Bonding with Bitcoin While it’s old hat to some, the buzz around Bitcoin is growing loud enough even for those who’ve never heard the word “cryptocurrency” to take notice. Pensacola’s First Bitcoin Meetup took place Saturday, Jan. 18 at The Magnolia. The initial meeting drew enough participants and interest that that the organizers have decided to hold monthly gatherings dedicated to sharing information regarding digital currencies and their exchange.
The meet ups are intended to draw people of all levels of Bitcoin knowledge according to local attorney Alistair McKenzie, who organized the first meet up. “Our goal is to educate people about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and to build the economy out further with that stuff in Pensacola,” McKenzie explained to the IN after the event.
McKenzie estimated that between 20 to 22 people drifted in and out over the course of the informal meeting, many of whom were already familiar with Bitcoin. For those who were not, the organizers and attendees were happy to introduce and explain the concept of digital currency, even providing packets of information containing links to podcasts, videos, and articles.
The Magnolia, the event host, as well as Open Books, is now accepting Bitcoin payments. “Kiley and I rarely do anything traditionally, so this new idea was not very difficult to digest,” said The Magnolia’s Bill Manning of his and co-owner Kiley Bolster’s decision to delve into Bitcoin. McKenzie said that the group welcomes the opportunity to assist businesses and individuals alike to understand and utilize Bitcoin in the future.
The next Pensacola Bitcoin Meetup will be held at 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22 at The Magnolia. To learn more about the local meetups visit: facebook.com/pensacolabitcoinmeetups.
Argonaut Football No Longer Coach-less The University of West Florida’s football program made a huge stride toward its planned 2016 inaugural kickoff by hiring Pete Shinnick as the first head coach, announcing the hire on Friday, Jan. 31.
Shinnick comes to UWF from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP), where he most recently served as head coach from 2005 through Jan. 31. Much like the situation he faces at UWF, Shinnick built the team at UNCP from the ground up after an over 50-year hiatus in that university’s football program. In his seven seasons at the head of UNCP’s football program, the team compiled a record of 50-24 and the 2009 UNCP team became the youngest program to advance to the NCAA Division II playoffs, managing the feat in only three years.
Shinnick grew up in a football family. His father, Don, worked as an assistant coach in the NFL with the Chicago Bears, St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots after retiring from playing linebacker for the Baltimore Colts for 13 years. After playing college football at Colorado, Shinnick followed in his father’s footsteps and accepted his first assistant coaching position at Richmond in 1988, coaching in some capacity at six other universities before landing his first head coaching position at Azusa Pacific in Azusa, Calif. in 1999. From Azusa, Shinnick went to UNCP, and will now apply his skills to building UWF’s program.
In October 2013, UWF’s president, Dr. Judy Bense, announced the university’s timeline for getting its football program up and running. If all goes according to plan, Shinnick will begin recruiting the first student athletes this fall, and will enroll and begin practices with the inaugural recruiting class in fall 2015. The Argonauts expect to play their first game as part of the Gulf South Conference in fall 2016, and will utilize the Pensacola Bayfront Stadium as its venue for home games until a stadium is built on campus at a yet-to-be-determined date in the future.