The terms espresso bar and ‘anarchic ethical hacker collective’ don’t usually go together but this radical bitcoin-only hub in the Czech capital is no ordinary cafe
Prague has long been home to opulent coffeehouses, where everyone from Kafka to Einstein gathered to debate the burning issues of the day. Fast forward to the 21st century and the tradition of the coffeehouse as radical hub continues in the form of Paralelní Polis’s Bitcoin Coffee in the suburb of Holešovice.
Founded by anarchic ethical hacker collective Ztohoven, the cavernous ground floor space is fitted with the industrial light fittings and paper honeycomb furniture found in hip cafes, but there’s a difference – the only form of payment accepted is the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Barista Alžběta Svobodová even has a chip implanted in her wrist so she’s never without her virtual wallet. “We want to introduce Bitcoin to people from the street,” she explains. “The cafe is a tool to do that.”