Burners Building Crypto-Utopia in Puerto Rico

Brock Pierce is perhaps the most famous person in the world of cryptocurrency. He got married at Burning Man, and has much more time for Burners than civilians. He and his friends are living in a Monastery and building a permanent city in Puerto Rico called Sol: a Phoenix rising from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

See the whole interview with Brock and Tai Lopez here.

The New York Times picked up this story:

SAN JUAN, P.R. — They call what they are building Puertopia. But then someone told them, apparently in all seriousness, that it translates to “eternal boy playground” in Latin. So they are changing the name: They will call it Sol.

Dozens of entrepreneurs, made newly wealthy by blockchain and cryptocurrencies, are heading en masse to Puerto Rico this winter. They are selling their homes and cars in California and establishing residency on the Caribbean island in hopes of avoiding what they see as onerous state and federal taxes on their growing fortunes, some of which now reach into the billions of dollars.

And these men — because they are almost exclusively men — have a plan for what to do with the wealth: They want to build a crypto utopia, a new city where the money is virtual and the contracts are all public, to show the rest of the world what a crypto future could look like. Blockchain, a digital ledger that forms the basis of virtual currencies, has the potential to reinvent society — and the Puertopians want to prove it.

For more than a year, the entrepreneurs had been searching for the best location. After Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico’s infrastructure in September and the price of cryptocurrencies began to soar, they saw an opportunity and felt a sense of urgency.

So this crypto community flocked here to create its paradise. Now the investors are spending their days hunting for property where they could have their own airports and docks. They are taking over hotels and a museum in the capital’s historic section, called Old San Juan. They say they are close to getting the local government to allow them to have the first cryptocurrency bank.

Read the rest at the New York Times.

This sounds like a great use of Burner power.

Why devote a year’s worth of energy to building something that is destroyed in minutes? I mean, don’t get me wrong, that can be fun the first few times you do it. Is that all there is though, the pinnacle of Self-Expression is destruction? What about other values, Civic Responsibility, Communal Effort, Immediacy? We can take all the creative and artistic talent, brainpower, networks, and newly minted crypto capital of the Burner community and use that to do permanent good, helping others in need. Gifting things that make a lasting impact to many.

BMorg might tell you “but that’s what we do, Burners Without Borders”! Unfortunately the most recent financial data we have says that they spent less than $8000 on these projects in 2015 and 2016, years in which they took in more than $80 million.

At this point the chances of Decommodification, Inc and their ever-expanding year-round crew saving the world are pretty slim. They would have to become something they quite clearly are not. Look at Flysalen, 2 years to figure out a vision for that, hundreds of people plotting world domination in the hot tub at Esalen…still nothing.  Burners, on the other hand? We know how to get shit done. We can make the world a better place. Many of us already are, like SHELTERCOIN. Puerto Rico needs our help, there are many other disaster-devastated destinations. Why destroy stuff when you can rebuild homes and restore communities?

Or, we can just do the same hedonistic debauched thing every year in the same way, the only thing changing is ticket prices going up and lines getting longer while the quality of the crowd goes down. Eat, sleep, Burn, repeat, forever and ever and ever…

 

CryptoBeast #6 – A World of Infinite Love and Abundance

How do we make the world a better place? Is it by paying $1200 for Burning Man tickets, dropping acid and partying for a week half naked on a bicycle? Isn’t going to festivals just another form of commodification?

New technology is offering new opportunities to truly attain freedom – not just financial independence, but lifestyle independence. Burning Man used to be about rejecting the Default world and embracing something new and better. Now that action has shifted to the blockchain.

Video

Awaken: A Story of Dreams [Update]

A new video documentary of Burning Man. Spot your friends!

We covered Project Dreambox earlier: St Art Ups Posing As Playa Art

You can read more about their Dreamus venture in Ever Widening Circles:

what if your “dream” isn’t that of an item to be sold or…put out into the world free of charge? That’s where Dreamus comes in. Dreamus.com allows their users to follow dreams they feel are important, add fellow dreamers to friendship lists for private communication, and comment on a users dream. On your own dream page you can also add any number of goals you hope to attain and check them off as they’re completed, giving viewers a clear of where you are in terms of your overall goal.

The Dreambox was the vision of Teddy Saunders, who created the popular “Oh The Places You’ll Go” Dr Seuss-themed viral video, which was blamed by BMOrg for causing the ticket lottery debacle. Saunders was happy to use the Burning Man connection to promote his startup in the media, saying this year to Daily Dot:

 “I think we’re one of the first art installations that gave birth to an online Web platform that reaches beyond the borders of the playa and connects Burning Man participants to the outside world in a timeless way that lasts after Burning Man.”

The Dreambox has been going to Burning Man since 2012, when it raised an initial $29,277 from Burners in a successful Kickstarter campaign. It has now been to Burning Man 3 times.  This year it received further funding in the form of an Art Honorarium grant from Burning Man Arts.

Despite all this, there are no dreams from Burning Man on their web site. Perhaps because these days even dreams need a license from Decommodification LLC…

You think I’m kidding, or being snarky? From Daily Dot:

“Our plan with DreamBox 3.0 was to put a satellite on the DreamBox so that people could immediately share dreams,” Saunders recalls. “However, at the last minute Burning Man’s media department put the brakes on us after their art department already gave us full support as an honorarium project. It’s pretty embarrassing actually. We’re saddened that they are hesitant to allow their participants to share such beautiful intentions.”

Saunders also says there are 12 short films he created about the Dreambox project that the media team won’t allow him to release because Dreamus features a donations option—and that this is an act of “commodifying” the festival.  

Is it really commodifying Burning Man, by sharing Burners’ dreams and helping them come true? Maybe the competition for donation dollars that might otherwise go to the Burning Man Project is the real reason for BMOrg’s media department putting the brakes on something their art department fully supported.

[Update 1/12/15 11:49am Australia]

Paola Baldion, who previously had spoken to us in relation to the Dreambox but asked for her comments to be confidential, has contacted us with this information:

Although (as my previous message states) I am not part of DreamBox anymore, Teddy and I were the creators of it. It was actually my original idea and vision and then Teddy joined me in the project… We both worked together really hard for a month and raised 29k on Kickstarted. Even in the Awaken video Teddy says that we created the Dreambox together. Just so in the future you can say that it was ‘teddy saunders and Paola Baldion’s vision’.

image: Ian Kennedy/Flickr (Creative Commons)

image: Ian Kennedy/Flickr (Creative Commons)