A new non-profit organization, Bitcoin Bay, has gained traction in the Tampa Bay area. Founded by three local Bitcoin developers, their goal is to promote community engagement and educate professionals in the cryptocurrency industry.
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency, unrelated to any bank or government, that allows users to anonymously spend their money. At Bitcoin Bay’s weekly meetups, attendees can learn about the currency and its benefits, as well as network and keep up with the latest developments in the crypto landscape.
The founders of Bitcoin Bay, Wesley Schlemmer and his colleagues, realized the need to widen their audience’s understanding of Bitcoin. They believe it is important to first build context around the concept of money and why Bitcoin was created before diving into the technical aspects.
The heart of Bitcoin Bay’s mission is to provide a platform for individuals from all backgrounds to come together and exchange ideas about cryptocurrencies. Their weekly Gatherings, known as “Bitdevs,” feature workshops and expert presentations, creating opportunities for newcomers and experienced professionals alike.
The founders have also worked with the Bitcoin Club at the University of Tampa, and offer guest lectures and internships. They plan to hold financial education camps for middle and high school students this summer, as well as workshops for local business owners and entrepreneurs to learn how to use Bitcoin in their transactions and operations.
Their ultimate goal is to create a circular economy in Tampa Bay, where visitors can pay for their stay using cryptocurrency. They hope to become a hub for local adoption of Bitcoin and attract tourists interested in using it as a means of transaction.
Bitcoin Bay’s weekly meetups have been happening informally for a few years, but the founders decided to officially launch the project last spring. They completed the process to become a 501(c3) non-profit in November and are now hosting their first fundraising gala to support their charitable initiatives, including workshops and community service projects focused on food security.
For the founders, Bitcoin is just a means to achieve their mantra of community, prosperity, and resilience. They see it as a tool for creating a better society, rather than an end in itself.