Who’s Really Behind Bitcoin Lake?
We ALL Are.
In response to a recent Medium Article I stumbled across on my journeys through the internet I feel compelled to write another perspective for the work happening to make Lake Atitlan, the newest haven for Bitcoin Maximalists and Crypto Enthusiasts. The name, Bitcoin Lake, is modeled after the ever so popular Bitcoin Beach in El Salvador who we, the crypto enthusiasts here in Guatemala, have been closely following. I personally have been more fond of the branding “Crypto Atitlan” than “Bitcoin Lake” which represents the crypto community group of Lake Atitlan, now 479 members strong on Telegram. However in solidarity with our Central American allies and building upon the success of Bitcoin Beach as well as the popularity of Bitcoin I do see the merit in using the Bitcoin Lake to describe our crypto paradise.
A little history of the Lake. “There is no road that circles the lake. Communities are reached by boat or roads from the mountains that may have brief extensions along the shore.” (Wikipedia). The Crypto Atitlan community is made up of people across the lake but mostly on the west side of the lake including San Pedro, San Marcos, San Pablo and Tzununa. There is another project focusing on the town of Panajachel which is on the east side of the lake and is accessed by a different road connecting to the main highway.
The inspiration sparking this article is that in the article written by the gentleman known as 67corvette on his medium account who is working in Panajachel after making a rant for lack of support and hurdles makes the claim that our crypto community is somehow hurting the efforts he is doing.
“And we’ve had other issues with a competing crypto project trying to convert into a Bitcoin project using the same name. Bitcoin Lake is a project we have started and maintain. We’ve put serious work into this and I’m starting to feel protective of the effort. One thing I know of true Bitcoiners is they aren’t posers. Bitcoiners don’t take credit for work they haven’t done nor do they try to usurp another’s — it’s part of the ethos of Bitcoin.”
I have learned that across the decentralized, blockchain, and crypto space there are a lot of people coming into it with the old paradigm trying to bridge their ethos, behaviors and culture to this new way of interacting. I have come to see that in the crypto space the most successful projects are those with a strong community. The core Crypto Atitlan community is mostly expats who have called the Lake home for many years. Some of the strongest Bitcoin Maximalists in the Crypto Atitlan community have been evangelizing crypto as early as 2017, here was a meetup invite I stumbled across in 2018.
I asked Rishi Bond who’s been leading the charge with Crypto Atitlan and the (westside) Bitcoin Lake mass adoption campaign about the other Bitcoin Lake I’ve only recently discovered. His response was “I have been talking with Patrick because I want to move into a model of collaboration but it takes two to tango. He seems stuck in the old competition mindset. Hopefully he’ll come around. Regardless, all adoption is good adoption!” I do remember Rishi being excited and posting about a meeting in Panajachel to join forces with another project. After I read Rishi’s comment I read the article and was confirmed that his read of the competition in Patrick aka 67corvette was real.
The fact is what Rishi says, all adoption is good adoption. We all dream of getting off the petrodollar and helping the local community access crypto since many don’t even have access to banking. What I can’t figure out is how two groups working towards a common goal could in any way be competition to each other? The San Marcos crypto community members have had great success in adoption and have even installed the first Bitcoin ATM and has amassed an active Telegram community group close to reaching 500 people. The other group has also had great successes in local adoption, a great following on Twitter with over 2000 followers and over 1000 tweets, they are working to instal Bitcoin mining machines at the municipal waste water treatment plant to capture the methane gas and have an incredible amount of PR written across many platforms and publications. It doesn’t take a genius to see where each of these two organizations could benefit from teaming up.
The truth about crypto adoption is that we all benefit the more people adopt it. The ecosystem was built for collaboration, not competition. We are in the beginning stages of a new paradigm on the planet with new tools built on decentralized technology that can revolutionize our human experience. I personally have seen organizations explode using decentralized governance because the old paradigm of competition, power and control plagued the members of the organization rendering the technology tool, the DAO, useless.
For this article I asked Patrick for an interview which he obliged but was called away quickly after learning I was friends with Rishi. When texting him to finish the interview I received the message “After thinking about it the reach of a personal Medium post won’t move the needle on awareness for our project and we really don’t want to be associated with what Rishi is doing”.
Disinherited I realized that Patrick is still in the pre blockchain mindset of competition over collaboration. Exchanging texts later that evening with Patrick it seems that the core issue is lack of acknowledgement he feels from Rishi, something easily fixed. This article is written to recognize the efforts of all of those working to make Lake Atitlan the crypto mecca we all want to exist in. There are so many to list who are all playing an integral part. There are those actively promoting it like Rishi and Patrick and those behind the scenes building the community, installing the cryptomat bitcoin ATM, running the community groups, hosting the meet ups and evangelizing the benefits of crypto.
May we remember that we are all on the same team.