4 States Bitcoin Network to host conversation at Indian Springs Brewing Company

Seth Kinker
Neosho Daily News

The 4 States Bitcoin Network, founded by two friends from Neosho, will be hosting their first event on Jun. 29 at Indian Springs Brewing Company at 6 p.m. to discuss Bitcoin.

Bitcoin was launched in 2009, one of the first forms of cryptocurrency, and is a decentralized form of digital currency that operates without a central bank or single administrator.

Malcom Tuggle, a 2006 Neosho graduate and one of the founders, was introduced to Bitcoin several years ago through Stephen Cole, a 2004 Neosho graduate, and another member of the 4 States Bitcoin Network.

“I learned (more) about Bitcoin several years ago, thinking it was a passing craze year and years ago,” said Tuggle. “Then, it started to become more at the forefront. Through Stephen, I learned even more about it. Now, I’ve gone through and I turned my savings into Bitcoin instead.”

Tuggle added he learned how much more important Bitcoin was than making money off of it, saying it started off as an investment opportunity before learning how important it could be to the world.

Cole currently lives in Arizona and will be flying back to speak at the event on Jun. 29. He’s been involved with Bitcoin since around 2013 and in the last few years has become passionate about forming local community meet up groups to discuss Bitcoin.

For the past couple of years, he’s worked in the venture capital field while investing into technology related start up companies.

“With Steven there, he’s a big point of leverage, that’s how he sustains his life is through Bitcoin,” said Tuggle. “He’s helped educate a lot of people, and companies, meeting with companies about investing in Bitcoin and what it can do for them. I just think having him there is huge, he’ll be able to answer a lot of questions.”

When Cole lived in California, he started a network similar to the 4 States Bitcoin Network in Los Angeles, the Orange County Bitcoin Network, that currently has 867 members on meetup.com

He recently started another network in Phoenix, too.

“In the process of all of this I’ve been talking to my longtime buddies back there (in Neosho),” said Cole. “ I said, ‘hey, I don’t think there’s anything like this in the four states area, it’s an opportunity, you guys should start something,’”

Tuggle and Cody Wallace, the other founder of the group, have been friends for awhile and began serious talks about the potential of a group to discuss Bitcoin more in April.

“We just wanted to form this group to try and give our area a place where they could learn more about it if they’re interested,” said Tuggle. “Unless you’re interested, it’s hard to find the information and know exactly what you’re looking for. That’s our goal, to have a point in the four states area where people can meet up, and potentially other presenters, that would like to come speak about Bitcoin.”

After forming the group, they reached out to a handful of friends that they knew had interest in Bitcoin as well and hope to see the meetings gain traction with the first meeting planned to be at Indian Springs Brewing Company on the square in downtown Neosho.

The plans for the event on Jun. 29 are for a small overview of what Bitcoin is, with a small presentation.

The main focus for the first meeting of the 4 States Bitcoin Network will be on informal conversations about Bitcoin, to answer any questions and have conversations with others regardless of their experience with Bitcoin, with monthly meetings and more pointed presentations planned in the future that address the cryptocurrency space.

“We’re hoping to make it useful for everyone,” said Cole. “If you are brand new, someone who is just curious about the word ‘Bitcoin’ and don’t know anything about it, we want it to be useful for them. (It will be) very beginner friendly or even if someone is experienced and owns Bitcoin, hopefully they’re enough in it that they believe in what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to cover the whole range. One thing I think to emphasize too, it’s not going to be for technology savvy people. Obviously there’s all kinds of computer science sides of Bitcoin but there’s no need to feel intimidated if someone isn’t super techy.”

Tuggle didn’t ever think he would have founded a group like the 4 States Bitcoin Network but is looking forward to what’s ahead.

“I never thought what turned out to be a form of savings and investment would turn into something I care about more than just a way to make money,” said Tuggle. “I really want to inform my community about all the good this form of money can do. Locally, at a state level, country wide, and even planet wide. It’s important. I believe it and its why I wanted to found this and get it going.”

To RSVP to the free event, visit https://www.meetup.com/4-state-bitcoin-network/events/278843957