The “BTC” city of fantasy drifting

Editor’s note: This article from the value chain (ID:cc-value), the author: Jeff Wilser, translator: Moreline, Wang Zelong, the daily planet Odaily authorized reprint.

“There are four hundred and fifty shops and more than 3000 companies,” small economies Mermal pointing to the following explains. “But if there is no culture, all this is worth mentioning. There is no culture, art and creativity, you have a city without a soul. “Bitcoin blockchain and seemed to be to the city to help nourish the soul.

Last week, one from Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana (Ljubljana) to the team, made a speech at Stanford University, the topic of the speech is very controversial: “development in the global scope of the” bitcoin city “.”

Slogan: imagine you can buy anything with the bitcoin world. Don’t need money. For a large number of encryption currency enthusiasts, this is the ultimate goal: to use bitcoin to buy a cup of coffee, watching movies, hair cut.

As a matter of fact? Bitcoin payment is still a new thing. Although the number of bitcoin ATM machine in 2018 years has doubled, but only to use “encrypt digital currency” is a kind of purpose is not clear the ridiculous practices – it’s like an ongoing Emoji diet (all-emoji) woman, she only had Emoji expression in some food. It is lovely, but what is the point of this? Only after encryption currency life, like a full Emoji diet is possible, but also feel annoyed. It is a beautiful dream to the center of the utopia, but the cruel reality is now at least if a merchant can accept encrypted monetary payment, it will have a 99% chance to accept credit card payment. The world is not only the use of bitcoin transactions ready.

Unless you come to Slovenia Ljubljana. (Ljubljana, Slovenia)

In June 2018, a company called BTC has launched a pilot program called “crypto currency shopping center” or “bitcoin city” or “city BTC”. It is said that this is a practical and integrated encryption currency functional, true to the ecosystem in the shopping. This is not just an odd accept bitcoin cafe, but by a support of encryption currency composition of the entire network business. You can put money behind, then use bitcoin (or Ethernet or currency bitcoin cash) to buy Martini, microwave oven or water park tickets. The Prime Minister of Slovenia Milo Celal (Miro Cerar) and even a visit to the scene, where a cup of coffee with the encryption currency paid.

When the Slovenian team in a speech at Stanford, I don’t. I don’t need to attend the lecture. I happen to be the only bitcoin City curious for a long time. Last summer, when the plan is still in the testing phase, I personally went to the local experience of ljubljana.

This is just a marketing gimmick? If bitcoin city is real, that for the development of encryption currency means what?

I stand atop a skyscraper in Ljubljana, gazing at the panorama below: the Alps far away, there are countless shops, restaurants, office buildings, warehouses, hotels and parks and mountains between us. It is not only a “shopping center”, it is a complete city.

“This is the city of BTC,” BTC chairman Jo Mermal said e Z. He pointed to the scene below, he put the revel in life work.

“This is the city of BTC?” I asked. You don’t say!

Mermal nodded, he amused the doubt me. “These are the city of BTC.”

Mermal is an unlikely person is changed. When he was 65 years old, he used the 90s before the era of the socialist way of life, at the time, Slovenia is still a part of Yugoslavia, the government has direct and control most of Slovenia’s economy. He Tan, he participated in swimming, skiing, golf tournament, and the masculine way in the balcony. “We have a lot of technical talents in Slovenia,” the young man said. “And we hope to attract more. BTC city is an ecosystem, creating a shopping, enjoy the delicacy, theater environment.”

According to the company, this ecosystem now includes more than 70 pubs and restaurants, a barber shop, a pharmacy, a mini golf course, a swimming pool and 17 15 sauna Water Park (?!) Three, banks, a street snack “cooking Park”, an innovation lab, a skating rink, as well as IBM, Microsoft and BMW and other large companies exist. There is a block chain think-tank, an encryption mining equipment, three bitcoin ATM machine and a virtual reality startup. (I legally tested their VR goggles and zoom a virtual skyscrapers.) Mermal also intends to this space as the test site of automatic driving vehicle.

“There are four hundred and fifty shops and more than 3000 companies,” small economies Mermal pointing to the following explains. “But if there is no culture, all this is worth mentioning. There is no culture, art and creativity, you have a city without a soul. “Bitcoin blockchain and seemed to be to the city to help nourish the soul.

Mermal created BTC City, he also created bitcoin City, but the two are not the same, this confusing feeling is an advantage. Before this the name is “BTC” in early Nakamoto bitcoin mining first existed long, and probably in his (or her) birth exists before. BTC was founded in 1954, it was a storage company, originally called Centralna Skladisca (central warehouse), and then become a “commercial and trade center”. Over the years, the acronym has become a “commercial transportation center”, and “Blagovno Trgovinski” into “or” business center, transportation center. “

1993, in Yugoslavia after the collapse of Mermal, the warehouse renovation of 430 million square feet of a simulated city in real life, a micro brewery and a garden in here. Soon it became a travel destination, BTC rental property and as a Real Estate Company operation. Then there are more restaurants, trees, bike lanes, start-ups and art. (for Mermal, art seems particularly important, he was wearing a crisp shirt and a Navy jacket, looks like a winning auction for the recently discovered Manet.) When I randomly asked a taxi driver I should buy where AirPods (RIP) alternatives, she immediately said, “try BTC city.” The company said that it now attracts 21 million visitors a year.

Mermal started this grand project after many years, a surprisingly good luck, “BTC” the acronym just happens to be the three letter of the planet’s most popular assets. Why not turn BTC City into bitcoin city? If people think BTC represents bitcoin, that is so bad?

It’s time for me to use my encrypted currency. After months of frustration, now I can finally use bitcoin for other things in addition to the financial investment outside. This moment feels like this is a memorable moment. (the last time I use the encrypted goods or services in Bali Island. I paid $5 bitcoin to book Hubud shared workspace of the conference room, and was charged $12 transaction fee).

In the encryption currency with a problem with bitcoin city. You will spend bitcoin. You need to download a app and use a specific Elipay wallet, so that it can accept money and business encryption interface synchronization, which is Elipay. (please read on, I know this may be confusing.) Elipay is called the Eligma block chain company’s flagship product, which in part by BTC — you can see all the enterprises of this synergistic effect. Mermal said, BTC to 1 million 500 thousand euros of investment accounted for Eligma20% of the shares, he hopes Elipay will be mainstream, mass for the purchase of goods, the final victory in the same Bitpay, GoCoin and Cryptopay race.

I went to a Crystal Palace (The Crystal Palace) is a skyscraper in the city of BTC, is the tallest building in Slovenia. In the 20 building, BTC, with amazing perspective, Roljic and his team CEO Dejan Eligma told me in detail introduced its working principle, and to watch in my application download. “Now you only need to answer a few questions of our lawyers,” said Roljic.

I think he is joking. However not.

The lawyer asked to see my passport. He carefully checked my photos as if he is the security staff at the airport. “We need to meet with every applicant,” the lawyer explained. “This is the law of Slovenia — KYC so.”

In 6 months, Elipay is still in the testing stage (it launched in the subsequent September), and 150 were early adopters already went to Eligma’s office and to meet with the lawyer, set up their app. It makes me feel very is not efficient, serious damage to the encryption currency easy and “no friction” attribute value.

Roljic know this is a potential barrier, we are dealing with it, and said, in the future, customers will be able to verify their identity via video phone. Well, it is quite troublesome. [editor’s note: BTC City clarification to us in this release, now Elipay system has been on the line, customers generally do not need to personally carry out this process. ]

“Does that mean you responsible for tracking customer transactions, and report the relevant information to the government?” I asked, and feel discomfort in the room. “The law gives you a framework,” the lawyer explained, and he said that they were asked to report the transaction and mark “above a $15000 per suspicious activity”. Every famous European company, he confirmed to me, this is the provisions of anti money laundering law. “If you spend 500 euros per month, for example, to buy some groceries, it will not cause any regulatory vigilance. Then if you suddenly transfer 10000 euros… This will cause their attention… Is not, but will be marked. We will ask, ‘we know the pen transfers the recipient? “So if the recipient is a known store, and you spent 10000 euros to buy a TV, this is perhaps not surprising. But if you are a writer, suddenly had 50 pen 10000 euros transfer in a month, we may need to call you and ask your writing “the lawyer said with a smile, he laughed, we all laughed and said a large amount of money for the writers of the absurd, I think Eligma is abide by the law, they have no choice — but this setting makes me feel trouble.

It hit the crypto currency currently facing challenge points: for the mainstream, crypto currency may need some regulatory fit, but the compliance that it deviates from the original, anti regulation supporters.

Despite the legal confusion, the Eligma block chain like many start-up companies, with big plans. In theory, you can use the final app to keep track of all the things you buy, or at least the material value of things (such as a notebook), then Elipay will track these assets and their value fluctuations. If you buy a new MacBook. This will in some way in your Elipay app on the track, and then, three years later, the Elipay block chain will be smart enough to know that MacBook has the depreciation and only $600, when you are ready to sell it, you can use Elipay to do, because you are a trusted dealer. It is also preparing to establish a set of loyalty programs, debit cards and credit cards, and personal shopping assistant based on artificial intelligence.”

It is perhaps far fetched?. But the blockchain startup Eligma is a bit 99%: they are not actually doing something. Bitcoin city is not only theoretically. The lawyer and end the conversation, I learned from my normal currency wallet encryption transfer $20 bitcoin to my new Elipay app. And now I’m running. I’m in Crystal Palace (Crystal Palace) using bitcoin ATM machine to introduce more money — it will be easier to encrypt — now, finally, I’m ready for my coffee with encrypted currency of payment.

I ordered a decaf cappuccino (don’t judge), click on my Elipay app, and then sweep the two-dimensional code. This payment experience with the use of credit cards almost. But it could be two seconds slower than apple to pay in your mobile phone, the lock can still pay.

I’m not the only person to experience Elipay ecosystem. Roger Ver a few months after the visit I arrived. His feelings? “I am surprised here in BTC city. I used my Elipay wallet bitcoin cash to buy a bunch of different things, including food and socks and iPhone accessories, “he off the reel in the video, of course, also wearing a bitcoin cash t-shirt. “It was great, there are a lot of shops have been Elipay, I can all of them spend my bitcoin cash. …… It’s just like a regular shopping center, but all companies are accepted by Ellipay encryption currency. This is great… I hope… And hope that [Elipay] can become the mainstream as soon as possible. “

My heart optimists want to join this prosperity, but my heart is still skeptical realist. I love the idea of bitcoin city. I love the already purchased goods. (Elipay says it can be used in 300 areas of Slovenia. ) however, decaf cappuccino trading, although the success and no friction, but let people feel disappointed. What is the help of the people? Who benefit from? As they advertised at the Stanford University, a bitcoin city hypothesis around the world, they can achieve what goal? Crypto currency such as the Elipay community is willing to believe that the company’s products, rather than Facebook Coin? Is it enough to the center?

In addition, many friends in my attempts to explain the bitcoin, said their credit card use is very good. Of course, this may help reduce transaction costs, and ultimately passed on to the customer. Moreover, this theory can drain the power of banks. However, even bitcoin architects of crypto currency are skeptical. In a white pasta and Wine one lunch, a senior BTC manager repeated people now familiar phrase, “block chain technology is sexy.”

Bitcoin is not?”

He paused. “Time will give the answer. If the encryption currency fails, we will learn about the blockchain still massive content.” (BTC, warehouse in Yugoslavia has ancient roots, still operates a logistics department, and the logistics company as they seem, in the exploration of supply chain block technology.)

For the BTC and bitcoin City, in a sense, the blockchain is just another form of “.BTC” is now a Real Estate Company. They attract people to decorate the city, art, food, music, flowers, start Culture — now crypto currency is another kind of seasoning sauce. “A smart city is people yearning place,” Mel Mar told me earlier in his office, the office of the two great works of art. For decades, Mermal is good for people to provide what they want, now he is betting that people want bitcoin.

This is wrong? Some people hold the idealism into crypto currency field, some people are seeking to become rich, some people try to deceive others. He seems to belong to this category: a bitcoin is regarded as a kind of cultural taste and praise combination aesthete.

Before I left, I realized that my Elipay wallet still have some residual bitcoin. What should I do with it? I happen to need a haircut, I remember one of the friendly encryption currency bitcoin City barber shop. Perfect. I swing in this place, to throw off my mobile phone, I am ready to accept the lack of legal tender payment hair in the future. I will let the barber in a Nakamoto proud manner.

“Do you have an appointment?” The barber asked me.

I did not. I looked around the empty barber shop. Unused chairs, no customers, the barber of idle.

“There is no way to let me now a haircut?”

“I’m afraid not.”


“We only accept the appointment”

This is a reminder that the blockchain work even in the best case, cannot solve all our problems.

Jeff Wilser is The Book of Joe:The life “, Wit and (Sometimes Accidental) Wisdom of Joe Biden”, the author of a book. Readers can follow him on twitter.

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