Tags: Germany

Welcome to Kreuzberg, Berlin: The Neighborhood with the Highest Bitcoin Concentration on Earth

Fascinating article out today from the Guardian about the Kreuzberg area of Berlin, which has the highest density of businesses accepting Bitcoin in the world.  The associated video at the top of the article is also a must watch, as it becomes readily apparent how excited both the merchants and the customers are about using this free market currency.  I am completely convinced that the more people learn about Bitcoin and use it, the more exponential its adoption will become.  My favorite line from the video comes at the very end from Joerg Platzer, owner of the bar Room 77:

“Every day we do not start using a free currency like Bitcoin, we actually actively vote for the current system to continue.”

From the Guardian:

Like Chebli, Martens, whose Kersenvlaai (cherry cake) from her native Maastricht is rated as one of the best culinary offerings of the area, says she decided to accept Bitcoins because of the ease, cheapness and transparency of its payment system.

“It’s an easier way of digital payment than credit cards, which cost me a lot of money as a business and to which I’m forced to sign up for years,” she says.

These two tradespeople are among around a dozen in the Graefekiez, a cosy neighborhood established in the 19th century in the southern Berlin district of Kreuzberg, which currently boasts the highest density of businesses accepting the currency in the world. Its growing list of Bitcoin establishments includes a restaurant, a printing shop, a bar and boutique.

“Kreuzberg is traditionally an area in which people are very politically aware, critical towards existing systems and are constantly discussing and looking for alternatives to them, which makes it the perfect breeding ground for Bitcoin,” says Joerg Platzer, a staunch Bitcoin advocate who roams the neighborhood with a missionary zeal in search of new recruits.

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“Freiheit stirbt mit Sicherheit” – Project Camover Has Crossed the Atlantic

Ever heard of Project Camover?  Probably not.  It relates a movement to locate and destroy CCTV spy cameras that began in Germany, and since spread to many other countries in Europe such as Finland and Greece, and has finally reached the West Coast of the United States.  Their motto is “Freiheit stirbt mit Sicherheit,” which translates to “Freedom dies with Security.”  This is simply an inevitable reaction to the increased surveillance state around us, from things like “Trapwire,” to audio and video recording devices on public buses.  Apparently, they really enjoy using the fire extinguisher method to get the job done.  The U.S. offshoot has been identified as the “Barefoot Bandit Brigade” and is operating the Puget Sound region.  From Vice:

Have you ever walked down a street in a developed country? If yes, consider yourself the unsung star of a silent short, because someone, somewhere was almost certainly watching you as you did.

CCTV’s nothing new, which is probably why people seem to have either forgotten about or become disinterested in how creepy it is. Not so Camover, a group from Germany who have been running around Berlin smashing CCTV cameras to pieces, which isn’t surprising given that their slogan is: “Freiheit stirbt mit Sicherheit”, or “Freedom dies with Security”.

Watch these guys in action in the video below.


VICE: Hey, Camover – what’s with all the aggro?

Camover: We were bored. Just kidding. We’re critical of consumer society, where people swallow the opinions given to them by the media. They forget to think for themselves. And we thought it would be fun to motivate people to go out at night and get rid of these annoying cameras.

How many cameras have you destroyed?
We have no idea how many we’ve already destroyed. It’s not a big deal to destroy a camera – often you can do it quickly on the way home.

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