Monday, 4 September 2017

CoinCorner Kayaking

Goodbye Joel!
After 3 months of having him in the office, last Friday we bid farewell to Joel from the CoinCorner team. Joel was here as a Legal Intern during his summer break from university and fit into the team seamlessly. Thanks for the last 3 months Joel, and good luck in your third year!

To celebrate Joel's time here at CoinCorner we offered him the choice of what activity we do as a 'leaving do', and he chose kayaking. Although it was relatively short notice we managed to get a session booked with Adventurous Experiences to go on Friday afternoon. As we turned up at Fenella Beach the kayaks were there waiting for us and, looking out onto the sea, so were the waves. As we had a few kayaking newbies in the group, our instructors made the decision to start off somewhere less rough and we carried the kayaks to a different spot to launch ourselves into the sea.

Despite CoinCorner going kayaking a couple of years ago, the only real expert in the ranks was Liam who turned up all suited and booted with his own wetsuit. We took it slowly at first, just letting everyone get their sea legs on the flats before heading to a shallow location to practice how to stop yourself from capsizing, something I should have paid more attention to. After that we hit the open waters, doing a quick lap in some mildly choppy conditions before heading back to shore for a quick break.

After a biscuit break we went further out from the breakwater where the waves were bigger and more challenging to deal with. A slight loss of concentration was all it took for you to get blindsided by a wave and send you flying into the depths. Unfortunately for me, that slight loss of concentration came after about an hour of feeling like I was getting the hang of it and, more importantly, being dry. But nonetheless, out I came to become acquainted with the sea. Let me tell you, the Irish Sea in September isn't exactly the nicest place to find yourself falling suddenly into. Despite that, I and everyone else had a great time and would like to thank the guys at Adventurous Experiences for a great day out. It was a fun way to see off Joel after an enjoyable three months.


--------------------------------------------------

As One Departs, Others Arrive
Despite losing Joel, the CoinCorner team is getting bigger! Not only do we have a new addition joining us this week, but Molly also makes her long awaited return from maternity leave. Molly is coming back into the marketing department and is being joined by Lucy. We are looking forward to welcoming Lucy to the team, as well as re-welcoming Molly back into the office.

--------------------------------------------------

Crazy August
August was a crazy month in the bitcoin world, SegWit locked in and activated and we hit a new all-time high almost every day. In the month of August the bitcoin price rose by 81%, starting the month at $2735.59 and ending the month at $4950.72. That is an incredible rise in such a short period of time, exciting times for those interested in bitcoin. 

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Europe's Bitcoin Hotspots

As the popularity and awareness of Bitcoin continues to grow, there are more and more businesses coming out as accepting the cryptocurrency as a payment method all around the world. I have had a quick scour of the Internet and found a number of places in Europe that are perhaps more accepting of Bitcoin than others and have put together a little piece that highlights some of these popular tourist destinations where you can spend your Bitcoins. 

London
London is at the forefront of Bitcoin acceptance in Europe and there is a huge number of places in the UK's capital where you can use them. If you fancy a bite to eat then there is a great variety of places available. BIT Bourbon Steam Burgers, Burger Bear and La Porca all accept Bitcoin from the carnivores out there. If you are just wanting a quick bite to eat then Nincomsoups offer global soups and Sawmill Cafe and Bakery is great for a quick cake and coffee. In terms of things of do, you can learn some martial arts at ChiswickBJJ and Semokwan Hapkido Academy, as well as learn how to make sushi at Your Sushi London. Running out of Bitcoins? Not to worry as there are over 15 Bitcoin ATMs scattered around the city, and two hostels that accept the cryptocurrency if you want to stay longer than a day.

Barcelona
Barcelona is one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations for obvious reasons. Take a break from the usual tourist activities and head to Barcelona Charter Alquiler where you can use your Bitcoin to spend a day at sea in a catamaran or bomb around the bay on a jetski. Just finished at the Sagrada Familia and fancy something a bit more modern? MADE Makerspace is a flexible space for you creative tourists to design, invent and develop your projects, and Tostadero Estudis is a Bitcoin accepting music studio. The Dog Is Hot, Ultramarinos and Nostrum Casanova are all available for a bite to eat before heading back to the traditional tourist activities after an afternoon of putting your Bitcoins to good use.

Paris
Another of Europe's most popular destinations, Paris is home to some world-renowned tourist destinations. The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre and the Champs Elysees are well worth a visit, but you can't spend your Bitcoins there. That automatically means that places like the Golden Thai Spa and Art'Et'Miss art gallery are better activities to do. Take a break at one of the many restaurants that accept Bitcoin such as Chez Gusto, Nagatomi and Le Picotin before heading back out on the streets to do some shopping at some of the myriad shops that accept the cryptocurrency as form of payment. After an exhausting day of modern day sightseeing, head back to Little Olive Tree B&B for a good night's sleep and a Bitcoin breakfast in the morning.

Berlin
Germany's capital is the place to go in the country if you are wanting to spend your coins. If you are a foodie then there are a number of places that accept Bitcoin such as 19 Grams, Das Baumhaus and Room 77 where you can enjoy a Bavarian bite using your Bitcoin. You can also hire 2, 3 and 4 wheeled vehicles to take on a tour of the city and enjoy a night out at Fabelhaft Bar after a day of driving around Germany's capital. Make your way back to Lekkerurlaub or the creatively named Rooms for Bitcoins if you want a room for bitcoins to crash in for the night.

Zurich
Switzerland's biggest city is a hive of Bitcoin activity. There are a great number of restaurants where you can enjoy a meal using Bitcoin such as Kafi Schoffel, Zum Scharfe and Grill Bar Aarhof. There is a load of shops that accept Bitcoin in Zurich, and the adrenaline junkies can enjoy a thrilling paragliding experience through the Swiss Alps if they want. Make sure to top up at one of the Bitcoin ATMs in the city if you are running low, to allow you to rent an apartment on the outskirts for the night.

Milan
Milan is known as the city of fashion, and what is more fashionable in this day and age than foregoing fiat currency and enjoying a few days in the city using your Bitcoin? As you would expect in one of the fashion capitals of Europe, there are a huge number of shops available for you to revamp your wardrobe in, as well as a number of restaurants where you can have all the pizza and pasta you desire such as Non Solo Pizza, EDA Milano and Lago delle Rose if you fancy a trip out of the city centre. If you want to stay in the city centre then there is even a taxi service that accepts Bitcoin available to you and accommodation in the form of Agriturismo Cascina Madonnina to name one.

So there you go! There are some places that you can spend your Bitcoin while you are travelling around Europe.

DISCLAIMER: I haven't been to any of these places, so don't take any of them as recommendations. I recommend doing your own research into these places if you are considering going to any of them.

Have a look on coinmap.org for some more places where you could go. I only took a handful from each place, and there are many more places across the globe that also offer you the opportunity of Bitcoin payment.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Celebrate International Beer Day using Bitcoin!


I am reliably informed by the United Kingdom Trends list on Twitter that today is International Beer Day. I am sure there are many people out there that enjoy going for a pint after work, especially on a Friday, and what better reason to go for one than today. In honour of International Beer Day, I thought I would give you beer-drinkers out there a list of places in the UK where you can go and celebrate using Bitcoin. Beer and Bitcoin, a marriage made in heaven.

Isle of Man
I'll start with the Isle of Man. It's a lovely sunny day here today, so the perfect way to close out the work week and usher in the weekend is with a cold beer somewhere. I understand there are lots of places where you could go for a pint, and a lot of people have their locals, but variety is the spice of life and using fiat currency to pay for things is so last century. Do something different this International Beer Day and head to The Thirsty Pigeon, the only pub to accept the cryptocurrency on the Island, in Douglas for a pint paid for in Bitcoin. I can't think of any better way to usher in the weekend.

England
Personally I was quite surprised to see the list of pubs in the UK that accept Bitcoin and see 18 on the list. The majority are found in London as expected, but there is also a few found in the East of England, as well as a handful in Wales and Scotland. A couple of the London-based pubs are also restaurants, so you Londoners out there could go and enjoy a beer and a meal at BIT Bourbon Steam Burgers, Burger Bear or La Porca. Beer, burgers and Bitcoin, the 3 B's that no man can live without.

If all you want is a quick drink before heading home, there are other places in the capital that accept Bitcoin. The Bird's Head, The Old Nun's Head and The Pembury Tavern are all pubs where you can pay using Bitcoin and, I know London is pretty big, but I would say it'd be well worth the walk after work if you've got a spare 6 or 7 hours.

Not living in London? Then there is no need to worry because there are a few places elsewhere that you could visit, have a look at this list and see if any are near you:

  • The Barrel Drop in Nottingham
  • The Bell at Sapperton in Cirencester
  • The Coalheavers Arms in Peterborough
  • The Devonshire Arms and The Haymakers, both in Cambridge
  • The Port Royal in Exeter
  • The White Lion in Norwich

Scotland
No need to worry for the laddies and lassies out there either, not if you live in Glasgow, Stirling or Edinburgh anyway. Shish Mahal in Glasgow accept Bitcoin, and could be a great place to go on a Friday for a meal and a pint. For the people who live in Stirling, The Kilted Kangaroo is the place to go for good food, a cold beer and great entertainment. Especially if you are wanting to enjoy those things without using fiat currency. On to Edinburgh now and the rather comically named The Royal Dick. I can think of a few royal dicks, but I'm not sure what their stance is on Bitcoin. This pub is in Edinburgh and is the place to go for a beer if you have an interest in the arts and want to spend your Bitcoin on something bubbly. 

Wales
Finally we move on to Wales and, spoiler alert, if you don't live in Barry you can stop reading now. King William IV is a pub in Barry that prides itself on it's friendly welcome and the quality of its beer, the perfect place to relax after a tough week of work. It is also the perfect place to spend your Bitcoin after a tough week of work. 

That's them all, so anyone who lives in any of those areas can go out tonight and celebrate International Beer Day in style. Anyone who who doesn't live near those locations can still go and celebrate International Beer Day by drowning their sorrows because their local pub is stuck in the past. 

Happy International Beer Day from CoinCorner!

Friday, 28 July 2017

Fork Update + ToughMann Charity


There has been a lot of talk about forks in the bitcoin network recently. Different exchanges will be dealing with the fork in different ways, so read on to find out our stance on the whole situation..

You may be aware of a number of recent proposals for technical changes to the Bitcoin protocol. There is a proposed user-activated hard fork (UAHF) coming on August 1st and, if this goes ahead, there will be a fork in the bitcoin network. This means that there will be a separate blockchain and coin, a coin currently being called 'Bitcoin Cash' or 'BitcoinABC'. CoinCorner will not be supporting any new blockchains or associated coins that come off the back of a UAHF.

We can guarantee that any customer funds held with CoinCorner will be kept safe during the forking process, but we may be temporarily disabling some functionality from 24 hours beforehand until we feel comfortable that the network is stable again. This means that customers won't be able to buy, sell, deposit or withdraw bitcoins until the situation becomes more clear, although we are hoping this will be, at most, 48 hours.

So what should you do?

If you DO NOT want any potential new forked coins that are the result of a UAHF, or do not need to access your bitcoins during the fork, then no action is required.

If you WOULD LIKE any potential new forked coins that are a result of a UAHF, or would like to access your bitcoins during the downtime, you will need to transfer your bitcoins from your CoinCorner wallet to an external wallet before July 31st.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In other news, on Saturday 5th August 2017 a couple of members of the CoinCorner team are taking part in ToughMann, an adventure challenge here on the Isle of Man.

Danny and Molly will be testing their toughness on the 10 kilometre course up at Ballamoar Farm in Ballaugh. But that's not all. Peppered along the 10km course are a collection of challenging obstacles such as Killer Hill, The Muddy Box, a climbing wall nicknamed 'The Beast', monkey bars, a plunge into ice cold water and cargo nets before another short run between the final obstacle and the finish.


CoinCorner's resident ToughMann and ToughWoman will be taking part in the event to raise money for a local charity, Craig's Heartstrong Foundation. Craig's Heartstrong Foundation's goal is to raise the necessary funding to give men and women between the ages of 14 and 35 the opportunity to have their heart screened. This can help detect any symptoms of Hypertrophic and Dilated Cardiomyopathy and help prevent Sudden Disease Syndrome (SDS). By providing people with the screening, they are then able to monitor and provide support and treatment accordingly to help limit the impact of detectable heart defects on the Isle of Man.

We are hoping to raise a good sum of money for this great cause and any donations would be greatly appreciated. We are opening up the possibility of donation via bitcoin to our customers, and people can donate by scanning the QR code below. The bitcoins will then be transferred into the GBP equivalent and given to Craig's Heartstrong Foundation.

To donate, scan the QR code below...



Or follow the link below to head over to my PayMe page:

https://www.coincorner.com/bitcoin/Ross.

Friday, 14 July 2017

CoinCorner Karting - The Results


When the dust settled and the smell of burned rubber finally dissipated from Jurby karting track, the winner of the 2017 CoinCorner Karting Championship stood atop the podium basking in his victory. Unfortunately, that winner was Liam. No shock upsets were on the cards as the hyper-confident reigning champion regained his gold medal, comfortably leaving everyone else in his wake.

The event started with everyone signing up and getting kitted up in their racing gear. Overalls, helmets, gloves and hair nets on (a look which actually really suited Joel, a look he enjoyed so much he didn't take his off until we were back in the car), we were kitted up and ready to go. Trash talking began early as the lady doing the safety talk was regularly interrupted with people taking shots at their colleagues turned enemies (I stayed silent knowing full well that anything I said would ultimately come back to bite me when I was chugging along at the back).

The race started with the swing of a Manx flag and as everyone put their foot down the roaring of the engines filled the ears of everyone nearby, sounding like everybody in Jurby decided to start mowing their lawn at that very moment in time. At the end of the first 15 minute session the victory on the track belonged to Phil, although Liam had the fastest lap time, an expected result.

After a quick kart swap for Liam and Phil, stemming from more allegations of some karts being faster than others, and we were back for the 2nd race. The first race was tame in terms of the number of collisions, but that couldn't be said for the 2nd race. As the flag dropped all 9 competitors had their foot to the floor, approaching the first corner at high speeds. It was a situation that had 'crash' written across it in big, bold letters. After the race there was an investigation and it would seem that this situation all stemmed from Danny who claims that, after turning around to check behind him, didn't have the time to react to Rachael braking in front of him. Cue a heavy shunt that caused a domino effect of shunts further forward in the group, resulting in numerous collisions and Molly spinning out of control. This then resulted in people having to take evasive action to avoid becoming part of this build up, something that Joel didn't have time to do, smashing into Molly at high speed and causing himself to spin as well. Luckily I managed to dodge the build up and find myself ahead of more people than I was behind, something I didn't think I would see. Unfortunately this lasted about 10 seconds as once everyone was back in the race it didn't take them long at all to regain their position ahead of me.

After that moment of craziness the rest of the race fell back into line, Liam and Phil ran away at the front with everybody else forever trying to catch up to no avail. In the end Liam was the clear and deserved winner, getting another gold medal to add to his one from last year with Phil collecting another silver and Mike taking home the bronze. After a great afternoon celebrating the 3rd birthday of the business we finished it off with dinner at a nearby pub. I am already looking forward to our next team activity, hopefully it'll be something that I have more of a chance of winning, and something that Liam doesn't excel at.

In other news, a few of the CoinCorner team will be taking part in ToughMann here on the Isle of Man on August 5th. They will be running for charity and we would appreciate it if some of you would donate some bitcoin for their efforts. More information on ToughMann, the charity and how to donate will be available in the next few days so please keep an eye out and donate if you can!

Friday, 7 July 2017

CoinCorner Karting Championships - Racer Breakdown


Karting is finally upon us. There is potential for legends to be made and champions to fall.

Almost a month after our 3rd birthday, we will be celebrating with the CoinCorner Grand Prix up at Jurby racetrack. I am told that last year there was a ferocious showdown between Phil and Liam for the top spot on the podium, a showdown eventually won by Liam. However, the victory was rife with controversy as there have been allegations thrown around that Liam had the fastest kart, and this year a plan has been put in place to ensure that karts are selected randomly so no shenanigans can take place. 

Chat in the office would lead you to assume that the battle for 1st will boil down to the same two racers, but there is every possibility a dark horse could come from nowhere to cause an upset. Below is a breakdown of each of the competitors and their past experience, but past experience will count for nothing when behind the wheel.

The Favourites

Liam
Last year's champion, Liam must be considered the favourite to regain his title yet again in 2017. Although there were rumours of controversy surrounding his maiden CoinCorner karting victory, confidence is still high and he truly believes that nobody will stop him from repeating as champion this year. With confidence comes complacency though. Will Liam get complacent and underestimate his competition, getting the top spot on the podium ripped from his grasp? Or will his confidence prove warranted as he goes home #1 for the 2nd year in a row? 

Phil
Last year's runner up, Phil is hoping to go one better this year and take the crown of CoinCorner's fastest karter from Liam's head and put it on his own. Phil is the most determined of the racers, he has been eating healthily for weeks to ensure he is in peak physical condition for the race and wants to taste success this year to fix the heartbreak he felt last time around. A self-confessed disregard for his own safety when behind the wheel of a go-kart plays in his favour. One thing is for sure, we are in for another tasty battle between the two favourites.

The Outsiders

Danny
Danny has been keeping relatively hush-hush regarding his karting capabilities. Aside from a few witty remarks about his tactics and past experiences, we really don't know much about Danny's karting past. The sense of the unknown could perhaps be Danny's main advantage, if nobody knows how much of a threat he is then he may be ignored come race time. If that is the case, there is a chance that an upset is on the cards as he sneaks his way to the top of the standings, shocking the world as he goes.

Molly
Due to Molly being on maternity leave to take care of Charlie, the bitcoin baby, there is very little that I can say about her chances. From what I understand though, she is competitive. You can guarantee that from start to finish Molly will be doing all in her power to win. Hyper-competitive and active (she is always trying to get the team to do things like prom runs and Tough Mann), Molly is an outsider only because she isn't in the office to talk up her abilities. I wouldn't be at all surprised if she was stood at the top of the podium come race day.

Joel
Joel hasn't really said much about his karting skills. A sprinter off the karting track, he knows a thing or two about speed. There has been one or two mentions about his past experience where he performed adequately on an 'icy surface', so take from that what you will. Is the icy surface a rouse to hide the fact he isn't at the standard to worry the favourites? Or maybe it is the truth and come race day, with a dry surface Joel will manage to reach the heights he couldn't in his past and find himself atop the podium, looking down on the rest of his colleagues.

Rachael
Rachael has spent the last couple of weeks diffusing any comments that she will be a dark horse in this race. She claims to of never been to Jurby race track which leaves her at a disadvantage, but I am half expecting her to turn up and dominate. When she finishes with the best lap time it'll become evident that she is a seasoned karter who was luring everyone else into a false sense of security. Or maybe she really does feel like she isn't a threat. We already know her tactic though as she said, and I quote, "I don't know anything about racing lines, but I can floor it when I need to'. Everyone else best stay out of her way.

Charlie
Charlie is another unknown for me. He hasn't said much about his abilities while in the office, although for some reason I do recall very vaguely a passing comment about his lack of skills. I'm not sure if I believe that though, something about him resonates within me as someone who is sneakily good at things like this. The kind of guy you don't see as a threat at the starting grid, but then you see him hurtling past you later on in the race. Watch this space.

Ross
I can guarantee you right now that if one person definitely won't be celebrating a glorious victory it's me. I have been karting once when I was younger and I don't remember myself being very good. Things will have to fall perfectly into my hands for me to come away as the victor. I am thinking I will be more of a disruptor, focusing my efforts on causing problems for other racers and being too unpredictably bad for people to risk overtaking.

Here's to a good race. The stage is set for Liam to lose his title, but will it happen? Feel free to comment below and tell us who you think is going to win this year. 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Incoming Interns and Birthday Bashes

My 1 Month Work-iversary
Friday marks a month since I last watched The Chase started at CoinCorner. It feels pretty weird to say. It doesn't feel like I've been here that long at all. It's been a great first month, great colleagues as well as an interesting job and industry. I have learned lots about bitcoin and about marketing and I finally feel like I am a functioning member of the team, not just some guy that annoys busy people with questions when they are trying to get work done (but that is a matter of opinion).

CoinCorner's 3rd Birthday
It is CoinCorner's 3rd birthday on Sunday and we are celebrating by going go-karting, and it would seem that I am surrounded by a group of extremely competitive people. The news of this event has meant that people have went on crash diets. Snacks are out of the window and have been replaced with things like tangerines. Every member of the team is assuring that they are in the shape of their lives in preparation for the big day. Nobody wants to lose and everybody wants the office bragging rights come the end of the day. I will announce the winner afterwards so the world will know who the fastest member of the CoinCorner team is.

Joel Joins The Team
In other news, I am no longer the new guy, on Monday we welcomed in Joel. Joel is the latest addition to our rapidly expanding team and has joined us as a Legal Intern until he goes back for his final year of university in September. He has fit in seamlessly and, 3 days in, is already abusing Liam in a way that only CoinCorner staff can. Welcome to the team, Joel!

TT Competition
After an unfortunate incident in the first attempt at the Senior TT Race, the race was delayed and shortened to 4 laps on Friday afternoon. The eventual winner was Michael Dunlop, a popular answer as 40 of the 100+ entrants went for him. Dunlop wasn't the only person celebrating on Friday night however, as the random number generator picked Matt Marchant as the winner of our competition. Matt is now the proud owner of £100 worth of bitcoin courtesy of CoinCorner, congratulations Matt! We were blown away by all the entrants we had, and we thank everyone who entered for doing so. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks as there may be another competition coming your way.