NH Committee to Study Cryptocurrency – 2017 Meeting Video

New Hampshire’s Committee to Study Cryptocurrency meets for its required 2017 meeting. They question state regulators after the Cryptocurrency Protection Act has been in place for a few months. They ultimately decide to recommend no further actions against or for cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Here’s the full hearing video:

I explained to the panel that Bitcoin businesses had opened or moved to NH because of the buzz about the cryptocurrency protection act that passed this summer. Regardless of whether the statutory change would have affected those businesses, the publicity surrounding it was good for NH’s image in the crypto-sphere.

Looks like it’ll be a while before New Hampshire has financial freedom across-the-board. When I offhandedly suggested to the panel that all money transmitter regulations should be repealed, they unanimously acted like their rules somehow stop terrorism and drug dealers. Pointing out that South Carolina has no money transmission statutes made zero impact.

It wasn’t the place to take the discussion any further, but it’d be great to see a libertarian state rep introduce such a repeal. South Carolina doesn’t have any more drugs or terrorism than anywhere else.

New Bitcoin Vending Competitor Installs Machines in Keene, Manchester!

Corner News' owner Roberta Mastrogiovanni poses with her store's brand new Bitcoin Vending Machine!

Corner News’ owner Roberta Mastrogiovanni poses with her store’s brand new Bitcoin Vending Machine!

Big news for Bitcoin fans in Manchester and Keene – we’ve got competition in the bitcoin vending space! As of yesterday, Blackfrog became the first real Bitcoin Vending Machine company to install units in New Hampshire!

As one of the admins of the existing non-profit Shire Free Church-run Bitcoin Vending Machines in Keene and Manchester, I’m super-excited about the competition. Why? Simple. The goal of the Church’s bitcoin outreach project is to get bitcoin into more people’s hands. The new company in town (which also operates more than 20 bitcoin BVMs across Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland) is making bitcoin even more accessible in New Hampshire than it was before!

While we’ve had a Bitcoin Vending Machine at Route 101 Local Goods in Keene for years, it’s only been available Tue-Sun. Therefore bitcoin was not available in Keene on Mondays, or after Route 101 Local Goods closes at 6pm each day (5p Sundays). Now that the Blackfrog BVM is online at Corner News, bitcoin’s availability in Keene expands to all seven days a week and late into the night, as Corner News is open until 10pm Mon-Thu, until 11pm Fri and Sat and 9pm on Sundays. Corner News is located at 67 Main St. and is a Keene landmark, established over 100 years ago. It was also the first brick-and-mortar business in Keene to accept bitcoin, way back in 2013!

Corner News’ owner, Roberta Mastrogiovanni, who recently was able to pay for her hotel stay during a vacation with her bitcoin, when asked why she’d decided to host the new BVM told me, “Corner News has been accepting bitcoin for several years without any problem, in fact we have seen a huge gain in the last year, so when asked whether we would consider renting out a small square foot of our store for a Bitcoin ATM we thought why not, especially since the coins can be spent right in store…just seemed like a good addition.” (more…)

What Happened to CopBlock.org?

Cop Block Badge and Outreach Flier

Cop Block Badge and Outreach Flier

This post was originally made on CopBlock.org. I’m posting it here as well, as who knows what’s going to happen with that site:

Hi, I’m Ian Freeman. I’m one of the original Cop Blockers, which is why I possess badge number five. I’ve been a longtime Cop Blocker, financial supporter and occasional blogger here. Both of Cop Block’s founders, Pete Eyre and Ademo Freeman have lived with me in my home and they are great friends with whom I’ve had some amazing times.

I was alarmed this Summer when Ademo announced that he was putting CopBlock.org up for sale. I wasn’t surprised that he wanted out. Ademo has seen his share of burnout and has suffered greatly in his quest to hold police accountable. Ademo was a trailblazer in police accountability activism and deserves as much of a break as he wants. He’s currently describing himself as a “happily retired activist” and he should be. Our world is better off because Cop Block is in it.

What surprised me about his request to sell the site was the fact that Ademo felt he had to resort to a sale at all. Where were all the Cop Blockers who should have stepped up to take the reins? Ademo had asked the primary contributors to the site about taking over lead roles. Apparently no one stepped up, so Ademo decided to auction the site. When I found this out, I asked around and sure enough, while some people were willing to help, no one wanted to lead. (more…)

Bitcoin Surpasses $100 BILLION Total Value, Despite Looming Schisms

Bitcoin's Price and Market Cap Over the Last 12 Months

Bitcoin’s Price and Market Cap Over the Last 12 Months

It has been a crazy last year for Bitcoin, for better or for worse. One year ago this month, Bitcoin’s “market cap”, the total global value of all the bitcoins in existence, was at 10 billion dollars. This week, after passing the $6,000 price per bitcoin mark for the first time ever, Bitcoin’s market cap hit 100 billion dollars!

A market cap of $100 billion makes the total value of Bitcoin larger than financial behemoth Goldman Sachs (and others). This is major news and an incredible run up in price over a year. It definitely deserves celebration – bitcoin is truly a phenomenon, overall.

Behind the scenes, however, things have gotten ugly. The bitcoin network has been full of transactions for many months now. That’s resulted in delayed transactions and wildly varying fees on the Bitcoin Core network. Despite Bitcoin’s first-ever schism in August, which resulted in two competing Bitcoin networks, “Bitcoin Core” and “Bitcoin Cash”, infighting within the Bitcoin community continues unabated regarding how bitcoin should scale to the increasing consumer demand.

It's not-so-civil.

It’s not-so-civil.

The reason why the fighting is at a fever pitch now is because the BIG schism has still yet to come. The historic split of Bitcoin Cash in August was a relatively small one. Only about 3% of the mining power behind Bitcoin Core initially got behind Bitcoin Cash and though there’s a strong argument that Bitcoin Cash is the Bitcoin that is most true to its anonymous creator’s vision, the market doesn’t seem to agree. The price of one Bitcoin Cash is near all-time lows at about $320, or about 5% of the price of one Bitcoin Core, which is over $6,000 at the time of this writing.

As was recommended on this blog at the time, everyone who held their bitcoin through the August schism came out on top. Bitcoin Core’s price held steady then went up and Bitcoin Cash created billions of dollars worth of new value in the marketplace in an instant. It was really quite a success. However, Bitcoin Cash was a minor schism compared to what is coming up in November. (more…)

Keene State College Cracks Down on Students During Pumpkin Fest, Banning Visitors

Current KSC students are being punished now for what these guys did in 2014.

Current KSC students are being punished now for what these guys did in 2014.

Not known for being freedom-friendly, Keene State College is once again showing it’s authoritarianism and making headlines for it. Using the 2014 Pumpkin Fest riots as their excuse, they’ve banned students from having any guests, including family between October 26th and 29th.

According to Alex Pappas, the author of a petition begging college admins to rescind the policy, the college is threatening students with $100-per-guest fines and “disciplinary action” if they are caught with visitors.

Pappas’ birthday is within the timeframe and he’d been planning on having his family visit. Now because of fears surrounding riots that likely involved students who are no longer at KSC, the simple freedom of association has been stripped away.

Students shouldn’t be surprised, KSC has prospective students sign away all their rights at the beginning of their school career there. If the school security wants to stop and frisk a student, or inspect their dorm room, they can and will. Better hope they don’t see Raised in a government school system for more than a decade prior, many students are used to police searches thanks to the insane “war on drugs” that has been raging against the rights of students in the hallways of government schools at all levels for years.

KSC’s spokesbureaucrat says the policy is for the “safety” of the students. According to the Union Leader story, they will not be rescinding the restriction despite the hundreds of petition signatures.

Cell 411 Adds Ridesharing

Cell 411, Now With Ride Sharing!

Let’s not forget the real reason the Pumpkin Fest riots occurred in 2014. According to the students who were there, it was the crackdown by police on daytime parties that started the roaming crowds of drunken, angry revelers. The police attacks on peaceful students continued into the night, completely unprovoked.

This year, students have a new tool in their repertoire, should they choose to use it. Cell 411 is a free cell phone app that allows you to send emergency alerts to your friends and family if something bad (like a police or campus security encounter, medical emergency, or whatever) happens to you. It also allows you to easily stream live video of the situation for your friends to see. I highly recommend downloading and getting familiar with it before next weekend.

Keene “Sanctuary City” Resolution Hearing – Full Video

On Thursday evening, a very large crowd turned out to speak to the city council’s FOP committee on a proposed resolution to make Keene a “sanctuary city”. I’m happy to say that not a single police state xenophobe spoke during the hearing. Every speaker was pro-immigrant. Here’s video of the entire hearing:

Earlier this year, Cheshire County Sheriff Eli Rivera made headlines by announcing his policy to not assist the federal government with immigration enforcement activities targeting peaceful migrants. That made Cheshire county into NH’s only “sanctuary county”.

Now, the City of Keene is considering a resolution proposed by Keene Immigration and Refugee Partnership that would encourage Keene police only to assist federal agents in apprehending allegedly violent suspects or have an outstanding warrant.

The resolution is well-intended and everyone in the packed council chambers supported it, but it doesn’t go far enough. First, it allows for Keene police to assist the federal immigration enforcement if they merely have a warrant, which aren’t hard for police to get with rubber-stamp courts. Second, the city’s new manager, Elizabeth Dragon, is claiming the city government can’t tell police what to do, per some state statute. That’s not exactly the whole truth, since the council is able to pass certain ordinances that the police are directed to enforce. While they may not legally be able to tell a police chief what not to enforce, they certainly have the ability to have the city manager fire anti-immigrant police, don’t they? Perhaps there are union protections in place to make that difficult, I don’t know.

MALIC Center Imam Will Coley Speaks to the Committee

MALIC Center Imam Will Coley Speaks to the Committee

According to the Keene Sentinel, new Keene police chief Steven Russo has not specifically commented on the resolution’s proposals, though the group behind the proposal, KIRP, has said they’ve had a positive meeting with him.

At Thursday evening’s FOP meeting, after 100% support from the speakers there and many rounds of applause for those who spoke, the councilors on the committee voted 5-0 to give more time to the issue, specifically asking city staff to meet with KIRP and finalize the language of the proposed resolution.

Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on this developing story. For more media coverage of the meeting, check out the Sentinel’s story by reporter Paul Cuno-Booth.

Also, don’t miss Will Coley’s moving speech – here’s a direct link that will jump you straight to that part of the over hour long video.

NHHRC Takes to the Streets for Drug-Related Harm Reduction

One of the things you hear before moving to New Hampshire is that, in many cases, the locals are as passionate about peaceful solutions to the world’s problems as the liberty activists are. I found this hard to believe until I actually moved here, but recent events reminded me just how true it is.

My father, Bill Davis, moved up here several months ago not as a part of the great freedom migration, but to be closer to his grand kids. You can imagine my surprise, then, when he came back from his new church excited about an opportunity to help local intravenous drug users via a strategy of harm reduction. I was even more surprised to learn that one of the people representing this organization was a former NHLA endorsed liberty representative to the State House!

The organization that came to my Dad’s church is called the New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition, and their plan is a simple one: to hit the streets of some areas known to be afflicted with the opioid crisis to try and help drug users do less harm to themselves. They planned to hand out fliers to interested parties about what to do in the event of an overdose, offer clean needles and filters for their drugs (many users apparently use cigarette filters instead of something cleaner), educate users about the proper use of Naloxone (AKA Narcan), and most of all, show people that they are worthy of care and attention in spite of whatever choices they might be making in their lives.
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