B2029 in Berlin has become the official Bitcoin SV Hub for the DACH region. It is a large office space in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Three of the founders are Ekhard, Stefan and Vincent who organize talks, meetups and workshops here on a regular basis. A good occasion to introduce B2029 and its founders in more detail.
Open workshop at B2029
The Origin Story of the Founders
B2029 is still a relatively young institution. The hub has been around since 2019, yet the roots go back to the early days of Bitcoin through the trio’s personal story. When the three talk about their passion for Bitcoin, terms like the idea of “sound money” from the Austrian School of National Economics come up. All three talk about how they became more and more involved with Bitcoin over time. Vincent sums up the impression he had of Bitcoin at the time, which many early Bitcoin followers can probably relate to today:
“In 2013 I bought Bitcoin for the first time. At that stage, I thought you could just buy Bitcoin and never have to worry at all. And everything would always just work because the protocol is not going to change because you got all these people trying to keep it sound. But that was not the case.”
Daniel Connolly at B2029 talking about terra node. (Hello Metanet Workshop, Sep 2019)
The time of splits – Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Cash
Vincent, Stefan and Ekhard, who have also become good friends in the meantime, met at Bitcoin Meetups in 2018. At that time, the debate between small and big blockers already resulted in the split between Bitcoin Core (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Vincent set up a Bitcoin Cash Meetup, where the three of them met. The meetings were casual back then, as open meetups in bars or cafés. Even more than the split before, the three also report campaigns and feuds that drove an ever deeper wedge between the two sides. This initially caused disappointment and frustration.
Nevertheless, they had the firm conviction that the drastic changes to the protocol made by both the BTC and BCH communities went too far and created more problems than they solved.
The foundation of B2029
Despite the inherently negative effects of the split, the trio took the split sportingly. Stefan and Ekhard organized a public watch party for the hash war. In the course of that, they came up with the idea of using the rented office space permanently for Bitcoin SV related events. So instead of resigning, Vincent, Stefan and Ekhard decided to get even more involved in Bitcoin. Stefan describes the CoinGeek Conference 2018 in London, where Craig Wright gave a groundbreaking talk, as a key experience for their motivation:
“This was the first time Craig announced the bigger principle idea of Bitcoin. And so the scope became much larger. Now you have a better solution for the internet. Bitcoin can do more than just being money and process transactions. Somehow, we really liked the idea behind it.“
But as enthusiastic as they were about the idea, there were also practical problems:
“But we didn’t know how this should actually work or how developers can get a hold of it. And so we figured we should educate ourselves and organise a first workshop about it and we called it “Hello Metanet”.
Hello MetaNet workshop at B2029
That was practically the birth of B2029. The name has several layers of meaning. Coincidentally, B2029 started in 2019 – ten years after Satoshi launched Bitcoin. Ekhard, Stefan and Vincent along with other founders set themselves the goal of running the hub for at least 10 years. In Stefan’s words, the technology should be established by then. There is also a prediction by Ray Kurzweil that computers will be more intelligent than humans in 2029. Stefan sees Bitcoin as a counter draft to this view.
B2029 again invites you to meetups, talks and workshops
This year, B2029 becomes 3 years old. The workshops that the team organises are particularly noteworthy. Ekhard describes a normal workshop as a casual and relaxed, but at the same time productive event:
“The workshops are excellent. They are about working together, but at the same time they are really relaxed. For example, one workshop lasts three days, without a fixed agenda. People just come together and work on their projects. Those who want to can present their results to the group. In between, there are also lectures here and there. In the evening, we eat together and celebrate a bit. Everything is very relaxed, but at the same time very productive.”
Since the beginning of the year, B2029 reopened for everyone involved or interested in Bitcoin SV. Techtalks, meetups and workshops take place here on a regular basis. If you happen to be in Berlin and you are interested or involved in Bitcoin SV, check out B2029’s event list. For example, the new Meta.Salon Meetup will take place every last Thursday of the month to which all artists and creatives interested in the digital future of art and photography are invited. The Metanet Techtalks with interesting presentations and discussions open for a wider audience happen every second Thursday of the month. Furthermore, after a long break, a “Hello Metanet” workshop is being planned for early summer. Interested developers and entrepreneurs can already register for the workshop on the B2029 website.