Thursday, June 4, 2015 largest UK exchange according to new study

Yesterday, UK based Bitcoin news site released the results of a study on bitcoin use in the UK. According to their results, is the most used site to buy bitcoins in the UK. The study reveals that LocalBitcoins has 41.7 % of the P2P exchange market, and is the most popular way to acquire bitcoins in the country.

The most surprising fact of the study, however, is that only 13% thought governmental regulation of bitcoin to be bad and a whopping 48% think it is a good thing. A few respondents are cited as saying regulation should encourage bitcoin usage and improve it's public perception. Yesterday with the release of the BitLicense, the state of New Yorks regulation framework for cryptocurrency, the industry receive one of it's first regulations squarely designed around cryptocurrency. It remains to be seen what the effects are on the bitcoin ecosystem.

The study also looked at how UK residents use bitcoins, and the majority said they were acquiring bitcoins for purchases or savings use. Only 20% of respondents said they were engaged in day trading with bitcoins and 18 % said they used the currency to send cash to friend & family.

A summary of the study is available as a slideshare, which you can see below:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hi! I'm Max – The new Community Manager

Hi! I'm Max and the new Community Manager for LocalBitcoins! I started working here around a
month ago so some of you have already seen me active on our forums or on twitter.

I'm based from our office in Helsinki (where it's currently cold and raining!) where I'm also finalizing my bachelors in Marketing. I've got a history in moderating and managing online communities in my spare time however this is my first role as community manager for a company.

I first got into contact with bitcoins around 2011 when my friend showed me how you could mine them using your own computer, but I quickly forgot about it after being annoyed of having to download the whole blockchain when installing the software. It wasn't until early 2013 when I bought my first coins from an exchange, before the crazy 2013 bubble. I was hooked.

Before I started working at LocalBitcoins I was studying marketing full time at a local university while working as a freelance photographer.

So, what does a community manager do?

It's my job to talk with you here, on twitter, on our forums and other place online. I'm here to help facilitate discussion and to solve problems. So, if you've got a problem, have questions about our service or just want to say hi you can reach out to me. You can find my contact details at the end of this post.

You can find me on twitter @LocalBitcoins, on our forums with the username max.localbitcoins and you can shoot me an email at max { *at* }

Now the floor is open to you, feel free to ask me anything in the comments below – and I'll do my best to answer!

All the best,

Monday, June 1, 2015

Why this countryside school in Finland gave its students bitcoins

Bitcoins accepted at the Café Lalla Vinde. Photo: Lalla Vinde // Used with permission.
Kemiönsaari is a municipality in the southwest of Finland far away from any metropolitan area. On the outside it looks like any other tiny countryside town in Finland, but looks can be deceiving. Kemiönsaari is at the forefront of bitcoin adoption in Finland, in this sleepy town of 7 000 people you can go out and enjoy lunch at a café and do your grocery shopping – all while paying with bitcoin. And this spring 3 000 euro was handed out to students enrolled at the local high school.

In the town center of Kemiö there are a handful companies that accept bitcoin, almost as much as in the capital Helsinki. You can grab a lunch at Café Lalla Vinde, head over to ZAS data to buy a new computer, take a zumba class at Rehab Center and then go grocery shopping at the K-Store before heading home.

Now the central school in Kemiö has decided to take it a step further giving around 40 of it's 125 students bitcoins. But why?

In Finland, every year thousands of high school students receive small cash awards either from their school or sponsored by local companies and institutions. These are usually handed out for outstanding performance in school or sports. Usually, these are given out as bank checks but with banking services moving online it's become increasingly difficult for students to cash their checks.

That's why this spring all awards at the local high school were given out in bitcoins. The principal of the high school, Ari Rintanen mentiond to that the reasoning behind the decision was threefold. First, the currency is quite useful on the island municipality, second it is a good opportunity to try something new while at the same time giving students easier access to their awards.

The local company ZAS data, run by Sami Lappalainen, helped the school with the practicalities of giving out the awards in bitcoin. As the school does not know if a student has a bank account or a bitcoin wallet address they decided to hand out the awards as paper wallets. On the thirtieth of May students at the school received envelopes containing a paper wallet and instructions on how to create his own bitcoin wallet and redeem the bitcoins.

A photo posted by Aleksi Neuvonen withdrawing his bitcoins from a LocalBitcoins ATM. (@leksis) on