#CALLEBITCOIN is a volunteer driven initiative by the Spanish Bitcoin community to create Bitcoin Streets in several cities in Spain.
The project started just over a month ago in Madrid’s Serrano Street and we are already close to our target of 20 Bitcoin accepting businesses concentrated in a small area. We are already seeing interest from bitcoiners throughout Spain to replicate this initiative in Bilbao, Seville and other Spanish cities.
The objective is simple: to prove to merchants that accepting Bitcoin at a physical location is fast, easy and profitable. Once we have our Bitcoin Street as a showcase and testing ground, it will be easy to lead by example and for Bitcoin acceptance to gradually spread throughout Spain.
Having several Bitcoin accepting merchants close to each other also helps reinforce the Bitcoin community as they can help each other and attract people willing to spend their bitcoins. In September we expect to do a big launch to attract as many Bitcoin shoppers and as much media attention as possible.
The experience has been amazing so far, with contagious enthusiasm from volunteers, sponsors and merchants. Above all we want to make this fun for those taking part. It has also been a great way to experiment with different ways of accepting Bitcoin… from simple paper wallets to different payment processors; we have tried almost everything showing that in a Bitcoin world there are no one-size-fits-all solutions.
It is also great to see “Bitcoin accepted here” stickers spreading throughout Serrano Street. The more merchants see them in the shop next door, the more curious and less fearful they are about trying it out. Scepticism melts away in the face of real, visible examples of Bitcoin-accepting businesses.
At the heart of the initiative are our volunteers, who have selflessly spent the time to contact merchants one by one and walk the streets giving out information on Bitcoin and how to accept it.
We would also like to thank our sponsors who are making it very easy for participating merchants to accept Bitcoin for and will help us make a big splash on the official launch: BitPay, Coinbase, Blockchain.info, Pagobit, AvatarBTC, BitKassa, Coinffeine and the Bitcoin Foundation! * *
…and of course we would like to mention our participating merchants, who we hope will now become an integral part of the Spanish Bitcoin community. You can check out most Bitcoin accepting businesses in Madrid in this map (http://coinmap.org/). If you are visiting Madrid, please visit them! A full list of participating merchants is available on our website and in the forums.