From beer to Bitcoin as legal tender: A BTC education in Roatán

A screenshot of a video game Bitcoin

From beer to Bitcoin as legal tender: A BTC education in Roatán

How a small-scale Bitcoin education project involving a former brewery collided with plans for Bitcoin as de facto legal tender.

From beer to Bitcoin as legal tender: A BTC education in Roatán

Few crypto enthusiasts around the world could point to the remote island of Roatán prior to the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami. 

Dušan Matuska was one of them, a Bitcoin (BTC) educator whose plans to open a Bitcoin education center in a former brewery entangled with the Satoshi Nakamoto-inspired vision of a special economic zone in Honduras called Próspera. Located on Roatán, Próspera accepts Bitcoin as de facto legal tender as of April 2022.

But how did a Slovakian Bitcoin miner stumble across one of the few locations worldwide to accept Bitcoin as de facto legal tender? And, what does a brewery have to do with it?

From beer to Bitcoin as legal tender: A BTC education in Roatán

In late 2021, Matuska’s Bitcoin mining friends mentioned the Honduran isle of Roatan, explaining their intention to buy a few plots of land on the picture-perfect island. Given the success of neighboring country El Salvador and the Bitcoin Beach Bitcoin adoption story, as well as his personal mission to teach 100 million people about Bitcoin by 2030, Matuska’s curiosity was piqued.

Matuska flew over from Paraguay, where he was investigating renewable Bitcoin mining operations, and quickly learned Roatán is a “nice small island in Honduras” that has “beautiful views.” It’s like a “hidden pearl of the Caribbean.”

However, it’s small, so “after two weeks having a holiday there, you start to get bored.”

Brimen explained to Cointelegraph that the Bitcoin education center in Próspera aligns with their key strategic objectives of identifying “100 cocreators that will be ‘hands on’ in activating a string of strategic projects.”

“Dusan’s project is one of them, he’s co-creating something important to the jurisdiction by installing a Bitcoin education center. Decentralized finance is key and Bitcoin is a much better form of currency than traditional fiat. We want to enable that.”

Upon seeing the new building and the scale of the project, Matuska’s brain went into overdrive. He needed to talk to his girlfriend, his colleagues, immigration authorities and airlines as they had just “a couple of weeks or months just to set it up and start to put everything together.”

Matuska told Cointelegraph that the Próspera project was keen to do “everything on Bitcoin.” A deal was struck just weeks before Bitcoin 2022.

During Samson Mow’s keynote speech at Bitcoin 2022, Bitcoin as a de facto legal tender was announced in Próspera, Honduras and Madeira, Portugal, while a Mexican senator shared ambitious Bitcoin plans for her country.

From beer to Bitcoin as legal tender: A BTC education in Roatán

The announcement made during Bitcoin 2022 in Miami. Source: YouTube

Matuska jokes that the President of Próspera, Joel Bomgar, almost mentioned the Bitcoin education center during the keynote speech, but the time constraints of just “90 seconds on stage” didn’t quite allow for it.

Back in Honduras, the Bitcoin education center is growing in importance as part of Próspera’s and Brimen’s vision for Bitcoin. Ultimately, Bitcoin should be understood and used correctly.

From beer to Bitcoin as legal tender: A BTC education in Roatán

The view from the top of the Bitcoin education center in Próspera. Source: Matuska

Brimen told Cointelegraph that “it is not enough to simply make it legal,” as people should “have the tools available to them as well as the knowledge to use it optimally.” He continued:

“Since it is considered legal tender, we want to enable people to not just have the right to use it but to use it responsibly.”

As a result, Matuska is keen for Bitcoiners around the world to visit, reach out and be part of the change occurring in Honduras.

“Próspera actually asked us to be the leaders in terms of onboarding businesses in Honduras, helping them out and setting everything up. For us, it’s a huge leap toward our vision of accelerating Bitcoinization. And, that’s why I just couldn’t say no.”

“Lecturers from Czechia and Slovakia are flying out to teach,” but the team is still thin on the ground. As Brimen concludes, “to use Bitcoin to the maximum benefit possible,” they are going to need all the help they can get.

Próspera’s new Bitcoin education center. Source: Matuska

As for the former brewery that’s fallen into disrepair, Matuska told Cointelegraph that “maybe” in the future, there will be a Bitcoin-related project taking place there. It’d be a shame to let such a beautiful building go to waste. 

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