Colombia, Medellin – José Luis Garcia, a passionate coffee enthusiast and entrepreneur, has launched a one-of-a-kind company in the heart of Medellin, Colombia’s modern coffee epicenter. Since the October launch of his firm, Lightning Koffee, Garcia’s dual aim has been to create a fantastic cup of coffee while also championing the cause of Bitcoin, which is currently valued at $25,750.
Garcia’s coffee beans, suitably dubbed “The Bitcoiners Coffee,” are precisely picked and prepared locally and are well-known for their delectable sweet aftertaste. Garcia hopes to serve as a bridge for his fellow Paisas, encouraging them to abandon their reliance on the volatile Colombian peso and embrace Bitcoin.
In a recent interview with Cointelegraph, Garcia highlighted his ambition: “We have the best coffee in the world, and I want my coffee brand to evangelize Bitcoin, paving the way for other businesses to follow suit.” He said this project would “foster the growth of the Bitcoin circular economy,” in which Bitcoin would be the primary medium of exchange for goods and services.
Lightning Koffee now accepts only cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, and does not accept fiat payments. Garcia, a self-proclaimed Bitcoin maximalist, changes any alternative tokens into Bitcoin immediately, emphasizing, “At the end of the day, it’s all money, and my interest lies in Bitcoin.”
Conversely, Garcia intends to expand his payment choices by accepting currency via Mastercard and Visa. He intends to stop taking cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin at this time.
Lightning Koffee is not the only pioneer in Medelln in combining crypto and consumables. In June 2022, the “Crypto Cafe”, or Mind Cafe, located in the tourist district of El Poblado, became one of the city’s first cryptocurrency-focused restaurants. Aside from accepting Bitcoin and Lightning payments, the cafe provides a one-of-a-kind metaverse-themed experience in which customers may create avatars and order Colombian food and coffee with Bitcoin.
Garcia is part of a growing network of local Bitcoin fans in Medellin who actively support adopting Bitcoin’s circular economy by hosting meetups and activities to raise awareness.
During his recent visit, Bram Kumuly, an independent Lightning developer, noticed a fresh vitality in Medelln’s Bitcoin community. He expressed confidence in Bitcoin’s long-term viability but noted the emergence of a broader crypto culture that only sometimes meets primary Bitcoin objectives.
Despite their efforts, Medelln’s Bitcoin enthusiasts need help persuading the general public about the benefits of Bitcoin. Many Colombians still see Bitcoin as a way to make quick money rather than a financial tool that can limit political power.
As a result, the circular economy of Bitcoin in Medelln remains limited, with only six Bitcoin-accepting locations compared to El Salvador’s 451 stores, according to BTC Map.
Kumuly advised that Medelln-based Bitcoin enthusiasts focus on cultivating local Bitcoin-only IT firms to educate and assist Colombian customers and merchants. This technique could increase Bitcoin spending and adoption in the area, bridging the knowledge gap and decreasing dependency on traditional cash in Medellin.