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September 2017
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Bitcoins in Rotterdam


Bitcoin is the world’s most popular virtual currency. Orchestrated by an unknown creator, this technology promises to change the way we exchange goods forever. However, recent events have shifted the growth away from the most important cities. What is the role of the city of Rotterdam in this currency evolution?

A History of Bits and Coins

Civilizations have used representative objects as a tradable commodity since the beginning of recorded history. Less than 2000 years ago the Aztecs were still using cacao beans as currency. It was only in the 13th century that Marco Polo among others taught the Europeans how to use monetary notes (bills) as a means of exchange. This revolutionary “upgrade” taught us to accept paper’s representation of real physical values as an exchange mechanism, and no one expected it to be this efficient. It was so successful that Europe, and then the Western World adopted the idea in just a few years, making it one of modern time’s greatest success stories. In 1934 however, this paradigm shifted for the first time as the US American Dollar lost real one-to-one value from physical gold. This required the masses to trust the value of bills despite its recent depreciation. But even then, the American Dollar unified the mutual trust between the nation and its government, a global trust that was collectively accepted, and represented a well-functioning society.

The paradigm between a real valuable object and paper shifted once again in the 21st century, when a currency was born despite a complete lack of physical representation. The ancient art of commodity exchange first introduced by the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century was shocked when, on an unknown day in 2009, it became the elder brother of the Bitcoin.

Satoshi Nakamoto was attributed the Bitcoin patent, but many believe that there was an unknown genius behind the incredibly complex mathematical formula shown by him. The world gave birth to a strong algorithm that could be used in trade and not replicated. In the end, the Bitcoin is nothing more than an agreed concept, born as a currency with no real physical value.

What is a Bitcoin?

The fact that digital values can be “copy-pasted” significantly flaws any supposedly reliable digital currency system. This makes the prevention of forgery an essential aspect for the security of its users’ assets. Prior to 2009, most virtual exchange systems required a Central Trusted Authority (i.e. MasterCard or PayPal), which verified all transactions. Bitcoins’ uniqueness is its use of a massive peer-to-peer network to guarantee correct monetary exchanges. This splendid network results in a web of transactions in which payments are non-reversible, accounts can be frozen and fees become ridiculously low. Bitcoins operate much in the same way as BitTorrent technology, in which many parties contribute to assemble one large package for a single recipient.

Who controls Bitcoin?

There is no central person or central authority that regulates Bitcoins.

Where do Bitcoins come from?

Bitcoins come from “Bitcoin Mining”; a process where members of the community continuously “mine” with sophisticated equipment to verify transactions in the peer-to-peer network mentioned above. In return, the miners are rewarded with fractions of new emerging Bitcoins proportional to their invested computing power work.

Rotterdam’s Role

Bitcoin’s emergence gave rise to hope for a new integrated solution of cheap and private commodity exchange. Presently, many regions around the globe have completely stopped using the virtual currency, due to the Chinese regulation crash in 2013 and its anonymity, hence its popularity among criminals. One city, on the other hand has flourished in the Bitcoin “bear” market, due to the following;


  • Rotterdam’s International Presence

 As quoted by David Franzén in the Startus Magazine; “After being heavily bombed in the second World War, Rotterdam vowed to rebuild”, Rotterdam locals are known to be innovative.

Since the introduction of the coin, the Rotterdam media has done a terrific job in explaining the new currency. Local companies are even trading Bitcoins in real time in exchange for Euros via web and mobile applications. The Rotterdam based website currently has more than 700 coins for sale.

  • Support of local stores and business

 The most popular online food ordering system in the Netherlands “,” has now started to accept Bitcoins, and not alone in doing so. Dutch energy supplier BAS Nederland allows costumers to pay with the virtual currency making news even in the CNN headline.

BAS founder Arash Azami says Bitcoin aligns perfectly with his company's philosophy.

BAS founder Arash Azami says Bitcoin aligns perfectly with his company’s philosophy.

  • Incentive of Virtual Coin Supporters.

Many local entrepreneurs enjoy the ease and flexibility of the coin, therefore allowing the currency to become more popular in the growing business transactions. Local entrepreneur and Chief Operating Officer of the clubbing platform CHECK, David Franzén told the magazine the following:
“Virtual Currencies is where innovative cities like Rotterdam are heading, our platform (CHECK) will introduce Checkpoints that users accumulate simply by using the app. These users then exchange these for coupons of drinks, entrance fees or queue skips. The second step, will be to easily link the Checkpoints to Bitcoins to create an open exchange environment for newcomers in our platform, specially with those already using the coin.” 

Check co-founder David Franzén says Bitcoin is the second step for his company.

Check co-founder David Franzén says Bitcoin is the second step for his company.

How do I create a wallet and spend coins?

The magazine recommends virtual wallets that are not locally stored such as One the website is accessed, account creation is possible. As for the spending of coins, simply scan the Bitcoin QR code with your camera to confirm the transfer. For more information, the following website is recommended:




 Luciano Lacayo

IBCoM Student & Entrepenur  



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