Our founding partner Kaan Beylen interviewed Kemal, where he sheds light on the fascinating world of “Yirmibir Bitcoin.” Yirmibir Bitcoin is a vibrant and inclusive community, based in Turkey. Yirmibir Bitcoin is dedicated to bringing Turkish-speaking Bitcoiners together. Moreover, they are a unique blend of Bitcoin enthusiasts who are also fluent in English. Certainly, this makes Yirmibir Bitcoin an ideal space also for expats residing in Turkey to join and actively participate.
Yirmibir Bitcoin’s aim revolves around fostering an environment of curiosity and continuous learning. Therefore, members gather to deepen their understanding of Bitcoin through various means.
What “YİRMİBİR Bitcoin Community” is about?
Kemal: “Yirmibir” is a community aimed at bringing together Turkish-speaking Bitcoiners. Some think we are trying to educate the Turkish population about Bitcoin, but that’s not what we do at all. It’s just not how good education works in my opinion. To clarify, all we do is get together with other curious minds and try to understand Bitcoin better by learning more about it. For instance, sometimes the results are translations of articles, recordings of podcasts or regular community meetings, which we announce from twitter and telegram.
What inspired you to start this Bitcoin community?
Kemal: I was influenced by the German project “einundzwanzig”. I saw the value it brought to the German-speaking community and felt there was a need for a similar movement in Turkey.
How “einundzwanzig” influenced “Yirmibir”?
Kemal: “Einundzwanzig” serves as a model for us in many ways. To clarify, the way they operate is decentralized and there is no leader. As a result, some community members contribute more, some less, but in the end “einundzwanzig” is what the community makes it. Everyone is free to contribute as much and whatever they like and the community self-moderates towards the only main rule: Bitcoin only and nothing else.
How do you choose the articles you translate and publish on your website?
Kemal: The contributors generally focus on articles that are informative, relevant, and can add value to our community members. In English, there is a wealth of excellent articles about Bitcoin. However, they are not accessible to people who speak Turkish only. Consequently, this leads to a massive information asymmetry between Turkish society and the rest of the world. As a result, this creates room for bad actors to come in and capitalize on Turkish people’s curiosity for Bitcoin with dangerous scams. The only way to prevent this is to make Bitcoin content available in Turkish. So those who are curious can educate themselves with clear information. Therefore, Yirmibir community members pick English articles that helped them, and make them accessible to Turkish language readers by translating into Turkish.
Moreover, there is no central curation of articles. In other words, everyone works on the things that they personally think will contribute to a better understanding of Bitcoin. To clarify, they could be about anything from Bitcoin fundamentals to the latest developments and trends in the Bitcoin world.
How would you describe the unique aspects of the Bitcoin community in Turkey?
Kemal: The Turkish Bitcoin community is very vibrant and inquisitive. They are open to learning and are always keen on engaging in productive discussions. Consequently, this active participation makes the community unique and keeps it thriving. Moreover, Turkish community members also have an excellent disposition to understanding the value propositions of bitcoin. This is because of their chronic exposure to inflation, bad monetary policies and the negative effects it has on society as a whole.
Could you tell us more about the real-life events that you organize?
Kemal: Sure, we have monthly meetups where members come together to network, share their experiences, discuss recent developments, and learn from each other. These events are crucial in fostering a sense of community and enhancing our members’ understanding of Bitcoin.
How has your Telegram group helped in driving engagement?
Kemal: Our Telegram group is a dynamic space where members can ask questions, share their thoughts, and engage in discussions. Of course, it’s an inclusive and accessible platform helps in driving engagement and community building.
What are some milestones that the “Yirmibir Bitcoin” community has achieved?
Kemal: We have grown significantly since our inception and recently crossed 160 members. Furthermore, our translated articles and podcasts have been well-received, indicating that we’re making progress towards our goal of growing a community of curious and helpful people interested in developing a better understanding of Bitcoin and money.
What can we expect from “Yirmibir” in the future?
Kemal: I cannot tell you where it will go from here because I don’t know. However, if the development of “einundzwanzig” gives a hint for how “Yirmibir” will develop, then we can expect a lot of growth in the size of community members and contributions. For instance, more translations, articles, videos, podcasts, even rap groups, conferences, regular meetups in other Turkish cities. In fact, we’re already seeing other projects spring up from what “Yirmibir” has started, like Selam Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto Enstitüsü, Bitcoin ve Diğer Şeyler. That is to say, we’re definitely following the trajectory of the early einundzwanzig movement, which also inspired the creation of a multitude of German-language Bitcoin content and projects.
What advice would you give to someone new to Bitcoin or considering joining the “Yirmibir” community?
Kemal: Bitcoin can seem complex, and there is a lot of misinformation out there. Therefore, don’t trust everything you see online and be critical. Join our telegram or come to one of our meetups to connect with other curious and experienced people who are trying to get a better understanding of Bitcoin. Moreover, I would advise newbies to remain curious and skeptical, ask questions, and engage in community discussions. Most importantly, the Yirmibir community is always open to new members who are passionate about learning and sharing their knowledge about Bitcoin.
With its commitment to fostering education, collaboration, and curiosity, Yirmibir Bitcoin serves as an engaging and inclusive community where Turkish-speaking individuals, including expats in Turkey, can embark on a rewarding Bitcoin journey while connecting with like-minded enthusiasts.
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