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Bitcoin Might Be Flying, but It’s No Longer Floating


Bitcoin fans’ figurative ship has come in recently, but not literally.

Ocean Builders, a group that advocates using the nearly three-quarters of the planet covered by water as a place for people to live, took delivery of idled cruise ship Pacific Dawn in November. It started to auction off cabins as “a gathering place for digital nomads, cryptocurrency enthusiasts, expats, researchers, and entrepreneurs.” Leading the effort was bitcoin trader Chad Elwartowski, who is listed as the group’s “First Seasteader.”

Overhauled and renamed the MS Satoshi, the 804-foot-long ship, once among one of the largest built, sailed to Panama where it was to be anchored offshore. The timing seemed auspicious with interest in cryptocurrencies surging recently, and the ship reportedly being picked up for a bargain due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But the plan quickly took on water when the buyers were informed that they had to comply with maritime law, such as being insured and paying premiums in fiat currency.

“Unfortunately, we will not be able to proceed because of archaic big insurance companies that cannot adapt to innovative new ideas,” wrote Ocean Builders Chief Executive Grant Romundt in an email to investors.

According to a Facebook fan page, MS Satoshi was sold for scrap and was last reported to be steaming to a yard in India to be broken up.

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