In April, organizers of the Tokyo Bitcoin Cash Meetup group gathered for a lunch meeting at a casual Italian restaurant, O’KOK in the city’s trendy Daikanyama district. The Tokyo Bitcoin Cash Meetup started in December 2017, and it was one of the first BCH meetups to form in the world.
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According to the list of venues that currently accept Bitcoin Cash (managed by founding member of both the BCH and BTC meetups Ken Shishido, and two others) there are currently 19 venues around Tokyo that accept Bitcoin Cash payments — 16 of which are restaurants and bars.
Local Bitcoin Cash enthusiasts such as Shishido, Jake Smith and others have been busy approaching venue owners in person around Tokyo, persuading and instructing them on how to start accepting BCH at their venues. Shishido said that since there is no official payment processor for merchants yet, it is not easy to convince a vast number of venues to accept Bitcoin Cash payments, as the only option they have is to use a personal wallet to accept payments — for now.
O’KOK (pronounced “Oh-koku”) is located just outside Daikanyama station in central Tokyo. If you follow the sign downstairs, you will see an open terrace, accented by a bright color of red on the chairs and the terrace roof, overlooking the railroad. The staff greeted with a smile.
The organizers each ordered lunch, which was ¥1,000 JPY ($9.50 USD) each, plus some beers for ¥500 a glass. They said they are happy to support venues that accept Bitcoin Cash wherever they can.
The organizers had a chat with staff about the possibility of holding the next meetup at the restaurant. After the lunch, one of the organizers paid the staff ¥5,000 ($47) worth of Bitcoin Cash using a tablet, and the rest paid from personal wallets on their smartphones. The whole payment process seemed smooth and quick.
The Tokyo Bitcoin Cash Meetup organizers are covering different areas of the huge metropolis, constantly searching for new venues to accept Bitcoin Cash and also to host the actual meetups.
Their goal is to hold a BCH meetup at least once a month at a venue where they have never held a meetup before, in order to spread the usage of Bitcoin Cash throughout Tokyo, and to support those venues by bringing them extra business through holding meetups where attendees purchase food and drinks with Bitcoin Cash or Japanese yen.
This forces the organizers to be constantly looking for more venues for the future meetups — a grassroots effort that isn’t always fun or easy, but which the group feels is necessary until awareness is more widespread and adoption is easier.
How do enthusiasts spread the word about Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and other cryptocurrencies in your region? Tell us about it in the comments.
Images via Akane Yokoo