The Ocean Builders Company bought a cruise ship in order to found a crypto-colony off the coast of Panama.
The ship will seek to remain decentralized, but could fall victim to the pitfalls of managing a complex housing operation.
Chad Elwartowski, director of operations, says the ship will eventually drift off the coast and may gain autonomy.
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The Ocean Builders Company bought a disused cruise liner in order to found a crypto colony at sea.
Chad Elwartowski, the company’s COO, recently did an AMA on Reddit , revealing details about this new community.
A crypto colony on the water
When Thai authorities seized Chad Elwatowski’s overwater house, he found himself on the run. But that didn’t deter the crypto-entrepreneur from chasing his dream of “sailing the sea” or living in a houseboat on the ocean.
A boating-themed YouTube channel interviewed Elwartowski in his houseboat before he fled from it, and it was towed away by authorities:
His company Ocean Builders, which specializes in floating habitats called “seapods”, has purchased a disused cruise liner from P&O Cruises of Australia. On November 4, 2020, the company will take control of the vessel, rename it “MS Satoshi” and sail from the Mediterranean to the coast of Panama.
The ensuing sea voyage and navigation will require qualified personnel. That’s why Mr. Elwartowski joined a forum on Reddit to reveal details about the ship and recruit pioneers in sea navigation.
In the AMA, Mr. Elwartowski outlined the solutions to some of the day-to-day logistical challenges that the Floating Citadel will face. After all, utilities and supplies can’t just be delivered in the ocean… right?
At first, the ship’s power will come from generators, but he hopes to replace them soon with solar panels. Supplies and food will come from a merchandise store for seagoing ships. Chandleries stores already exist to supply cruise ships anchored off the coast of Panama.
When it comes to connectivity, the bitcoin buff claims that the MS Satoshi will benefit from high-speed internet rather than a satellite connection, perhaps due to its proximity to the coast.
Taxes and Regulations for Ocean Builders
Many WADA members interested in joining the adventure were curious about the terms of payment and taxes. Although the ship is anchored offshore, Elwartowski prefers not to take any risks (following his mishap with the Thai authorities).
Regardless of the legal status and sovereignty of this new Bitcoin colony near Panama, Elwartowski claims he does not take taxes for money earned outside the country. Remote workers would therefore not, in theory, be punished by additional levies. This is probably an important point for any crypto-worker or trader with a libertarian mind.
If the ship is therefore legally in Panama, some users have asked: what interest? Mr. Elwartowski explained that the ship’s first voyage would be to prove the viability of sustainable maritime navigation. With some experience, the company will consider launching into international waters.
Decentralized kitchens: restaurants
Some Reddit users wanted to know what services would be included and how monetary transactions for the services might be in favor of cryptocurrency.
Mr Elwartowski maintains that things will remain as decentralized as possible. However, due to fire safety, rooms cannot be equipped with kitchens or microwaves. Instead, residents will have access to the ship’s restaurants, like on a cruise ship.
These restaurants will be offered at a reduced price to residents (as opposed to vacationers). Another point of safety is COVID-19 precautions.
The ship’s management company, Columbia CS, has a COVID-19 response procedure similar to that of regular cruise ships. Nonetheless, one user noted that a full cruise ship might as well be called “SS COVID”.