Embassy Review #01
As the Bitnation community expands around the globe and more and more Citizens start interacting between another, several Bitnation embassies have opened their doors for fellow travellers, hacktivists and digital nomads. We will take you on a virtual tour through these aspiring crypto hubs, as they embody the very principles of Bitnation: Living life, unrestricted by geographical borders, by empowering a decentralized lifestyle and voluntary cooperation.
We need to further distinguish between embassies and consulates, as seen on the embassy registration page:
Embassies are places where you can both live and work, whereas consulates allow you to work or organize a meetup in their facilities. Naturally, you should always contact the owners of each space before visiting them.
To give you a hint of the diversity of places you can tap into as Bitnation citizen, we will try to cover a broader geopgraphic span in each embassy review.
We will start our tour with Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, representing a large number of Bitnation citizens.
Felipecoin – Rio de Janeiro
This space is the living and working place of the Brazilian Bitnation Ambassador, Felipe Alarcon. It is located west of the center of Rio de Janeiro, near the Stadion Maracanã. Felipe chose to give something back to Bitnation’s community of volunteers, and has hosted many local libertarians before, exchanging their ideas on how to save their country from the adversities of fiat money and public administration. Thus, you can expect to meet like-minded people if you want to find solutions for Brazil’s unemployment, high taxes, inflation and corruption.
When asked about how he found out about us, Felipe told us his lifechanging story:
As far as I remember, I was deeply depressed for most of 2015, because most of my personal projects have failed, added to that was the big financial crisis Brazil is still going trough. But in it’s last months I found out about Bitcoins. It looked crazy at a first glance, and there was a lot of rubbish about it online (The deepweb money kind of stuff), but I went forward. Firstly I tried getting some BTC at faucets, but that was not a lot, then I bought some in a local exchange, and started using Bitcoin wallets, and afterwards I found out about Bitcoin cards. I was speachless! “What the f**k?!” was the only thing I could think of. I have never been so excited about something for a whole year!
I started mining Bitcoins and other currencies, I got a freelance translation contract for a russian based Bitcoin exchange website, I was buying beer and cigarettes with my Bitcoin card! There were no limits in what I could do with Bitcoins. And I was not paying taxes for the corrupt Brazilian government! I could send my BTC from one wallet to another, in different parts of the world and the government would never even know. This was perfect for me, as I always considered myself as an anarchist. This is one of the best inventions of mankind! It was the light at the end of the tunnel for me, my hope was renewed!
Meantime, I saw a video in a Brazilian libertarian Youtube channel, called Ideias Radicais, about Bitnation. A Digital Nation, borderless, with it’s own notary, among other services, “You gotta be sh****ng me!” I thought. I started searching about this crazy lady, that’s no one else than our beloved Chief Unicorn, Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, I watched all her interviews, and then I discovered she was residing at Ponta Negra, Rio de Janeiro, not more than a 1 hour car ride from my place. I contacted her and drove there. The place was amazing and Susanne was a very good host. I was overwhelmed with information, her life experience and the possible applications of Bitnation.
I started helping her with Embassy affairs, and I still do, plus I joined Slack and help with some translations to Brazilian Portuguese. She personally appointed me as the Brazilian Ambassador for Bitnation, which I’m very proud to be. At the end, Bitcoins and Bitnation were almost a cure for my depression and with both of them my hopes in mankind have been restored.
Felipe also plans to build a hackerspace at the Bitnation embassy at Ponta Negra together with Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof in the future. In the meantime he thinks about using the building as a hostel accepting Bitcoin payments, as soon as the facility has been improved.
Progressbar – Bratislava
Next up is a Bitnation consulate in Slovakia, located in the old town of Bratislava. Contact Matej Held or one of the members to get access to this space. The Progressbar hackerspace is a Slovak center of crypto-anarchist ideas and libertarian undergroud counterculture. Matej told us that the Slovak hacker community has been active in the cryptocurrency world from the very start, as one of the firsts Bitcoin ATMs in Europe was launched in Progressbar in 2013. According to Matej, there are close relations between the Czech and Slovak hacker scene. Some of the members of Progressbar are also involved in the Czech Institute of Cryptoanarchy of Paralelni Polis in Prague, where Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof had presented about Bitnation.
Crypto is part of their culture, just as 3D printing, software and hardware hacking, biohacking, education, art and virtual reality, amongst other cyberpunk topics. You are good to go if you share their values: Freedom , creativity, technology savvy and desire for deeper knowledge. Matej ponts out: “When such people come together, synergy follows.”
Progressbar is ruled actocratically, meaning that when you act, things get moving, when not, nothing happens. It is an organic experiment which evolves spontaneously. Matej remarks that “in Bratislava everybody knows each other and is willing to help, whether it concerns business or other activities. Bitnation can clarify these relationships and give them an identity.” Therefore, he is willing to transform the space into a cypherpunk micronation going by the name “New Tortuga”.
Tostadero Studios – Barcelona
Taigo Carol is your contact to get access to this Bitnation consulate in the heart of Grácia, Barcelona’s cultural and artistic melting pot. Tostadero Studios is a community of artists and musicians, inviting you with good vibes and a creative environment.
Taigo’s consulate is a huge warehouse where he is building his new studio. In the meantime, he lives there and shares the space with artists – mostly painters and musicians. According to his experience, you need to involve people and get involved to make ideas grow. Taigo told us: “I hope hackers and hacktivists will feel at home here and maybe benefit from people that look at the world from a non-tech way. To become an artist you foremost require to have a little depth of perception and that is something that can be really useful to the more logic-oriented, tech guy. Also, most of us are very politicaly active and I believe hacktivism is the better chance we have to evolve as societies.”
Regarding his first encounter with the world of crypto, he stated to us:
I was the first company in Spain to accept Bitcoins. I own a recording studio in Barcelona and though I am a music producer by trade, I studied a couple years of computer engineering. Always been interested in anarchism and the possibilities that the new developments in software could mean for the advancement of anarchist ideals.
When Taigo is finished building his recording studio, he will provide a space dedicated to urban gardening and another one dedicated to hacking and all things crypto.
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