Rich Paul’s Triumphant Return to the 420 Rally He Created

In 2010, Rich Paul founded the yearly mass civil disobedience event on April 20th in front of the state house steps in Concord where cannabis users come to toke up in full public view. After taking a year off from activism in New Hampshire, he has returned to retake his role as the emcee of the well-attended rally where thus far, no one has ever been arrested. Here are some highlights from his speeches at last week’s 420 celebration:

Smoke ’em if you got ’em!

More 420 videos to come. Please subscribe to the Free Keene YouTube channel for the latest.

Keene Gets Third Cryptocurrency Vending Machine!

Thirsty Owl is the home for Keene's 3rd CVM.

Thirsty Owl is the home for Keene’s 3rd CVM.

Now that Keene’s original Bitcoin and DASH vending machine has been majorly upgraded to the top-of-the-line General Bytes brand, the Shire Free Church was able to move the popular and rock-solid Lamassu brand Cryptocurrency Vending Machine to a new location in Keene!

I’m excited to announce that Thirsty Owl, directly across Winchester St from Keene State College, immediately stepped up to take the Lamassu. Thirsty Owl, (formerly known as D’s Cafe) offers beer, wine, and liquor along with excellent and affordable food like sandwiches, tacos, burgers, and even breakfast all day. Owner Darren Humphrey began accepting cryptocurrency at the register in 2017, including Bitcoin Core (BTC) and DASH and was excited to host the area’s third public CVM.

Now, two of the area’s three CVM’s are open seven days a week in downtown Keene, with Thirsty Owl extending cryptocurrency availability into the late night in Keene, as it closes at 2am Thursday through Saturday and 11pm Sunday through Wednesday. You can see full location detail, machine info, and hours on the Thirsty Owl’s new Coin Radar entry here.

The cryptocurrency-accepting bar in Keene, Thirsty Owl, now features a CVM!

The cryptocurrency-accepting bar in Keene, Thirsty Owl, now features a CVM!

Thirsty Owl is also the destination for this week’s Keene Crypto Network Meetup group. We’ll be there at 2pm today (Sunday) so if you have questions about cryptocurrency, there’s no better place to go than our meetup. If you can’t make it, we have meetups every eight days.

This also means Keene continues to be the dominant cryptocurrency hotspot in the Northeast United States and one of the top on the planet. Not only do we have a high amount of cryptocurrency-accepting businesses per-capita (more than major cities worldwide), Keene also trounces bigger cities like New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Manchester on CVMs per-capita!

If you’re into cryptocurrency and you aren’t living in New Hampshire, especially the hotspots of Portsmouth and Keene, you’re missing out.

Keene’s Original Cryptocurrency Vending Machine Gets Major Upgrade

Keene's Original Cryptocurrency Vending Machine Gets Major Upgrade

Keene’s Original Cryptocurrency Vending Machine Gets Major Upgrade

In 2014, Keene’s first Bitcoin Vending Machine launched at what was then a thrift store at 661 Marlboro Rd (Rt. 101 across from Cheshire Oil). The machine is part of the Shire Free Church’s project to spread cryptocurrency in the region. In 2015, the machine was upgraded to the Lamassu brand – an excellent quality unit and a major improvement over the original Skyhook brand – which is long since out-of-business. (Lamassu was originally developed in New Hampshire!)

Now we’re proud to announce another major upgrade. As of today, Route 101 Local Goods will now be home to a top-of-the-line General Bytes brand Cryptocurrency Vending Machine selling both BTC and DASH. (You can check it out on the CoinATMRadar site here.) The new CVM is massive and attractive, with a huge touch screen interface and beautiful color-cycling LED lighting. General Bytes is the top CVM manufacturer in the world today and they’ve really earned that distinction.

Keene has also earned its distinction as a cryptocurrency hotspot, having the longest-operating CVM in the Northeast United States and one of the highest concentrations of cryptocurrency-accepting-businesses-per-capita in the world! For a while, our CVM was the only one northeast of New York City, until the Shire Free Church launched our machine in Manchester in 2016.

Route 101 Local Goods sells cool NH-made products and accepts crypto!

Route 101 Local Goods sells cool NH-made products and accepts crypto!

In the last several years, people have traveled from across the Northeast United States to use our machine. Its low price in comparison to other BVMs is worth the trip, plus the customer service from its location, Route 101 Local Goods, is unmatched. Store owner Chris Rietmann is a huge cryptocurrency advocate and even gives his customers 5% off any item in the store – if they pay with cryptocurrency – and Rt. 101 accepts a BUNCH of them.

In late 2017, we added DASH (aka “Digital Cash”) to the machine, making it the region’s first Cryptocurrency Vending Machine! In fact, both DASH and BTC are accepted by multiple businesses in the Keene area. More announcements about that will be coming soon, so stay tuned here to the Free Keene blog for the latest on the cryptocurrency evolution happening here in New Hampshire.

By the way, you haven’t seen the last of the Lamassu. It’s still an excellent unit and in great shape after serving customers day-after-day. It’s staying in Keene, but I can’t announce the new location yet. Soon!

NHPR’s Feature Piece on Free State Project (& Free Keene) + Full Interview Audio

New Hampshire Public Radio Logo

New Hampshire Public Radio Posts Feature on NH Freedom Migration

Thanks to New Hampshire Public Radio reporter Taylor Quimby (originally from the Keene area) for his detailed and well-researched report on the Free State Project, which delves into the history of the project, the diversity of opinions of its movers, their effectiveness and impact in New Hampshire, including plenty of focus on Free Keene – one of the top blogs in NH that chronicles the NH Freedom Migration, focusing on Keene.

The audio version of the report is excellent, with audio that doesn’t appear in the printed version. Both editions are lengthy, so settle in for a good long read or listen.

Besides a few minor quibbles, Taylor’s reporting is fair and the audio version is quite entertaining. I laughed out loud a few times.

In case you were curious, I’ve uploaded the full hourlong interview Taylor did with me where we discussed the Keene 420s, how I found the Free State Project and its early history, the start of Free Talk Live, my early discovery of libertarianism, Robin Hooding, the NH freedom migration, Shire Society, Forkfest and schisms in the movement, the Shire Free Church, Porcfest, cryptocurrency in NH, the FSP-FTL breakup, decentralization, and the (in my opinion) success of the Free State Project:

One of the quibbles I have with the NHPR report is the audio used as evidence of the Robin Hooders‘ supposed bad behavior is actually audio of hater Rev. David Berman when he was haranguing Robin Hooder Graham Colson. To my knowledge no Robin Hooder ever behaved like Berman and purposefully invaded the Parking Enforcers’ personal space (and the Enforcers under oath in the case never said the Hooders ever did such a thing). (more…)

Full Video of the Suppressed “Liberty in Action Awards” Leaks Out

Ian Freeman Accepts FSP Award for "Spreading the Message"

I accept the FSP Award for “Spreading the Message”

In 2016 at the Free State Project‘s yearly “Liberty Forum” convention, there was an excellent awards ceremony called the “Liberty in Action Awards” put on by Andre Rosa and a large cast of volunteer performers. Lots of production value and practice was required to make the entertaining and very funny stage presentation. The awards were given out in several categories where the nominees and winners were selected by popular vote of FSP participants. It was a fantastic show and really well done.

The performers put a lot of work into this, so why did it take until now (over two years since it happened) for video of the awards to be released?

Despite paying a professional videographer to record the whole ceremony with multiple cameras, the official video was never released by the Free State Project. The official videographer, Free Keene blogger JJ Schlessinger, reported he completed the video shortly after the event and delivered it to the FSP per their contract with him. No one outside JJ and the FSP board of directors has ever seen it. Thankfully, there was an independent videographer present who was not hired to be there by the FSP! Paul Gibbons of Red Pill Recording has now released his video of the event from start-to-finish:

One could speculate that part of the reason they chose to shove the video down the “memory hole” was because the FSP board, just a few weeks after the ceremony decided to ban me and my show from future Liberty Forum and Porcfest events. You see, I was one of the winners of the awards (click here to see that part). (more…)

Massive Bitcoin Vending Machine Expansion Hits NH: Manchester, Nashua, Salem

NH's Newest BVM at Manchester's "Mall of NH"

NH’s Newest BVM at Manchester’s “Mall of NH”

In 2014, the Shire Free Church launched its first Bitcoin Vending Machine in Keene eventually upgrading that unit, and later helping launch a BVM in Manchester in 2016. Other liberty-loving activists followed suit and launched BVMs in Portsmouth and Concord. News coverage in mainstream media has been front page in print and on television. You can scroll back through the Bitcoin category here at Free Keene to see some of it.

In 2017, an out-of-state (but also freedom-loving) company called Blackfrog placed machines in Manchester and Keene, making them the first two NH markets with competing BVMs! 2017 also saw rollouts of other cryptocurrencies being sold at most machines around the state, like Litecoin and DASH. This turned the Bitcoin Vending Machines into Cryptocurrency Vending Machines!

Now, in just the first quarter of 2018, an explosion of competition has hit the Manchester area. Two national Bitcoin Vending Machine operators have entered the NH market and added several machines. One company called Coinsource dropped three BVMs into Manchester back in late January and within a month, a Nevada-based company Coincloud placed a BVM one block north of the original CVM at Murphy’s Taproom in Manch at a vape shop called Vaporamas.

Manchester's CVM Explosion, as of March 2018

Manchester’s CVM Explosion, as of March 2018

That same company has also placed units in brand new New Hampshire markets, also at vape shops in Nashua and Salem! Finally, New Hampshire’s newest BVM just went online about a week ago in Manchester’s Mall of New Hampshire in the food court. It’s a smart location – people sitting around eating have more time to get curious about the machine and maybe check it out. The operator of the mall unit is the brand new “Simple BTC LLC”.

That’s a total of 13 Cryptocurrency Vending Machines (though the units from Coincloud, Coinsource, and Simple BTC are BTC-only at this time) in and across Southern New Hampshire. Sadly, the Twin Mountain BVM in the North Country closed when the gas station housing it went out of business last year. Compare NH to Massachusetts, where according to the excellent website “Coin ATM Radar” there are 24 CVMs for 6.79 million people, which is one machine for every 283,101 people. In NH it’s 13 CVMs for 1.35 million people, which is one for every 103,846 people. New Hampshire is crushing Massachusetts with more affordable rates at its machines and nearly three times more CVMs-per-capita! NH even beats out NY, CA, and FL ranking at #5 nationwide for CVMs-per-capita, with almost ten machines per one million population (using 2015 numbers and data from Coin ATM Radar). You can see where your state ranks on this spreadsheet. (more…)