The town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, has embraced cryptocurrency to the point where it is accepted by nearly every business in the city.
The sparsely populated state of New Hampshire may seem like an unlikely place to be on the cutting edge of a technology like this, but the area is actually filled with just as many early Bitcoin adopters as you would find in silicon valley, thanks to a group of activists known as The Free State Project.
The Free State Project is an organization that encourages freedom-oriented individuals from all over the world to move to New Hampshire, for the purpose of building communities with like-minded people.
For many people who are a part of this effort, their interest in alternative currencies and disdain for the Federal Reserve System led them into the realm of cryptocurrency many years before it became a mainstream tech phenomenon. Due to the close-knit community, small businesses were able to experiment with the technology and test how it could with point of sale transactions in real time.
One of the best early experiments to test cryptocurrency for retail transactions took place at The Free State Project’s annual campout event “Porcfest.” At this event, vendors selling anything from t-shirts to food accepted Bitcoin in the spirit of working outside of the system. Many of these vendors had businesses back home where they would also implement these same measures, and many of their customers were inspired to use this currency in their own lives as well.
This has created a ripple effect, and made New Hampshire a sort of Cryptocurrency Mecca in the United States, even for people who don’t have anything to do with The Free State Project. As far as regulation, the state is one of the most friendly in the country towards users of cryptocurrency. Last year, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill, HB 436, which makes NH the first state to explicitly protect cryptocurrency from regulation, opening the door for more widespread use and adoption in the state.
Unfortunately, over the years, the legacy Bitcoin blockchain has suffered from scaling issues, and is now impossible to use as a point of sale currency due to high fees and slow transactions. The Bitcoin Cash fork has sought to address these scaling issues in many ways, but there is also a wide range of other currencies that have already made significant progress in solving these problems.
In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the currency of choice is Dash, since it works perfectly as a point of sale payment system, with instant transfers and low fees. Last year, the city became the first in the state to install an ATM machine that offered services for Dash.
Steven Zeiler, founder of digital currency company AnyPay which installed the machine said “Dash is newer than bitcoin and is more widely used on the Seacoast. Dash offers faster confirmation times and greater privacy than Bitcoin.”
In a recent CNN segment that featured Portsmouth, Joël Valenzuela, chief editor of Dash Force News was interviewed about why this was the perfect place for an experiment in crypto.
“It some of has the fewest excessive regulations, its the most freedom-oriented permissive, accepting climate, so this has made it a natural place for people trying out different things,” Valenzuela said.
It is important to note that the CNN anchors don’t seem to have any clue what they are talking about, as the one host remarked that Dash is “legal tender” in the city. While Dash is widely accepted in Portsmouth, alternative currencies are not considered legal tender. The other host seemed to think that if she paid her electric bill in cryptocurrency, that her bill would rise and fall with the price.
In addition to being a cheaper and faster alternative to Bitcoin, Dash also invests in various projects, both charitable and professional, to spread the word about this technology and to show its true potential. In addition to funding the alternative media, Dash has also funded youth programs in Africa and food charities in Venezuela.