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Impressions from the 2nd Annual Bitcoin Film Festival in Amsterdam

Upstairs at the Melkweg

Here are some quick notes and impressions from the 2nd Annual Bitcoin Film Festival in Amsterdam, which was held at The Melkweg last week.

  • Bitcoin Wednesday was fortunate to be at the Melkweg.  This venue is one of the country’s best-known concert halls, located in the heart of the city, at the Leidseplein, Amsterdam’s “Satoshi Square.” We look forward to the day when digital currency is a regular part of the program at places like these.
    Amsterdam's Melkweg Concert Hall
  • This venue provided a special atmosphere for Amsterdam’s 2nd Annual Bitcoin Film Festival with four different environments over the course of the afternoon and evening.
  • The program offered a mix of films and presentations for beginners and experts with networking at two different bars and dinner served in the restaurant.
    Intro to Bitcoin and the Blockchain During Bitcoin Wednesday
  • Thomas Kemmere kicked off the festivities downstairs in the restaurant at the Melkweg with his Introduction to Bitcoin and the Blockchain. He’ll give another version of this presentation on 6 January 2016.
    Robert-Reinder Nederhoed of BitMyMoney
  • Thomas was followed by Robert-Reinder Nederhoed, one of the country’s first Bitcoin entrepreneurs, who spoke about his experiences running a digital currency business in The Netherlands.
  • By the time dinner was served, between 1700 and 1900, the restaurant was already full: We attracted a very broad audience, Bitcoin Wednesday regulars, beginners, staff from the Melkweg, including band members and their sound crew — even people passing by on the Marnixstraat noticed something special was happening and dropped by to take in the atmosphere and learn something about Bitcoin.
  • Cryptocurrency adviser Toufic AlRjoula gave his own explanation about what Bitcoin is and why it matters.
    Upstairs at the Melkweg
  • The relaxed atmosphere allowed for discussion and room for asking all kinds of questions.
  • Meanwhile, the Melkweg crew was setting up for the Film Festival to begin at the cafe and in the cinema upstairs at 1900
  • The program in the cinema started with a couple of short educational animations and highlights from many of the documentaries.
    Scene from Tomer Kantor's Ulterior States
  • In one of the animations the fixed supply of bitcoin (limited to 21 million coins) was illustrated alongside the inflationary system used by traditional currencies. This fixed supply in Bitcoin is hotly debated by economists as either good or bad, depending on their outlook, a fact that was mentioned by Brett Scott at one point during the evening.Educational Animation About BitcoinAnimated Illustration of the Bitcoin Money Supply
  • While these discussions are intellectually very interesting and a regular feature of Bitcoin Wednesday, it ultimately seems to satisfy many people to point out that digital currency innovation will allow us to conduct economic experiments in the real world with a level of control and transparency we’ve never had before. Even if the world’s economists knew the right answer, they haven’t helped the world’s leaders apply this information very successfully. For the first time in human history there are more than 500 globally available digital currencies, and many of them have very different rules governing their distribution and supply. In the case of traditional, government-backed currencies, the population is locked in to one system, but with digital currency, we still have a choice.
    Brett Scott Delivers Keynote at the Bitcoin Film Festival
  • When Brett Scott delivered his keynote talk, he mentioned his appearance in the VPRO’s Tegenlicht documentary on Bitcoin which had aired a month earlier. In response to our criticism that the documentary cast the Bitcoin world as evangelical extremists, Brett explained a journalists’ tendency to highlight extreme cases because doing so often makes the subject more interesting to his audience.
    Tomer Kantor, Brett Scott and Richard Kohl at Bitcoin Wednesday
  • Surprise guest Tomer Kantor, director of one of the documentaries, magically appeared from London — completely unannounced, and participated in the discussion with Brett Scott.
    Tomer Kantor and Brett Scott Together at Bitcoin Wednesday
  • Tomer also spoke at the first Bitcoin Film Festival. The cinema setting this year was both comfortable and slick.
  • Two films honored in the Film Festival illustrated the juxtaposition between two of the best-known digital currencies, Bitcoin and Dash. Bitcoin has an anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, but the cryptocurrency itself is completely transparent, not anonymous. Dash is an anonymous digital currency, but its creator, Evan Duffield, a young, smart developer, could be seen in one of the films sitting on a couch casually answering questions about his choices and motivations.
    Andreas Antonopoulos On Screen
  • The words of Bitcoin guru Andreas Antonopoulos make an even bigger impact on a big movie screen. He appeared as shown here in Tomer’s film, “Ulterior States.”
    Richard Kohl at Bitcoin Wednesday
  • Thanks to everyone who participated, especially to Brett Scott, Tomer Kantor, Thomas Kemmere, Robert-Reinder Nederhoed, Tey AlRjoula and the staff at the Melkweg, and Eat At Jo’s.

Early Stage Investor, Bitcoin Business Strategy Architect and Project Leader for Complex Internet SolutionsSee generalseven.com for more info.

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