How to build a Bitcoin beach: advice from the pros

How to build a Bitcoin (BTC) community? How to start? Where to start? And what are the best practices?

Cointelegraph spoke to Bitcoin community builders from around the world to shed light on a growing phenomenon in the Bitcoin world.

From Indonesia to South Africa to El Salvador and Congo, circular-based Bitcoin economies and community projects have sprung up around the world. Cointelegraph asked successful community-oriented bitcoiners how to start a Bitcoin circular economy and what advice they would give to enthusiasts who want to replicate the success of projects like Bitcoin Beach, El Zonte.

Using Bitcoin on Bitcoin Beach. Source: Twitter

For Bitcoin community project leader Mike Peterson, it starts with Lightning. Peterson pioneered the Bitcoin Beach project in El Salvador’s sleepy surf town of El Zonte. The circular economy has energized an entire nation, eventually leading El Salvador to accept Bitcoin as legal tender in 2021. Peterson told Cointelegraph:

“You need to use lightning to get people transacting and building a circular economy. It really needs to be built on lightning. [..] You have to get people involved in the operation.”

Layer-2 Lightning Network is a payment solution built on Bitcoin. El Chivo in El Salvador is one of the most popular Lightning-enabled Bitcoin wallets, although it has had problems since its launch. All over the rest of the world, bitcoin enthusiasts use Wallet of Satoshi, Muun Wallet, CoinCorner or Blue Wallet to transact with each other instantly. Peterson continued:

“If you get them to do the first transaction and they see how easy it is and they actually send value a second time from one person to another at almost no cost, that’s when the light bulb goes off and they understand. the value it has.”

Finally, Leadership with Lightning helps beginners understand that Bitcoin can be easy and even fun. CoinCorner, an exchange based in the Isle of Man, United Kingdom, home to a budding Bitcoin community, has found inventive ways to showcase the Lightning Network.

The Bitcoin Ekasi Project near South Africa’s Mossel Bay. Source: Twitter

Hermann Vivier, founder of Bitcoin Ekasi in the Western Cape of South Africa, shared a few tricks for building a Bitcoin economy. First, while it’s important to “put one foot in front of the other” and “just get started,” he said, try to see if there’s a pre-existing community to tap into:

“We had something that already existed, and we built the Bitcoin community on top of that.”

Bitcoin Ekasi is a township project that takes kids away from school gangs and into the Atlantic waves of South Africa, learning lifeguarding and surfing skills. Vivier teaches Bitcoin as another element of children’s education.

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In addition, Vivier shared that it’s important to keep it simple. “Hold on to Bitcoin,” he joked. His work and love for this community project has made him a “Bitcoin maximalist” because it helps prevent the risk of fraud in the cryptocurrency, while at the same time preventing blockchain from making progress:

“I would say focus 100% on Bitcoin only. If there is anything better than Bitcoin out there, then this is what you should be looking at. But right now Bitcoin is where it’s at.”

“If you can’t answer people’s questions, you can’t build a community, and that requires extensive knowledge,” Nourou, founder of Bitcoin Senegal, a community-driven Bitcoin project in West Africa, told Cointelegraph.

Iman Yudha, who leads a group of cryptocurrency and Bitcoin enthusiasts in Indonesia, agrees. He told Cointelegraph, “It’s important to get educated first before making any decisions. This is my personal opinion.”

After building a solid foundation of basic knowledge about Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and security. Nourou recommends starting to talk about Bitcoin, which has close ties:

“If you can’t convince your mother, brother, sister, cousins, etc., start with the family, that’s a bad start.”

He notes that the next step varies depending on culture, work experience and environment. In Senegal, “it is the richest who roughly define fashion and set trends.” That’s why people tend to copy them.” That’s why Nourou tried to focus his Bitcoin communication on those communities first. By the way, Nourou is hosting West Africa’s first major Bitcoin conference, Dakar Bitcoin Days, on December 2nd at West Africa’s largest theater.

Cointelegraph participated in Dakar, Senegal’s first Bitcoin meeting in 2022.

Lucas, the co-founder of Global Bitcoin Fest, which holds a Twitter Spaces marathon for people around the world, encourages Bitcoin enthusiasts to focus on people again. Bitcoin can be “lonely” in the country, he told Cointelegraph, so finding a team with shared values ​​can push things forward. He shared an example:

“This is a conversation I had with two guys in Zimbabwe recently. They want to start a [project] there. He wanted to do it, but he was alone. […] Then he found another great maxi, the Metamorphoses, and now they form a team – and the energy is completely different now.

Yudha chimed in, sharing that energy and enthusiasm are critical and that community builders should avoid being “toxic” wherever possible.

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In short, these Bitcoin pioneers suggest finding like-minded people to work with, starting small, taking advantage of existing communities, knowing and understanding the subject, and not overextending yourself. The simplest way to do this is to focus on Bitcoin and Bitcoin only. Get people to use the Lightning Network to get people interested and transacted because it gives people their own lightbulb moment.