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Bitcoin Payments: The Bitcoin 2021 Conference5 min read

June 28, 2021 4 min read


Bitcoin Payments: The Bitcoin 2021 Conference5 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Bitcoin 2021 was the largest Bitcoin conference to date, and the largest event in North America since the pandemic began.

The Bitcoin community came out to Miami in force. There was a sold-out crowd of over 12,000 attendees with guests ranging from Tony Hawk to the Mayor of Miami. Bitcoin 2021 was the first event where every payment touchpoint included Bitcoin acceptance. Whether for ticketing, merchandise, food, drinks, or sponsorship fees, Bitcoin was used as a means of payment.

As the official Bitcoin payment processor for the event, OpenNode processed Bitcoin payments for the entire event, and with that exposure, we seized the opportunity to increase merchant adoption throughout the surrounding Miami area.

Leading up to Bitcoin 2021

With previous experience processing Bitcoin payments for tickets for Bitcoin 2019, we prepared to power payments for many more touchpoints. BTC Inc. was already using our platform, and we prepared together to provide a broad, enterprise grade payments experience.

One of our first focus areas was physical signage. We knew that visual cues would play a pivotal role in providing visibility of Bitcoin payment acceptance.

Image of Bitcoin accepted here sign at the Bitcoin 2021 conference.

With previous experience powering Bitcoin payments for Bitcoin 2019 conference tickets, we had some best practices for creating a great payment experience. BTC Inc. used Eventbrite to manage ticket sales, but because OpenNode doesn’t yet have an Eventbrite integration, BTC Inc. used our simple Payment Button feature. OpenNode allows businesses to generate payment button codes that can easily be added to any website. BTC Inc. hosted our simple checkout process, and even though Bitcoin 2021 had 5X the number of attendees, and over 3,000 of them paid for tickets using Bitcoin, the payment experience was flawless.

The Bitcoin 2021 Conference Experience

Our team arrived a day early in Miami to complete onboarding of on-site merchants. We were excited to show many new merchants how to accept their first bitcoin payments. In the local area around the conference grounds, we were pleasantly surprised to find that most businesses in the Wynwood area had already signed up for OpenNode. We are super grateful to companies like Swarm and Oshi on who did a lot of legwork on our behalf to get Merchants onto the platform.

When the day of the conference arrived, there was definitely some magic in the air. At typical conferences, you can expect a conference hall, an expo floor for sponsors and attendees to network, and a few bars to keep everybody loose. Bitcoin 2021 went well above and beyond traditional conference standards, creating a festival-like atmosphere with live entertainment and interactive experiences throughout the conference grounds.

“I have to say as a conference organizer, we had a fantastic experience with OpenNode. OpenNode is a turn-key experience for Bitcoin payments. The platform was easy to integrate with in-person stores, vendors at the event, and our online store. OpenNode made it easy to ring up bitcoin at all places where payments were accepted. The conference was accepting all forms of payments, Cash, Card, and Bitcoin but logistically, cash became difficult for our event team and Bitcoin provided a smoother experience. Using OpenNode to accept Bitcoin made everything easy. First-time Bitcoin users had an awesome experience with on-chain and Lightning transactions through OpenNode. OpenNode provided an easy point of sale experience with Bitcoin, both on-chain and on the Lightning Network. Overall, OpenNode is so turn-key, their team showed up the day before the conference and got everyone set up without a problem. OpenNode is a full enterprise solution.”

Christian Keroles, Product Manager & Event Organizer at BTC Inc

Looking Ahead to Bitcoin 2022

As we look back on powering Bitcoin payments for Bitcoin 2021, we celebrate success and also value everything we learned about what is needed to optimize bitcoin payment acceptance for online and onsite businesses:

Great WiFi: As with any large scale event with thousands of attendees, WiFi connectivity can be an issue. Several merchants in high traffic areas reported issues connecting to the Internet in order to process bitcoin payments. For an optimal experience, we recommend strong or dedicated WiFi for merchants.

Ticketing Integration: Since OpenNode’s founding, we have powered payments for conferences and events around the world. OpenNode’s Payment Button works well as a simple standalone solution. For an improved business and payer experience, we will continue to pursue opportunities to integrate our payment capabilities with leading ticketing platforms.

Tips: On the ground with dozens of vendors accepting in-person Bitcoin payments, we learned how important it is to support the ability to add tips to payment requests. Many service workers earn material income from tips received and it is important for our tech to support this requirement.

Sub-Accounts: Businesses with multiple employees and/or locations use a variety of devices to initiate payment requests.  It is therefore important to provide businesses with the ability to provide differentiated access to a shared OpenNode account. With Sub-Accounts, business owners will be able to create sub-users and set their permissions.

Founded in 2018, OpenNode provides trusted, reliable payment acceptance and payout solutions for thousands of businesses across the world. We drive adoption by creating great user experiences and elegantly bridging between traditional currency and bitcoin. From payment buttons to hosted checkout, and from e-commerce plug-ins to optimized APIs, OpenNode offers the best solutions for businesses to benefit from instant settlement and low transaction fees made possible by the world’s best digital cash.

We’re excited to continue working with BTC Inc. to power Bitcoin payments for Bitcoin Inc., Bitcoin Magazine, and the next Bitcoin conference, Bitcoin 2022. Tickets for Bitcoin 2022 are already on sale and can be purchased using Bitcoin here

Is your business interested in accepting Bitcoin payments? Our platform makes it easy for every business to accept Bitcoin payments. We provide the lowest-cost transaction processing, and there are no ongoing or hidden fees. To learn more about us and get started, visit our website and be sure to follow us on Twitter for more news and updates.