NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — As more venture capitalists enter the space and try to bring Bitcoin to the mainstream, there is still a large chunk of the cryptocurrency community that wants to preserve the digital currency’s anarchistic implications. The Institute of Cryptoanarchy recently held their first annual congress in Prague, and the event marked the launch of new discussions around the implications of Bitcoin on society as a whole.
Some people view Bitcoin as a payments innovation that could help lower fees or bring banking to the third world, but the reality is Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention could have a huge impact on amount of power currently held in various centralized institutions.
What are the goals of the Institute of Cryptoanarchy?
I was able to ask Petr Žílka of Paralelni polis and the Cryptoanarchy Institute a few questions about the organization and what they hope to accomplish in the coming years. Žílka described the institute as a hackerspace first and foremost. When it comes to the kinds of activities that will take place at the institute’s headquarters, he explained, “The main goal is to run [a] functioning hackerspace with active members [working on] progressive projects; organizing lectures, congresses, and other educational events; and [cultivate] discussion about new technologies and their impact [on] contemporary society and politics.”
In other words, the Institute of Cryptoanarchy should be a one-stop shop for anyone interested in the implications of various encryption-based technologies, such as Bitcoin and Tor, on society. Whether you’re a seasoned Bitcoin hacker or someone who is learning about cryptocurrency for the first time, the Cryptoanarchy Institute will allow you to learn and socialize with plenty of like-minded individuals.
One of the most interesting programs run by the Institute of Cryptoanarchy in Prague involves handing out paper wallets to people who are new to Bitcoin. Žílka referred to the individuals handing out the paper wallets as “cryptopostles,” and he specifically described them as “a member who volunteers during opening hours and gives [Bitcoin newcomers] all [the] information they need to trust and use Bitcoin.” Not only can anyone walk into the institute to get some free bitcoins on a paper wallet, but they’ll also be provided with some reading materials on why they should be excited about the invention of Bitcoin in the first place.
Is cryptoanarchy upon us
Now that Bitcoin has been invented and seems to work well enough, it’s possible that the cypherpunk vision of cryptoanarchy could be right around the corner. Having said that, Žílka noted that a basic connection to the Internet could still turn into a centralized point of failure. He stated, “The main precondition [for cryptoanarchy] is the Internet connection. If the local government tends to limit, censor, or disconnect connection, then [that could still be a] problem to be solved.”
What’s next for the Institute of Cryptoanarchy?
For now, the institute is still in the early stages of development. When asked about their current projects, Žílka explained, “We have already organized the first congress, which will be annual. We already have regular Thursday meetups, and starting next week, there will be programs focused [on] different [topics] every working day. Our basic project is to run the hackerspace and provide [an] opportunity for other projects to happen.”
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