TL;DR: Bitcoin Girl Thailand, Nadia Summergirl and her husband, Chad Elwartowski, are subjects in The Seasteading Institute’s first episode, of a four part documentary, about pioneers launching a private home into international waters. Originally scheduled to happen on the Genesis Block’s tenth anniversary, inclement weather delayed the project initially. Directed by veteran seastead activist and philosopher, Joe Quirk, in this installment, Facing the Storm, he asks “why these volunteers are so passionate about seasteading.”
Bitcoin Girl Thailand Part of First Seasteaders
For many Bitcoiners, at least part of the attraction is reimagining life apart from present systems, be they financial or governmental. And since all legal tender in the world is by definition government controlled, known as fiat money, it’s only natural some in the community would wish to go one step further.
Seasteading is the concept of using the last bastions of relative legal freedom, its oceans, to build independent communities, societies. Championed by thinkers from Milton Friedman’s grandson, Patri, to billionaire investor Peter Thiel, seasteading used to be thought of as just another crazy libertarian idea, too futuristic, too out of the box.
A book and a few high profile articles later, and more people from a variety of philosophical views are considering the idea, taking it seriously. As Brian Doherty recently noted, “Seasteading was conceived more than a decade ago out of libertarian enthusiasm for the possibilities of improving governance through an explosive proliferation of new polities. Building modular floating ‘land’ on the high seas, its advocates argue, would increase our ability to escape the depredations of existing governments.”
A dozen miles off of Phuket, Thailand is where Chad Elwartowski and Nadia Summergirl have established their home, which has been afloat since early last month. Details about their experiment can be found through a frequently asked questions page (FAQ) and an interview the couple gave to Doherty. “The team surrounding the project were early adopters of bitcoin, and with wealth acquired that way it has spent around $150,000 on the project,” Doherty explained.
It’s a six meter square, two story octagon with what appears to be an observation deck. “Their octagon sits atop a floating spar ballasted with concrete and sand, 20 meters long, 2 meters in diameter, and 14mm thick,” Doherty detailed, and the FAQ page claims it will be able to withstand whatever the ocean might dish out. Though not formally associated with The Seasteading Institute for a variety of reasons, the couple’s progress is nonetheless being championed by the group in hopes of reigniting interest in the idea once more people see it in practice. There are plans to offer a hands-on course in building a similar seastead later this month, along with offering up eventual timeshare arrangements.
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