One bean at a time, a Colombian Bitcoiner wants to reach orange-pill coffee drinkers.

In October, the CEO of Lightning Koffee founded the coffee firm with the intention of introducing Bitcoin to Medelln’s companies.

An entrepreneur and coffee enthusiast named José Luis Garcia is making a name for himself in Medellin, the city that gave rise to Colombia’s contemporary coffee industry.

Since launching Lightning Koffee in October, Garcia has focused on two things: creating a quality cup of coffee and educating people about Bitcoin.


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His coffee beans, dubbed “The Bitcoiners Coffee,” are renowned for their sweet flavor and are obtained and prepared locally.

Garcia thinks his coffee from Colombia can help his fellow Paisas (people from Medellin) become less dependent on the volatile Colombian peso and more inclined to use Bitcoin.

In an interview with Cointelegraph, Garcia stated, “We have the best coffee in the world, and I want my coffee brand to spread the word about Bitcoin so that other businesses will begin to receive it too.”

It would also “help drive the Bitcoin circular economy,” he continued, in which products and services are only exchanged for Bitcoin.

Although it does not yet accept cash, Lightning Koffee does accept other cryptocurrencies in addition to Bitcoin. But according to Garcia, he’s a self-described stacker who converts other coins to Bitcoin quickly.

“In the end, it’s money, so I’ll take it if someone is willing to pay me in shitcoins. Then, since I’m interested in Bitcoin, I instantly changed it to that.

Garcia stated that he will soon stop accepting cryptocurrencies that aren’t Bitcoin and begin accepting fiat payments using cards like Mastercard and Visa.

Lightning Koffee is one of the Medellin enterprises that combines commodities and cryptocurrency. One of the first restaurants in El Poblado, the Medellin tourism district, to specialize in cryptocurrencies was Mind Cafe, often known as “Crypto Cafe,” which opened in June 2022.

The cafe allows its patrons to purchase coffee or traditional Colombian meals with Bitcoin in addition to taking Lightning and Bitcoin payments. Customers can create their own avatars and immerse themselves in a metaverse-themed environment.

When you enter, there is a Bitcoin machine available for buying and selling.

In addition, they sell apparel and accessories, including hoodies, t-shirts, and sneakers.

True, it’s probably not ideal for OPSEC, but wow, are we ahead of schedule?

Garcia is a member of a local Bitcoin community that has united to support the city’s adoption of the cryptocurrency’s circular economy. New members join this group on a monthly basis.

“The creative things we’re doing are get-togethers with other Bitcoin users and Medellin locals,” Garcia stated.

Independent Lightning developer Bram Kumuly, who formerly resided in Medellin, told Cointelegraph that during his most recent visit to the city, he saw a “new energy” among the Bitcoin community, giving him hope that Bitcoin will continue to be present there for the foreseeable future.

Kumuly did concede, nevertheless, that there is a broader blockchain, nonfungible token (NFT), and cryptocurrency culture in Medellín, whose ideals may not coincide with those of traditional Bitcoin users.

For some Colombians, the orange light is still hidden.

Regretfully, for the Bitcoiners in Medellín, persuading others of the benefits of Bitcoin has proven to be difficult.

Kumuly primarily blamed this on the lack of knowledge among Colombians about how money functions, how the peso is failing them, and how Bitcoin provides an alternative.

“The majority of people there still believe Bitcoin is just for trading and making quick money,” Kumuly said. He added that many are unaware that Bitcoin has the potential to be a financial instrument that deprives politicians—in whom many Colombians have little faith—of authority and influence.

The fragmented circular economy that Bitcoin has created in Medelln, which is currently exclusive to users and isn’t “very strongly or visibly expanding,” is a reflection of this knowledge gap, according to Kumuly.

“There may be more locations that take it, but as of right now, only six locations are listed on BTC Map as accepting Bitcoin, and things haven’t changed in a while.”

According to BTC Map, Colombia has 106 establishments that presently accept Bitcoin as payment, which is less than El Salvador, which has 451 stores and is the most Bitcoin-friendly nation in the region.

According to Kumuly, foreigners with minimal continuous presence in the country and digital nomads have accounted for the majority of Bitcoin expenditures. Due to Bitcoin’s volatile price, Kumuly noted that merchants are still hesitant to accept the cryptocurrency.

Related: It’s not the point that micro-$3 Bitcoin miners won’t make money: creators

According to Kumuly, there are indications that Bitcoin and Lightning development in Medellin is progressing technically, which might lead to a rise in local Bitcoin spending.

He stated that in order to maybe win over clients and retailers, Medelln-based Bitcoiners need to gain traction by fostering the Bitcoin culture.

In his opinion, “local Bitcoin-only tech companies that build Bitcoin products for the people and merchants of Medellin and Colombia, and that are up-to-date on a technological level” are what Medellín needs to move forward.

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