Business & Economy

Bitcoin and a beer, there’s a bar for that

By Inés Amarelo

Mexico City, Feb 19 (EFE).- Cryptocurrencies are unexplored territory for many Mexicans but innovative projects such as the Bitcoin Embassy Bar in the capital is looking to change this.

“Bitcoin Embassy Bar came from an idea to create space for the Bitcoin community and those involved in the blockchain and cryptocurrency to meet up more regularly than with conventions or conferences,” Lorena Oritz, the bar’s co-founder along with David Noriega, told Efe

Located in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood, the venue looks just like any other bar that offers beers, soft drinks and burgers.

Step inside, however, and the Bitcoin-inspired decorations, including a neon light in the shape of the cryptocurrency’s symbol, as well as a Bitcoin ATM, gives away its unique central theme.

Established in 2018, the bar has put up warning signs against fraudulent activity and it provides a wealth of literature on the use of cryptocurrency.

A room upstairs doubles up as a lecture and conference hall for free classes on the topic.

Oritz said that while the majority of the bar’s clientele are already well-versed in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, others with no prior knowledge come in out of curiosity.

The use of Bitcoin is on the rise in Mexico.

A study of 27 countries by survey company Finder in December 2021 placed the county 14th in terms of cryptocurrency ownership.

It took Bitso, a Mexican platform to buy, sell and use cryptocurrencies, five years to hit the 1 million user mark, which it achieved in 2020.

It only needed 10 months to hit 2 million, three months to hit 3 million and two to reach the 4.2 million users it has currently.

José Luis González Birlain, a so-called crypto catalyst at Bitso, told Efe that the rise was exponential.

“I would say we are still in the early stages of the industry, we still have a lot to develop, there are a lot of people for the industry to take on. It has barely begun, and yet the uptake is pretty strong.”

As well as attracting a growing number of users, cryptocurrencies are branching into diverse sectors raging from art to videogames.

González believes that the decentralized nature of the currency contributes to its democratic nature.

The enthusiastic uptake of cryptocurrencies in the United States bolsters Mexico’s market, which in turn helps business like Bitso and the Bitcoin Embassy Bar, which offers a helping hand to those looking to interested in getting involved.EFE


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