Day 01: Between two oceans.
1 dicembre 2021

Who here remembers what it was like to travel before 9/11?
I do very well. It seems like a faded memory now, but there was a time when catching a plane was little more complex than getting on a bus. A time when border controls were all about bored looks at battered passports and baggage checks an annoying rarity. As Edward Snowden always says, the threat of terrorism has really been the excuse by which our governments have convinced us to voluntarily give up many of our freedoms. And how much have we given up…

After more than two years locked up by the global pandemic, facing a transoceanic trip to El Salvador was a cold shower. A merciless look at the rigidity of our society. What Al Queida could not take away from us, COVID19 took away from us, there is no doubt about that. We needed weeks of self-certifications, clinical examinations, visas, stamps and paperwork to collect all the documents necessary to leave. The present post-pandemic makes the Middle Ages look like an Arcadia. We then had the unfortunate idea of making a stopover in the United States. An experience that we will never repeat. In order to spend only three hours inside the Washington D.C. airport, we still had to apply for (and pay for, of course) ESTA, and even though we were only in transit, we had to spend over an hour in line and undergo a thorough interrogation.
What are you carrying? Where are you going? Why? Have you been to these countries recently? How much cash do you have on you? “Not a penny Sir, we’re bitcoiners.
We were photographed, individually and together, fingerprinted several times, filed, annotated. Our luggage scanned and checked manually, we were searched and scrutinized with the famous body scanner. Legs slightly apart and hands in the air while a smug operator admires your penis.

But are we really sure that the States are really that much better than China at this point?
The American giant today is a wounded, paranoid and obsolete creature. Its control mania and arrogance are the tail twists of a dying and obsolete empire. Controlling the spontaneous flows of billions of people is as utopian as segregating the spread of pneumonia. Giving up our freedom of movement and the quality of our lives has not stopped terrorism, which in the last twenty years has struck how and when it wanted. Heedless of controls, scanners and stamped paper. Just as, with Europe seemingly on the precipice of the fourth wave, evidently recruiting the entire planet as a response to the virus must not have had the desired effects.
We have paid a heavy price and the world of 2021 is far less welcoming and smiling than it once was.

As our plane glides towards the airport in San Salvador and from the window we can see the first faint lights of those cities that first welcomed bitcoin as legal tender, my thoughts turn to the day we’ve just had and the many hardships we’ve endured. I really can’t help but wonder if bitcoin isn’t the brightest possibility to remedy all this. To the societal disaster that we as humans have managed to inflict on ourselves. A digital asset, absolutely scarce, out of space and time, borderless and transnational. How can it not be an opportunity?
A system that ignores races and social classes, can perhaps unite us all, bring us closer, give us back freedom, eliminate paranoia by abolishing forever the concept of trust. Laying today the digital foundations of a new world, based on different principles, with different assumptions: is it perhaps only a dream?

Rikki, Laura and Buki

Landing at the San Salvador airport, it seems that this future may already be possible. Billboards show off the symbol of bitcoin. On restaurant doors, window decals read “acceptamos bitcoin.” The Chivo ATM machine, the state wallet with which bitcoins are bought and sold, is the first thing we encounter. Everything looks very promising.
On the way out we are mobbed by taxi drivers, our question is simple: we can only pay with cryptocurrency. A crowd is created in front of us. Faces a bit puzzled at first. Then a burly taxi driver approaches us and with a big smile shows us his smartphone. He has two different wallets installed, Chivo and Bitcoin Beach. The forty-minute drive to San Salvador and our hotel is beautiful. Tropical climate, palm trees as far as the eye can see, Latin American music and a lot of tiredness.
Tomorrow the adventure begins.