Dozens of nouveau riche made wealthy through cryptocurrency speculation and/or blockchain ventures are overwintering in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with the intention of staying permanently to establish a crypto utopia called “Sol”, where money is bankless and contracts are all public.
Many of the group of men (they are all men) sold their homes in California and other high tax locations to establish residency in Puerto Rico, in an attempt to escape state and federal taxes on their newfound wealth, which, in a couple cases, is in the billions of dollars. Beside the tax advantages, the group chose Puerto Rico, not in spite of, but, because of the recent devastating hurricane, moving forward with the mantra that “It’s only when everything’s been swept away that you can make a case for rebuilding from the ground up.”
When the group learned that the first name that they chose, “Puertopia”, translates to “eternal boy playground” in Latin, they changed the name of their project to “Sol”. The renamed group wants to build a crypto utopia, a new city to show the rest of the world what a crypto future can look like. Sol investors are scouting for properties where they can build their own airport and mini-seaport, and they are working with local governments seeking permission to open the first cryptocurrency bank. So far, they have bought hotels and a museum in the Old San Juan historic area. For now they are residing at the Monastery, a 20,000-square-foot hotel largely unscathed by recent hurricane, which Sol rents as its base.
One of Sol's founding members, 34 year old Matt Clemenson, co-founder of blockchain-enabled Lottery.com, said, “We’re benevolent capitalists, building a benevolent economy. Puerto Rico has been this hidden gem, this enchanted island that’s been consistently overlooked and mistreated. Maybe 500 years later we can make it right.”
Brock Pierce, 37, the director of the Bitcoin Foundation and the leader of the movement, says that the guiding principles for the establishment of Sol are, “Compassion, respect, financial transparency.”
Pierce co-founded the blockchain-for-business startup Block. One, which sold $200 million worth of its EOS coins during its ICO, and has a current market cap of $5 billion. Pierce, who has promised to donate a significant portion of his wealth to charity, has what might be called "New Age" ideas about what the founders of the Sol project intend to do. He seems to believe that there is a fundamental metaphysical goodness underlying bitcoin as a grassroots movement and social phenomenon. Kai Nygard, son of the founder of clothing company Nygard and crypto multimillionaire, said about Pierce recently, “He’s tuned in to a higher calling. He’s beyond money.”
Pierce's ideas about the utopia-creating potential of cryptocurrencies mirror a recent statement from Reeve Collins, a Sol team member and co-founder of $2 billion+ market cap Tether, “This is the first time in human history anyone other than kings or governments or gods can create their own money.”
Learn more at the website for this week’s Puerto Rico crypto investment summit at https://blockchainunbound.com.
By: BGN Editorial Staff