Bitcoin is pumping this coastal village full of opportunities that will benefit the local community.
Close your eyes deeply for a few seconds and imagine that you were suddenly born in an under-developed remote village, one where you do not have access to a bank account, where none of the local businesses (including your own) can qualify for the merchant accounts needed to accept credit cards or business loans. You would be pretty rekt, huh?!
According to the World Bank in 2018, some 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked, yet two-thirds of them own a mobile phone that could help them access financial services.
So who is solving this global catastrophe?
As we know, the legendary Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin to help empower the unbanked–to retake financial control back from both governments and financial institutions. However, too often Bitcoin is used to feed a pump and dump game for day traders and scalpers, which is devastatingly far from the original vision of Mr. Nakamoto.
The coastal village of El Zonte, also known as Bitcoin Beach – a small surfing village located on the coast of El Salvador – decided to challenge assumptions that Bitcoin will continue to be used mostly by whales, and not for daily consumer transactions – like paying monthly bills or buying a bottle of beer.
Michael Peterson created the Bitcoin Beach proposal for a Bitcoin circular economy, which included utilities that touched on remittances, tourism, public services, and small business-to-business transactions. Bitcoin Beach has continued to pump this surfing village with great new opportunities for more than 600 users, giving them the tools to set up wallets (powered by the Wallet of Satoshi) using Bitcoin (facilitated by the Lightning Network) for everything from buying a $1 bag of tortillas to paying for a $3 haircut – and everything else in between.
“Originally, it didn’t make sense for 25-cent transactions, but it did for 5 dollars. But when the transaction costs ramped up again, we switched over to the Lightning Network,” says Michael Peterson.
Bitcoin-driven tourism is Bitcoin Beach’s immediate focus, but a longer-term goal is to attract upwardly mobile Bitcoin enthusiasts looking for a Bitcoin-friendly area where they can buy a second home or relocate permanently. Bitcoin Beach wants the coastal region of El Salvador to become a hub for Bitcoin-related tech companies and inspire young Salvadorans to envision a future that doesn’t involve having to make the journey to the US to further their careers or education. They will be working to attract Bitcoin start-ups looking to provide a unique lifestyle for their development teams, in a region where people are using Bitcoin in daily life.
Apart from El Zonte, the Bitcoin Beach initiative has also spread into another nearby beach community 3 hours away, Punta Mango. Ultimately, the goal is for Bitcoin adoption to grow in more neighboring communities.
So, if you are a true crypto believer (hello degens!) and support the global adoption of Bitcoin, then you should be on the next flight to El Salvador, where you can sip margaritas at the beach paid entirely with your Bitcoin, or maybe pizza’s are more your choice? Either way, you won’t have to worry about the hassle of exchanging foreign currency or getting ripped off by dodgy forex scammers.
Let’s all help expand the Bitcoin Global Economy by starting with a small donation to this remote village of El Zonte. Hopefully, this movement will spread to more villages, cities, and even countries one day.
Do you love the island lifestyle? Check out Satoshi Island!
Or, maybe you want to own a glamping resort in Indonesia?