Bitcoin, the sophisticated three-year old digital currency that recently spread from hackers and programmers to a less-technical set, continues to fascinate.
Bitcoin enthusiasts headed to New York this weekend for the first Bitcoin World Conference and Expo in east Midtown, an event comprised of networking; workshops on mining and coding; showcasing of Bitcoin start-ups; announcements of future Bitcoin conferences in Thailand, Amsterdam as well as a Bitcoin cruise in 2013; meals at restaurants that accept Bitcoin; and talks by e-currency luminaries including Gavin Andresen, the technical lead for the Bitcoin project.
About 75 people, all but a handful of them male, gathered this weekend in east Midtown at the Roosevelt Hotel and at the studios of OnlyOneTV, which produces the web show The Bitcoin Show and organized the conference.
Attendees included representatives from Mt. Gox, the largest exchange which is based in Japan; TradeHill, the second-largest exchange; CampBX, a Georgia-based exchange, who lost their luggage on the flight; along with a host of other Bitcoin businesses. About a third of the audience were miners; about a fourth said they’d heard of Bitcoin
before it was cool since November. Attendees wondered if the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, the purported and potentially pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin who last contacted Mr. Andresen by email in April, was among them.