Back in 2017 a few NH liberty activists, including Free Keene bloggers Derrick and Steven decided to create their own friendly competitor to the Porcupine Freedom Festival, initially called Somaliafest. The idea was that it would be a decentralized alternative to Porcfest, which is the yearly festival thrown at Rogers Campground by the Free State Project. A few dozen folks came out to attend it and it went by a few names at the time. People seemed to have a good time so they decided to do it again in 2018.
Forkfest Sponsors Porcfest!
The most important thing to know is that there’s no central committee deciding anything for the decentralized event. Just about the only thing generally agreed upon are the dates. Even the name has changed, depending on who you ask. In 2018, Free Keene blogger Darryl W Perry came up with the catchy name, “Forkfest”, which seems to have stuck with many participants. An unofficial Forkfest website was launched along with an unofficial Telegram chat room and unofficial Forkfest Forum. Liberty.menu has created an event to which one can RSVP. Last year there were even two competing event calendars made by attendees.
Darryl’s “Forkfest” name speaks to the idea that this event “forked” off from the Porcupine Freedom Festival. Some have noted that attending Forkfest felt to them like the first original Porcfests, which were much less centrally managed early on than they are today. Porcfest is still a great event, but its direction over the years has resulted in some wanting an alternative, and now they have it as Forkfest 2019 is coming up June 13th through 18th, at Rogers Campground. There are no ticket prices, as there is no organization behind the event. It’s just a bunch of liberty loving people coming to the same campground at the same time. Whatever happens, happens.
Some Forkfest attendees may just want to hang out and camp with other like-minded people while others may wish to create activities and events for their fellow attendees. Usually, they’ll announce their plans on the Telegram chat or Forkfest forum and already there’s going to be “Mancamp”, nightly dance parties thrown by Anypay, and looks like at least a couple of food vendors. Maybe there’s something you want to see happen? Make it happen!
Five-Hour Rave at Forkfest 2017
One excited past Forkfest attendee, Chris Waid of tech talk show Freedom Decrypted has stepped up to help promote Forkfest by purchasing a major sponsorship of Porcfest! Thanks to Waid’s efforts, Forkfest is now a Gold level sponsor of Porcfest! That means Porcfest’s VIP tent will be provided by Forkfest and Forkfest fliers will be in all Porcfest attendees’ bags, promoting Forkfest 2020. When asked about his reasons for sponsoring the event, Waid said, “As a programmer and CEO of a tech company that deals in free or open source software where forking is a common solution to problems of centralization it would have been difficult for me to pass on an opportunity to help sponsor events I love and particularly when one has been forked from the other.”
Porcfest is also promoting the sponsorship in advance of this year’s event, alerting Porcfest attendees that Forkfest 2019 is happening and is a great excuse to stay in New Hampshire even longer. Together, the events span 10 days and are both held at the same campground. Forkfest is this June 13th through 18th and Porcfest is the 18th through the 23rd.
Keene, New Hampshire has already established itself as a world leader in real-life businesses accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies at their cash register. Now local area cryptocurrency advocates have taken the next step and opened an educational center to help people learn about crypto – the Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire.
Chris Rietmann Gives “Bitcoin 101” Class at Bitcoin Embassy NH
The Bitcoin Embassy NH joins others around the globe, and is the second in the United States. The first Bitcoin Embassy in the US was Atlanta Bitcoin Embassy, which opened earlier this year.
With the goals of education, networking, and inspiration, head ambassador and instructor Chris Rietmann opened the doors to the Bitcoin Embassy NH in October and has already created a “Bitcoin 101” class that is free to take! Though, donations are certainly welcomed if you find the class valuable. Classes are also available for those looking to learn how to accept crypto at their businesses.
Already the Embassy has received coverage in the Keene Sentinel, NH Public Radio, and a front page feature in the Monadnock Shopper News.
The Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire is open six days a week, Tuesday through Sunday and is located inside Route 101 Local Goods at 661 Marlboro St. in Keene, NH.
Of course, the Bitcoin Embassy NH is just the latest development in the area. We already have an active Meetup group with meetings every six days and Telegram chat room, so please connect with either or both of those to join the cryptocurrency community in the Monadnock region.
Last year, the Monadnock Shopper News, a weekly paper delivered by mail to 40,000 households in Cheshire County, ran a front page story about Bitcoin’s growing popularity in the region at local businesses. This week, the Shopper News once again is featuring Bitcoin on the front page, announcing the major news that New Hampshire now has its own Bitcoin Embassy!
Front Page Article About Bitcoin Embassy NH
If you live in Cheshire County, NH you probably already have a print copy at your house, but you can also download the PDF of the front page, above-the-fold feature story here.
Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire, which recently launched inside Route 101 Local Goods at 661 Marlboro Street in Keene, is not the first Bitcoin Embassy in the United States, but it is the second one! The first was opened earlier this year in Atlanta. There are others in various parts of the world but Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire is the only one in the Northeast part of North America.
The Bitcoin Embassy will be a place for learning, with “Bitcoin 101” classes already available, teaching the basics of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Classes are pay-what-you-can-afford, which means if you can’t afford to pay, you can still attend for free. Drop in to take a tour at 661 Marlboro St in Keene and sign up for a class, or visit online at BitNH.me.
Aria DiMezzo files for Cheshire County Sheriff as a Libertarian
In what appears to be a historic first, the Libertarian Party of Western NH has nominated Aria DiMezzo as their candidate for Cheshire County Sheriff. DiMezzo says that her research shows that she may be the first-ever transgender candidate for Sheriff in United States history.
She’s a principled Libertarian who hosts a weekday afternoon talk show on LRN.FM named “The Call to Freedom“. She’s on the show daily from 4-7pm including the 5pm “Crypto Hour” which features her expertise on the subject of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. (You can watch it via the LRN.FM Twitch channel or listen at LRN.FM.)
The last-minute filing was thanks to the Libertarian Party of NH re-attaining major party ballot access on the level of the republicans and democrats for the first time in over two decades. That means that the party executive committee has the ability to appoint a slate of candidates to fill any races for which no one had yet filed or won enough write-in votes in the primary election. Parties have one week from the primary date to file such a slate.
It’s an interesting approach and throws a surprise libertarian challenger into a long-stale county sheriff’s race that has been a re-match for several terms between incumbent democrat Eli Rivera and longtime republican challenger Earl Nelson.
Aria DiMezzo, LPNH Chairman Chip Spangler, and Robert Call outside the NH Secretary of State’s Office
DiMezzo claims she’s going to be doing real campaigning and has already launched her campaign website which includes her opinions on ending the entire war on drugs. She admits to being a former opiate addict which means she’s got an insight into the world of drug addiction and the insane War on Drugs not shared by her republican and democrat competitiors. As she points out in her essay,
“Each addict has their own unique reason that they turned to drugs as an escape, and the only way to help any of them, if they decide they want help, will be individually and personally. There is no easy, convenient, one-size-fits-all answer. The folly of simplistic solutions like “Arrest them!” is that it allows us to feel like we are doing something about the problem, but we aren’t–at least, not anything beyond exacerbating it.”
DiMezzo, on her campaign site, also calls for the immediate release of peaceful, “victimless criminals”. She tells me she’s more than happy to do media interviews and appear at any local events to which she is invited. It’s refreshing to finally have a principled freedom-advocating candidate for which to vote in the upcoming Sheriff election this November 6th.
Robert Call and Aria DiMezzo standing outside the state house in Concord.
In addition to the surprise appointment of their first-ever candidate for Sheriff in Cheshire County, Keene’s Ward Four (Cheshire District Seven) has also received a libertarian challenger to democrat newbie Sparky Von Plinsky in the form of former Keene mayoral candidate Robert Call. Call is a free sofware advocate and programmer who lives in Keene. Curiously, his democrat challenger Von Plinsky is a former NSA agent. It should be an interesting race!
That gives the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire more candidates on the general election ballot in Keene than the Republican party who could only scrounge up one candidate for just the Ward 5 election. In order to help keep major party ballot access status, the libertarian candidate for Governor, Jilletta Jarvis must receive at least 4% of the vote. If you’re tired of government ruling your life and always growing more expensive and more demanding, you finally have a choice. You can vote for the multiple libertarian candidates that will be on your ballot in the general election on November 6th. Remember, if you’ve never voted before, New Hampshire allows same-day voter registration. Here’s a City of Keene webpage with information about where you should go to vote.
Stay tuned here to Free Keene for interesting libertarian campaign news.
There has been a lot of controversy recently over social media websites like Twitter swinging their ban hammer on personalities with opinions they don’t like. As a libertarian, I believe in property rights and so Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and the like should certainly be free to ban people for whatever reason they want. I also believe in the free market’s potential reactions to bad decisions by business owners, which include boycott and competition.
Liberdon is the Libertarian/Voluntarist Server running Mastodon
Thankfully, the competition has arrived! Mastodon is a decentralized social media replacement for Twitter and it does an excellent job. I recently joined the “Liberdon” server intended for libertarians and voluntarists. Not only is Mastodon decentralized, in that anyone who wants to can run a server, but it’s also “federated”. Federated means your server can be connected to all the other Mastodon servers, that is so long as the other servers want to be connected to you. Each server sets its own rules for which other servers they’ll federate with. So if the NAZIs or Communists start a server, no one has to link up to them – the market decides instead of a centralized corporation like Twitter. However, even if no other servers federate with, say Chris Cantwell‘s server (I don’t think he has one – just as an example), he can still run his server and hate-filled bigots and racists can join it and talk to each other. Of course, each server can be controlled and its policy set by its administrator, so intra-server censorship is still possible (most servers prohibit spam, for instance), but given you are free to start your own server and set your own policy, you can’t be censored if you start your own platform.
I do not know who is running it, but a Mastodon server called Liberdon recently popped up, so I decided to join it. I also deactivated my facebook account this week after basically quitting using it in January. Here’s my personal account on Liberdon, should you wish to follow my posts. Plus, I created an account for Free Keene, one for Free Talk Live, and one for LRN.FM – the Liberty Radio Network.
If you are a liberty-minded person, protect yourself from censorship and join Liberdon and the “fediverse” today! If If you aren’t liberty-minded, but want to get a Mastodon account, you can start by picking a server and signing up wherever you feel most welcome. Visit Mastodon.social for their offical site.
A year ago, Bitcoin (BTC) was in pretty bad shape with its fees climbing to ridiculous levels due to some arbitrary network limitations. This caused a lot of problems in the marketplace with people not wanting to use their BTC to make purchases at local businesses around the Keene area who were accepting the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency.
Printed Cryptotips – Great Outreach Tool!
Thankfully, Portsmouth-based Anypay came along to save the day at retail with the launch of their Point-of-Sale crypto merchant payment processing system that added DASH as an alternative to BTC. With the ability to choose what to accept at their POS for the first time ever, local merchants eagerly jumped onboard with Anypay and got set up to accept DASH in addition to BTC. As a result, customers were able to avoid the BTC fees by paying with the sane, fast, affordable DASH.
However, only retail’s problems were fixed by Anypay. Cryptocurrency activists in the area were still hurting because the BTC fees had killed one of the most effective forms of direct outreach – printable Bitcoin tips! We had for many months been giving away printed Bitcoin (BTC) tips to local restaurant servers and others with whom we wanted to gift BTC. These tips were made possible by an innovative site called BCTip.org. Sadly, the insanely high Bitcoin fees at the time made using BCTip impossible to justify in late 2017. Since BCTip had at one time been an advertiser with Free Talk Live, my radio show, I reached out to the operator and asked if he were considering adding any other cryptos to the site and he said he was not but pointed out the site was open source.
So, I teamed up with Michael Hampton of Ringing Liberty and he actually programmed a whole new site from scratch to do the same thing that BCTip did for Bitcoin (BTC), except do it for the alternative cryptocurrencies like DASH and Bitcoin Cash. We launched quietly with a public beta early this year with DASH as the only initial crypto available to print as tips. This month, I’m happy to announce we’ve now added Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to the site and it’s now the default option when creating new tips.
Creating six $10 Cryptotips with Bitcoin Cash.
These printed, business card-sized tips are super-easy to use. Just visit Cryptotip.org and create a batch of tips in the US Dollar value of your choice (or international currencies including GBP, EUR, RUB, JPY). Choose which crypto you want to use to fund the tips, DASH or Bitcoin Cash, put in your refund address and print up the tips. Cut them out and then put your tips in your wallet so you can easily give them out wherever you go.
When your recipient visits the URL on their tip, they’ll be given a brief introduction to cryptocurrency and instructed on installing a wallet so they can redeem their tip into their crypto wallet. If they never redeem it, YOU GET YOUR CRYPTO BACK! When you create the tips, you choose the expiration time. THe default is one month. Once the tips expire, you get any unclaimed tips back in your wallet. Cryptotip is a killer app for crypto and a low-risk way to spread cryptocurrency to new people.
They make great stocking stuffers or other gifts as well. Maybe you can think of new, fun ways to give away your Cryptotips!
Don’t forget, a Cryptotip should only be given as a bonus on top of an already good cash tip. You want the server to take you seriously and look at the Cryptotip so be sure to be a good representative of crypto and leave your Cryptotip in addition to your cash. Visit Cryptotip.org to create and print as many tips as you’d like!