Imagine a utopia where cryptocurrency enthusiasts, cryptocurrency enthusiasts, and investors alike can be free to live beyond the reach of the laws of humanity. This was the vision of Bitcoin enthusiasts and idealists, Grant Romondt, Rudiger Koch and Chad Elwartofsky. These three were determined to make their dream of crypto abduction a reality. This is until they realize some of the hard facts associated with running a floating colony.
The plan was simple: buy a retired cruise ship for $9.5 million > go to Panama > create a utopia > win! Seems easy doesn’t it? What these three idealists did not anticipate, however, was the number of hoops they would need to jump through, in order to make their paradise a reality.
Pushing the romantic ideals of Patriy Friedman and others, the three began aggressively with their “Seavilization” project. First, they baptize their former (formerly Pacific Dawn) cruise ship MS Satoshi, after the godfather of Bitcoin – and perhaps they would like to take some of his luck for a successful mission. Although, according to Watchman (via IFL Science), the successful renaming of the ship was the first and last victory.
The three soon discover that the seas, contrary to popular belief, are not completely lawless and free-build areas. There are strict regulations to follow, especially for huge cruise lines that are also planning to run a crypto business.
Romont lamented to the Guardian, “We were like, ‘Just this Difficult. “
This wasn’t Romondt’s first attempt at founding a scandalous society, either. You’d think the man was going to pack it up after he and his girlfriend were forced to flee for their lives from the coast of Thailand after a former floating community was declared a threat to the country’s independence – a crime punishable by life imprisonment, or even death.
Back at Satoshi’s Noble Bridge: shortly after they set sail, British cruise captain Peter Harris became anxious. He told the Guardian, “I was thinking about the job for a week, ‘I can see I’m going to quit.’ When asked about Coach, the captain admitted that he sounded kind of straight, albeit somewhat naive. ‘He didn’t understand the industry,'” Harris explained, “He thought he could treat her like his own yacht.”
Other obstacles escalated, as the Panamanian authorities deemed the pursuit uninsurable. “They didn’t even tell us why we couldn’t get insurance, they just kept saying no,” Rumendt noted. “It’s hard to cure something if you don’t know what the problem is.” Although there was no official comment from the crew regarding their refusal to lock down, Captain Harris thought their plans to run the Bitcoin business may have something to do with it.
And while the three managed to persuade the Panamanian authorities to agree to a permanent mooring of the Satoshi (as long as it remained designated as a ship), another obstacle arose: they were allowed to dump their sewage.
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They discovered that in order not to break the law they were trying to avoid, they would need to sail 12 miles every few weeks to dump human waste into international waters. This is where the whole process collide.
At about this time Romondt and his companions finally surrendered. Defeated, Romont put his dreams of Seavilisation behind him and spent the holidays sipping on wine and exploring Satoshi. He even walked around enjoying the waterslides himself, which Harris said he turned on specifically for the festivities.
So while all three couldn’t create a utopian paradise fueled by cryptocurrency, we hope they did let a sense of realism into the minds of anyone considering a similar feat. As it turns out, building the rapture is tricky.