The Atlanta Bitcoin Embassy, founded by libertarian Jeffrey Tucker, has opened in Midtown to teach Atlantans about blockchain and cryptocurrency.
If you don’t know your Bitcoin from your blockchain, or your Ethereum from your Litecoin, a new venture in Atlanta wants to intervene.
The Atlanta Bitcoin Embassy, founded by libertarian Jeffrey Tucker and modeled after spaces in Tel Aviv, Kiev, Panama and other cities, held a grand opening on June 13 at its new Midtown location at 1372 W. Peachtree St. with about 200 attendees.
“People hear that Bitcoin is for buying guns on the Silk Road,” Nick Tucker, the embassy’s COO and Jeffrey’s son, said. “I tell people to get that out of their minds and let me send them their first few dollars in Bitcoin.”
The embassy started holding weekly, casual gatherings for crypto enthusiasts in January and has an ATM in its WeWork-based office. The ATM is one of 125 Bitcoin ATMs and tellers in Atlanta, according to Coin ATM Radar.
While it hopes to educate, the embassy is steadfastly for-profit and aims to stay afloat with a mix of sponsorships, paid classes and consulting. Nick Tucker is working on a six-week crash course to help people go from zero-knowledge of crypto to being able to pitch themselves to companies for jobs in blockchain, the underlying technology that powers the money.
Tucker said Atlanta was a good fit for the embassy because of its “hustle spirit” and the amount of residents not using banks. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 10 percent of Atlantans were unbanked and another 26 percent were underbanked in 2015.
Tucker, a 21-year-old who skipped college and opted for an apprenticeship program called Praxis instead, may be a hard sell for those skeptical of the already fraught cryptocurrency space. He said Michael Tidwell, the chief knowledge officer, lends credibility to the embassy.
Tidwell is the organizer for the Atlanta Blockchain Meetup, which has 3,039 members and is sponsored in part by the Atlanta Tech Village. The meetup hosts educational programs and held a conference in January.