BTC Azores: An unstructured conference, for an unstructured protocol

written by Stephane Marbeau

BTC Azores: An unstructured conference, for an unstructured protocol

As part of our open source developer grant program, we’re sponsoring the upcoming BTC Azores conference, a Bitcoin technical conference of a new kind. Here’s what makes it special. 👇


  • As part of our $1.5 million commitment to supporting open source Bitcoin development, we’re sponsoring the BTC Azores conference
  • BTC Azores is a technical Bitcoin “unconference”, based in the Azores islands, Portugal 
  • The conference comes with a twist though: No line-up, no schedule, no recordings 🔮

Explore BTC Azores

What even is an “unconference”?

BTC Azores calls itself a Bitcoin technical “unconference”. The unconference format is pretty rare but it’s a great fit for Bitcoin development since participants don’t need to show their credentials to join. Anyone can jump in the discussions, which will only be lightly moderated.

No agenda

There’s no agenda prior to the event, the programme is decided by participants themselves. They will make use of different formats, depending on their goals, interests, and needs:

  • Fishbowl panels, where panelists rotate over the discussion
  • Lightning talks of a few minutes
  • Group discussions and workshops
  • Whatever else the attendees come up with 💪

In-person, private discussions

While traditional email lists, social media, and other online chats are extremely useful for developer discussions  around the world, in-person meetings remain very important. 

First because, since it’s easier to read the tone and intentions of someone face-to-face, in person meetings allow for heavier or more controversial discussions to happen. 

Second because, since there will be no recording and no pictures allowed during the unconference, it will be easier for anonymous participants to engage with the wider Bitcoin community, and to speak their mind without being concerned about their words being misinterpreted online.

Unstructured all the way down

A decentralized currency running on a decentralized protocol requires a decentralized development process. This means no CEO, no product managers, and no top-down command. Bitcoin development is a messy, unstructured process. That’s a feature, not a bug. And it allows anyone to take part, granted they build their own proof-of-work. This feature makes the unconference format particularly relevant. 

It also makes companies investing in open source development crucial to Bitcoin’s long term health. Lots of Bitcoin users still don’t know how Bitcoin development works and how it’s funded so we’ve partnered with Brink and Opensats on a short, free ebook that explains the gist of it. 💜

Explore how Bitcoin development works