This is an opinion piece by Heidi Porter, an entrepreneur with 35 years in tech, Ben, a Gen Z Bitcoin evangelist, and Xa Ya Za Za, a business owner, artist, and node whisperer.
Have you heard the exciting news? There is a new bitcoin beach in the world! It’s also the northernmost beach enclave of all Bitcoin Beaches, located on 130 acres of private property in central Michigan.
Bitcoin Beach North at Lake Satoshi is located at latitude 42.9272437. Bitcoin Beach North and Lake Satoshi are both discoverable on Google Maps.
This Bitcoin beach will freeze even in winter and turn into an ice fishing hotspot!
The first annual Bitcoin Beach BBQ was held on Saturday, August 20, 2022. Somewhere between 70 and 85 Bitcoiners and pre-moneyers came from all over Michigan’s hand (mitt) to camp, hang out, eat out, and talk and learn more about bitcoin.
It was more than fantastic to just hang out with sand and sun and hard seltzer – in real life – with Bitcoiners. The conversation flowed easily. No phones or texts, just lots of wide and varied Bitcoin topics and conversations.
Mike Smith has owned the property since 1992, originally purchased as a gravel pit to service his excavation business. Recently, the lake was renamed Lake Satoshi and Bitcoin Beach North in March 2021. At the barbecue, Smith gave a presentation on Bitcoin and handed out sats, shirts and gifts to pre-moneyers who had come to the event to learn more about bitcoin.
Yet another Bitcoiner “Ben” worked his Bitcoiner butt to make the inaugural BBQ at the Bitcoin Beach North event welcoming and informative for all. He’s been a Bitcoiner since high school, so he started making money when he was 17. Ben now helps Bitcoin 101 with marketing and education.
The third member of the Bitcoin 101 trio is PF. Smith and PF worked together throughout the 90s and came together again through Bitcoin. PF is responsible for maintaining the Bitcoin 101 website, as well as the Michigan Plebeian Mesh Network. More on this in a future article.
An illustrative sign post shows the mileage to important Bitcoin sites and businesses. Lots of time was spent around the totem sign, discussing the different pointers and meanings, and who else should (or shouldn’t) be added. There was also a pointer that wasn’t obvious to most people at first, which is a fun quiz to see if you can guess it correctly. We all spent time thinking about it and talking about it, and eventually a few of us got it. You will have to visit it, to give your opinion!
As fabulous as the event is, it’s just a small part of what’s happening around the Bitcoin Beach North and Bitcoin community and education in and around Michigan.
Mike Smith runs Bitcoin 101, a Bitcoin education and services office that resides in a historic bank building in Ovid, Michigan – about 6 miles from Bitcoin Beach North at Lake Satoshi.
Smith defined his intention to house the Bitcoin Services office in an old bank building. However, to his surprise, the first bank he considered buying would not sell to him because he was promoting Bitcoin!
Like many roadblocks in life, Smith says the setback was ultimately a blessing in that they found a much better building, just 5 minutes from Bitcoin Beach North. By a stroke of luck, Smith walked past the bank one day and spotted a for sale sign in the window. This time he was more discreet about the intention to make it a Bitcoin education center, and it worked!
The current building is a historical treasure and lesson in fiduciary banking history, with bank deposit slips from the 1800s and a mechanical safe made in Hamilton, Ohio. Today, the safe is secured with a hybrid of digital and mechanical locks.
Smith and his Bitcoin team put together historical displays of past and future money. They also run various bitcoin miners who heat up the office in the very cold Michigan winters.
Since Bitcoin 101 and Bitcoin Beach North are not far from the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Smith hopes to sit down with local lawmakers, business owners, and residents at their upcoming monthly meetups. The first Mid-Michigan meeting will take place on Wednesday, October 19. Check the Bitcoin101.io site for more details.
Several other bitcoin meetups are currently taking place across the state of Michigan in the Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Benton Harbor areas (home of Whirlpool, the device maker, not the CoinJoin implementation).
If you’re already in Michigan, check out Bitcoin 101 and Bitcoin Beach North – summer or winter!
Michigan Bitcoiners, Out in Force for Bitcoin’s Censorship-Resistant Hard Money.
This is a guest post by Heidi Porter. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.