On February 27, Noisebridge lawyer and participant John Backus woke up to see that around 17,513 Bitcoin (BTC) – equivalent to around $ 156,000 at the time – had been deposited in the cryptocurrency wallet from Noisebridge.
The unexpected deposit came from the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, Kraken. The exchange sent Bitcoin as a donation in response to a Tweeter that Backus had turned off the day before before asking for funds to help Noisebridge operate.
In an interview with Cointelegraph on February 27 at Noisebridge, Backus said he was shocked to see that 17.5 Bitcoin had been deposited in the Noisebridge wallet. He said:
“I sent my tweet to ask for donations in the afternoon of February 26. At the end of the evening, I was excited to see that we had raised $ 200. I woke up the next morning and checked out Twitter, then saw the tweet from the Kraken account. “
Backus said that initially he did not know how to interpret the Tweeter Kraken had sent, who said:
Backus then noticed a link to a transaction following the text. He said:
“There were about thirty entries and fifty exits associated with the link, so I couldn’t say how much money there was at the start. I then saw the Noisebridge address with 17.5 Bitcoin. I didn’t know not if it was true at first. I went on Noisebridge Slack and another member confirmed that it was real. “
Caption: Image of the interior of Noisebridge; Photo credit: Steve D’Agostino for Cointelegraph
“Crypto Twitter” saved Noisebridge
Backus, who has been visiting Noisebridge since 2013, explained that the anarchist hacking space in the heart of the Mission district of San Francisco depends entirely on donor funds. He said:
“No one in particular runs Noisebridge. The space has been in existence for twelve years now and our funding still comes from donations. Everyone is invited to come and work here. But there have been many times in the past where we almost ran out of money. In this case, it was true – we ran out of money, so I turned to crypto twitter for help. “
According to Noisebridge’s donor and treasurer, Tyler Maran, the Noisebridge sprinkler system inside the building did not comply with the city code of San Francisco. He told Cointelegraph that about $ 150,000 was needed to repair the building’s automatic sprinkler system alone.
A San Francisco Examiner article published in April 2019 also discussed the improvements required and the funding needed for Noisebridge to keep the space running. Noisebridge member Victoria Fierce then told the reviewer:
“Noisebridge faces a $ 30,000 fine for violating the code and has been cited by the city for unauthorized construction. According to the San Francisco building inspection department, the violations include two unlicensed semi-constructed bathrooms, unauthorized partitions and the addition of an industrial laser cutter. “
Maran further noted that Noisebridge contains the oldest elevators in San Francisco, which is nearly 100 years old and has not been in operation for more than a year. He said it unfortunately limited the accessibility of space
“Noisebridge needs improvements that will start at around $ 150,000 a minute,” said Maran.
What awaits Noisebridge?
Maran told Cointelegraph that open source and decentralization are values of which the advocates of Noisebridge are proud. He said that many people working at Noisebridge are involved in the cryptocurrency and blockchain community:
“Building hardware wallets is a high priority here and lean payment systems are also being built here.”
Maran also said that Kraken’s 17.5 Bitcoin donation is the biggest donation Noisebridge has ever received. He explained:
“We are run solely by the community. Anyone can come and work here. No one is ever refused for lack of funds. Most people will donate $ 5 a month and these contributions have made us pay rent for twelve years. “
When asked what Noisebridge would do now that a $ 156,000 donation had been made, Maran said he was not yet sure.
“I want to make sure that the money is spent in the best interest of the community,” he said. “I don’t yet know what we’re going to do with the funding, but it will go towards improving the ecosystem.”
He said the move is a possibility, although it would be difficult to change the location, saying:
“We could spend money on upgrading the sprinklers or maybe we will move the space elsewhere. We have been here for twelve years now and there are many attachments to the space. But there are also limits. ”
Caption: Rachel Wolfson, Cointelegraph reporter, pictured with Noisebridge treasurer and advocate, Tyler Maran; Photo credit: Steve D’Agostino