Why create a Bitcoin Economy in Jericoacoara?
From the early days, Bitcoin has promised to allow us to bankroll the unbanked and return the power of governments and financial institutions to the individual. However, until recently, this promise has remained elusive.
Jericoacoara is a Small village inside a National Park, 300 km from Fortaleza, on the west coast of Ceará, northeast of Brazil.
Despite being one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet, we do not have a single ATM, and most natives are excluded from the traditional financial system.
We were forgotten by the banks, but now we have Bitcoin.
About the Praia Bitcoin Experiment
Praia Bitcoin is an independent movement, inspired by the original Bitcoin Beach experiment in El Zonte, to ensure that Bitcoin's true potential is realized and that those excluded from the banking system are the main beneficiaries. We believe if a local economy is created with Bitcoin's support, new opportunities will open up for the community members.
We are following the ideas of the Bitcoin Beach whitepaper as much as we can. Our mission is to use Bitcoin as money and a reserve of value by integrating education, spirituality, recreation, and technology, the 4 pillars of a Bitcoin Beach-Like Effort.
How did the experiment get started?
Using an initial donation of 0.02 BTC from our founder Fernando Motolese, Praia Bitcoin started to create Jericoacoara's Bitcoin Circular Economy by helping more than 120 users (local workers, artisans, fishermen, and street artists) to create Lightning and OnChain wallets. Then, we helped 10 local businesses to accept Bitcoin as payment,
providing training and promotional material.
Here is a full list of what you can buy with Bitcoin at Jericoacoara Village and a map of the businesses where you can use Bitcoin as payment.
Thanks to multiple donation matches from Galoy Money, we translated the Bitcoin Beach Wallet to Brazilian Portuguese, we started to test the Galoy Money infrastructure in a self-hosting environment, and we created a guide to replicate our Lightning implementation.
Thanks to a donation of 0.1 BTC from Bitcoin Beach, our founder has fixed the computers of the Public School with new
power supplies, mouse pads, and headsets. Furthermore, he has installed a switch for the local network, Linux Mint on all computers as the operating system, and managed a partnership with the local internet provider to offer an Internet connection of 400Mb for the lab. Now, the kids are having regular classes there, and they love it!
With a second 0.1 BTC donation from Bitcoin Beach, on August 13th, 2022, we did the first Bitcoin activation in the school by giving away piggy banks, squeezes, T-shirts, and 408 mnemonic paper wallets for all students and teachers. Using the paper wallets, they'll be able to receive rewards for their voluntary work and hold BTC. The funding transaction of all wallets destined to the school is here.
To generate the paper wallets, mainly to onboard the students without mobile phones, we created our tools to do it. Different from all available Paper Wallets (who use private keys of one address only), we are using the powerful Mnemonic Phrases to create a Segwit Bip84 wallet generated by Ian Coleman Bip 39 (version 0.5.4). Running on an offline computer with all security measures possible, after printing the wallet with instructions on how to use it, they were cut, bent, stamped, packed, and sealed. Our method to safely generate the wallets and the code are available here.
The results of the first activation were incredible. The students started to use the t-shirt and squeeze at school, and also sell groceries on the streets using the paper wallet to receive and hold SATs.
On the "Piggybanks bailout by Bitcoin #1" on August 31, around 9 volunteers received 5000 SATs each and 46 kids converted fiat coins into Bitcoin with our help. The paper wallet effect on the students was impressive, and all collected coins were donated to the School. During the conversion, they received instructions to keep their seeds safe and a 10% reward in Bitcoin. The transactions of the Piggybanks bailout are here and here.
A new stage begins
Finally, we received a third donation of 0.1 BTC from Bitcoin Beach, and a donation of 0.21 BTC from the channel Palavra de Satoshi at the beginning of September 2022, and we started a new stage in our development.
First, we donated to the school 0.012 BTC to start the project "Quem Planta, Colhe" written by our founder to build an organic vegetable garden in the School's backyard with help of the students. We will support them with donations until the garden is ready.
To improve our local server infrastructure, we bought 3 new mini-computers, 2 no break, 5 power strips, and 3 surveillance cameras
Collaborating with Lee Salminen founder of Bitcoin Jungle Costa Rica, we developed the Bulk Bolt Cards script to create an LNBits wallet with several features activated attached to an NFC Card (NTAG 424DNA). With just one command, it generates 4 pages with QR codes, and instructions to use the card and the wallet features.