Bitcoin meets Brandenburg Gate

Bitcoin meets Brandenburg Gate

On October 24th, our team hit the streets of Berlin to raise awareness about the ambiguity surrounding cryptocurrency regulation in Germany and to debunk the common crypto-myths.

In case you missed us, here’s our recap of the day.

Why were we there?

Last week the court of chambers, the highest court in Berlin, exonerated a defendant who was previously accused of bitcoin trading in 2013 at the age of 16. In its ruling, the court stated that Germany’s supervisors wrongfully consider bitcoin a financial instrument.

The status quo holds that individuals cannot meet to trade bitcoin amongst themselves, but rather bitcoin trading can only occur with a licensed exchange acting as an intermediary. Additionally, the installation of Bitcoin ATMs is classified as illegal.

bitwala employee holding a bitcoin sign

For large portions of the public, how Bitcoin works and why it exists is still unclear. So, we wanted to educate the community about cryptocurrencies, and in particular Bitcoin.

The landmark legal moment presented an important opportunity to share our knowledge with the community at wide and to make the public aware of the growing trends of cryptocurrency adoption in mainstream finance and beyond.

What did we do?

We set up in front of the Brandenburg Gate and spoke to approximately 100 people about crypto regulation in Germany and clarified misconceptions about Bitcoin. To contribute to our message, we took along an “out of order” Bitcoin ATM machine and explained how it could be used, were the laws on par with those in other European countries where Bitcoin ATMs are in operation.

people queueing for the bitcoin ATM

It’s the 10th anniversary of the Bitcoin Whitepaper this upcoming Wednesday (October 31st). We were happy to educate people about Bitcoin and explain its most common uses. As a way to empower people to adopt the cryptocurrency and experience it first hand, we sent them their first Bitcoin transaction for free.

Some spotlight

There was a marked interest in our action from media outlets and local crypto organisations such as Cryptotax and Paranoid Internet. Moreover, Bitwala’s Chief Financial Officer, Christoph Iwaniez conducted an interview with BTC-Echo, a German speaking crypto news outlet. You can catch the whole interview in German here.

bitwala CFO christoph iwaniez interviewed

Future outlook

We were met with positive responses and received valuable input from the public about how they would like to integrate crypto into their finances. We want to see better crypto regulation that will foster a more friendly environment for both individuals and companies to flourish within the space.

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