what this “bitcoin thingy” was all about. Loads of question answered, including the usual suspects: What is bitcoin?, What can you do with it?, Who backs it? Can I have one of those cool Airbitz carabiners? Additionally, in true X-Games/Bitcoin spirit, competitors and non-competitors alike met for dinner that night at Café Berlin (conveniently located in the the Airbitz Bitcoin Directory) to enjoy some German food and giant stein beers.

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The next morning, the team woke eager to throw down more bitcoin and visited downtown Las Vegas to convert some fiat in to coin for breakfast at the D Grill, conveniently located in the D Casino, which accepts bitcoin. Not only did our waitress know about bitcoin, but she stated proudly that they accepted it all the time. William was so excited to hear this, and desperately wanted to have the D Las Vegas displayed in his Airbtiz wallet (thanks to its ability to record payee data), that he paid for our breakfast…what a guy!

The drive back to San Diego wasn’t too bad, and we were all grateful that bitcoin, unlike the bullet train which has been promised for over 40 years between Southern California and Las Vegas (that would have saved us from driving in the first place), was reality, and not a myth.

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