I have dedicated the last decade of my life to philanthropy. But since starting the Built With Bitcoin Foundation with my co-founder, Ray Youssef, I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about what Bitcoin can do for the people who need it most. I can only speak based on my experiences and the conversations I’ve had with the communities I’ve served, but I’ve seen firsthand how Bitcoin can be a catalyst towards freedom.
In building bitcoin communities, an important lesson I’ve learned is that people won’t adopt something they don’t understand. Therefore, in the villages where we work, we not only build schools, but we build communities – providing resources and education to locals, showing them how bitcoin can help and enrich their daily lives and how it could also be a way to finally achieve financial freedom. .
Our recent project in El Salvador can speak to this. At the end of 2021, we had the opportunity to work alongside Bitcoin Magazine to raise money for a community two and a half hours from San Salvador called Isla Tasajera. In this community of over 1,500 people, there is only one school, no banks, no hospitals and no supermarkets. Our mission was to transform the Tasajera Island community by fixing the local school, providing resources for financial education, and access to clean water, technology, and transportation through a Bitcoin boat. Thanks to the power of Bitcoin and the generosity Bitcoin Magazine community, we were able to accomplish this and lay the foundation for a community that will continue to thrive long after our work is no longer needed.
But the success of any community extends far beyond a single project. The most important measure of success is the relationship we are able to create with the people living in these communities. It’s about building a sustainable project that lasts for generations to come.
It was the community leader of Isla Tasajera, Don Walter, who told us that they were willing and ready to work with Bitcoin. On the island, there are only two types of jobs: the breeders of “tortuga” (turtles) or the fishermen. Walter shared that tortuga farmers were eager to learn how they could use bitcoin to boost their income, help with remittances, and increase the long-term value of the $300 they earned each month during tortuga season. , which lasts from June to December. Knowing very little about Bitcoin, they were ready to trust us to show them the way to a better quality of life. This is the most powerful thing about Bitcoin: it has the power to change lives for the better.
I look forward to the opportunity to share more of our work stories with communities around the world on the Genesis Stage at this year’s Bitcoin 2022 Conference. Because we can all do better. We can all listen, learn and understand better by doing this together. In my personal belief, this is what Satoshi Nakamoto intended Bitcoin user interactions to be: person-to-person, human-to-human, community-to-community.
This is a guest post by Yusuf Nessary. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.