Project:Bitcoin/Bitcoin Weekend 2011

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This is the canonical page for the Bitcoin Weekend at the London Hackspace on 24/25 September 2011. We will keep updating it as our plans change.

There's an official #bitcoinweekend channel on Freenode.

Watch the talks LIVE on Ustream

Register here: Registration is required to ensure we have enough space for everyone. We're already fully booked, but there's a waiting list and we'll make an attempt to invalidate unused tickets before the event.


A weekend of talks, discussions and workshops for Bitcoin contributors, domain experts from a wide range of fields, enthusiasts, and everyone curious about Bitcoin. This is a great chance for everyone to meet new people and learn new things.

We will discuss the code, the infrastructure, the community, the legal and political implications; we will look into the mechanisms of currency systems, security concerns of running Bitcoin infrastructure, and run workshops that show you how to participate.

As the Bitcoin community grew it has become harder to separate hype from fact, charlatans from helpful guides. We will attempt to bring clarity, and to critique the Bitcoin system and community with a sober attitude. Though it's also worth pointing out that any social experiment worth having requires a fair amount of anarchy, playfulness, and suspension of disbelief...

We're quite excited about this event; there have been very few Bitcoin contributor meetings so far, even outside the UK. We'll try to record the talks and will make the videos public.

The event will happen over a weekend:

  • Saturday, 24 Sept 2011 from 14:00-18:00 we will have talks and discussions.
  • Sunday, 25 Sept 2011 from 14:00-18:00 we will have workshops.

Register here:

Thanks to the London Hackspace the event itself is free to attend, however you need to register so we know how many people to expect. Make sure to register early; we will make an attempt at managing a waiting list should that become necessary. Attendance will be in the low dozens rather than hundreds, but (as you may know) the London Hackspace draws a passionate crowd of specialists and hackers of all kinds of interesting backgrounds.

About Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer digital currency created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. Peer-to-peer means that no central authority issues new money or manages transactions—these tasks are carried out collectively by the network. It is also the name of the open source software designed in order to use this currency. The software is a community-driven open source project, released under the MIT license.

Learn more about it here:

About the London Hackspace

The London Hackspace is a non-profit hackerspace in North-East London. It was founded in January 2009 and grew incredibly quickly; we now have more than 300 paying members and supporters, even more people visiting casually, a highly active IRC channel and mailing list, a decent amount of manufacturing kit (3D printers, laser cutter, lathes, milling machine etc), and host frequent workshops and talks that are open to the public.



Unfortunately the production company who had offered to film the event pro bono had important last-minute client work come up and needed to cancel hours before the event. (That was the third person we had talked to who then couldn't come.) As a result we had to improvise, all you can find here is ghetto-style DIY video, many apologies for the quality...




(This is a draft and will change a lot.)


  • Bitcoin cake
  • Bitcoin live song performance
  • Documentary showing
  • Domain experts from a broad range of fields: IT infrastructure, open source software, law, economics, ...
  • Talks, discussions, workshops

Day 0

Talks and discussions, Saturday 24 Sept 2011, 14:00-18:00.

  • 14:00 Keynote by Amir Taaki (10 mins)
  • 14:15 Bitcoin song (10 mins)
  • 14:20 "How bitcoin works" video by John Baker (10 mins)
  • 14:35 Information bazaar by Jamileh Taaki (10 mins)
  • 14:50 The Social Impact of Privacy for Life: Bitcoin and the Dual-Use Dilemma by Dr. Catherine Flick (10 mins)
  • 15:05 Break (15 mins)
  • 15:20 Technical talk by Amir Taaki (15 mins)
  • 15:40 Mining talk by Vladimir Marchenko (15 mins)
    • Getting started with bitcoin mining
    • Common mining rig designs
    • Common software
    • Using bitcoin mining pools (do's and dont's)
    • Bitcoin mining axioms.
  • 16:00 Geek discussion (30 mins)
  • 16:30 Break (15 mins)
  • 16:45 Legal talk by Jason Chia (15 mins)
  • 17:05 Economics talk by Gary Mulder (15 mins)
    • What is money?
    • Bitcoin inflation vs. government fiat inflation.
    • Investing in bitcoins.
    • Future of bitcoins.
  • 17:25 Economics open discussion (30 mins)
    • John Barrdear
    • Andrew Sissons
    • Tom Lorber
  • 18:00 Roundtable with speakers and audience (30 mins)
  • 18:10 End (5 mins)

Day 1

Workshops, Sunday 25 Sept 2011, 14:00-18:00.

  • 14:00 Security talk by Vladimir Marchenko (30 mins)
    • Security is not a state, it is a process.
    • How to do quick and simple risk assessment
    • How to safeguard your bitcoin wallet
    • How to safely operate bitcoin mining machines.
  • 14:30 Practical bitcoin workshop by Zarren Spry (1 hour)
  • 15:30 Break (30 mins)
  • 16:00 Developer workshop - use bitcoin on a simple PHP website by Amir Taaki (2 hours)


In alphabetical order.

Andrew XXX

TODO: get bio signed off.

Amir Taaki

Amir ("genjix") is an open source software developer, co-founder of the Bitcoin Consultancy, the author of libbitcoin, has helped build a few Bitcoin exchanges and is running one himself (Britcoin, the UK's largest exchange which will soon be replaced by Intersango.)

Other projects:

  • Freecoin bitcoin fork.
  • Many other projects like vibanko wallet service, bitcoin poker client, Spesmilo thin-GUI, pastecoin and others...
  • Has been around free software fulltime for 10 years. Was into 3D before starting his work on Bitcoin.


Catherine Flick

Catherine is a researcher in technology ethics at Middlesex University. She started investigating the potential social and ethical impact of Bitcoin, and is currently evaluating a first survey.

As Catherine is away over the weekend at a meeting, she will be joining us over video link for her talk.

Gary Mulder

Gary first encountered the Internet in 1992 and has bounced around the world and the IT industry for nearly 20 years. Realising that there was more money to be made in investing than being a wage slave, he decided to learn as much as he could about economics. In Gary's opinion, Bitcoins are both a pure artifact of the Internet and a very interesting financial experiment with many potential novel applications.

Jamileh Taaki

My project is to make all software free. I study astrophysics. - the bitcoin artist

Jason Chia

Jason Chia is a member of the Bitcoin Consultancy and a barrister in the UK specialising in corporate law.

John Baker

TODO: get bio

John Barrdear

John Barrdear is an economics PhD student at the London School of Economics. His first degree was in Computer Systems Engineering and he has a keen interest in politics.

Seth Otterstad

High stakes poker player.

Vladimir Marchenko

Vladimir is running one of the largest private Bitcoin mining operations in the UK and probably the world, is the founder of, and a distributor and service provider for Bitcoin mining rigs.

Other facts:

  • Runs a Bitcoin Mining Operations Management Service under Marchenko Ltd.
  • He is known as an author of the p2p websites filedonkey and (a p2p search engine.)
  • Has run a FIDO node in Russia in early 90's.
  • Worked for Russian Ministry of Defence, and for companies such as Coca-Cola, Pipex, Ebuyer. He founded and has run a number of private companies in the UK.

Zarren Spry

Zarren is currently studying computer science at the open university and has been contributing to open source projects for several years. He considers himself a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none. He is also the founder, developer of Linux Coin, a 64bit Debian based live OS with bitcoin in mind.

Contact Us

This event is only possible thanks to many helpful collaborators, try to reach them directly if you have questions relating to their contributions. If you have particular questions about the event itself you can reach the org team in the #bitcoinweekend channel on Freenode.

  • Martin Dittus (martind) of the London Hackspace is coordinating the event
  • Amir Taaki (genjix) of the Bitcoin Consultancy is coordinating the programme