Is Bitcoin for real? Find out at GigaOM’s Silicon Valley meetup

Everyone from banks to bad guys are buzzing about Bitcoin — the cryptography-based currency that is beyond the control of governments. At GigaOM, we’ve covered Bitcoin as part of our mission to explain new ways that technology is connecting us. Now, we’re hosting a get-together in Silicon Valley where people who know their money and their tech will share their perspective on this new form of payment.

GigaOM meet up BitCoin

The event is taking place on Thursday, May 16 from 6pm to 9pm at the San Jose Tech Museum — and it’s free thanks to our friends at Ribbit Capital. This will be a great way to get the inside scoop on who is using Bitcoin — from pizza merchants to investors — and what will happen next with the controversial currency.

Joining us will be David Barrett of Expensify, which now offers Bitcoin as a way for companies to repay employee expenses. We’ll also have engineers Mike Hearn of Google and Ben Davenport of Facebook, and Wences Casares who founded the digital wallet service Lemon.

Together, we’ll explore whether Bitcoin can be a viable payment option amid wild valuation swings and ongoing hacking incidents. We’ll also look at how U.S. government agencies like the IRS and FinCEN are taking a growing interest in Bitcoin — and how much they can affect the use of the currency.

At a broader level, the event will also be a way to examine how Bitcoin is part of trans-national technology networks that connect people without government intermediaries.

Here’s the link again to sign up. See you on May 16.