In 2013, a Redditor going by the title Luka Magnotta—hopefully not the convicted Canadian assassin —delivered an ominous fantasy of a future during which Bitcoiners reign supreme.
Posing as a time traveler from the 12 months 2025, Magnotta described that 12 months as a wildly unequal dystopia divided between Bitcoin traders and all people else. In his imagining, Bitcoin—already, in 2013, exhibiting indicators of its extraordinary upward pattern—would change into so worthwhile that solely the folks and nations hoarding their wealth in it will survive. Governments, unable to tax Bitcoin holdings, would collapse. Authoritarian regimes like North Korea and Saudi Arabia, which had been ready to amass Bitcoins, would ascend.
Magnotta’s put up was riotously standard, with Bitcoin lovers latching on to one side specifically: The Bitcoin Citadel.
Magnotta wrote that in the future Bitcoin would change into so prized that rich holders—mainly anybody who owned greater than 0.1 BTC in 2013 and didn’t blown all of it on crack—would isolate themselves in far-flung fortresses and metropolis states. They could be armed to the enamel; paranoid past measure; stalked by terrorists (Magnotta relates that the Winklevii, tragically, are amongst the most distinguished Bitcoiners to be murdered for their holdings). But they would even be gloriously self-sufficient; inoculated in opposition to broader-scale societal collapse; joyously, libertarianly, content material.
Getting the improper concept
Obviously, the imaginative and prescient laid out by Magnotta was meant to be a dystopian one. He described it as the “eternal enslavement of humanity to a tiny elite,” beseeching readers to “destroy this godforsaken project in its infancy.”
But a couple of Bitcoiners appeared to have gotten the improper concept.
They liked the imaginative and prescient of the Bitcoin Citadel, which has since change into a wildly standard and well-trafficked meme in the group. Search “Bitcoin Citadel” and you’ll shortly come throughout many apparently straight-faced takes on Citadel power provide (nuclear appears the preferable choice), Citadel location scouting (Edinburgh citadel appears good, but in addition perhaps … the Pyramids ?), and declarations that we now have the Citadel and it’s the nation of El Salvador .
As Bitcoin’s rise has progressed exponentially, the contours of the Citadel dream have taken on a commensurately unhinged tone. I used to be struck by a latest put up by the cloyingly unfunny “ Bitcoin Meme Hub ” the different day that appeared to recommend the dystopian Netflix sequence “Squid Game” was one thing to aspire to: “Hyperbitcoinization will be glorious and entertaining. Just think about of all [sic] the nocoiners who will be competing to for a few million Sats to survive #SatsGame .”
There have even been darkish murmurs about an underclass of “no-coiner slaves” serving this marbled elite. The sheer bitterness the Bitcoiners have towards the mild-mannered system directors who write imply blogs about them…
So the query is: How critical is this Citadel discuss, really?
Taking issues too actually
Many Bitcoin supporters are understandably fast to stress that the complete factor is figurative. While the Citadel notion is greater than only a meme, Nic Carter, an outspoken Bitcoin mega-bull, informed me that it’s principally a “euphemism for secession / balkanization. Bitcoiners generally don’t have a ton of faith in the government’s ability to manage currency and allocate resources, so the natural desire is to localize and gain more control over allocation.”
But “it’s not meant to be taken literally,” he reiterated. “It’s basically a metaphor for the sovereign individual.” The Citadel “is a visualization of the kind of world they genuinely want to build—a world full of Singapores, basically.”
Bitcoin trade lobbyist Neeraj Ok. Agrawal was just a little extra forthright. “It’s a way to visualize and contextualize the promised wealth,” he informed me.
Would he, if he might, reside in a single himself?
“A giant supervillain house? I desire that,” he stated.
“How many no-coiner slaves would you own?” I requested gingerly , considering of the employment potentialities….
But Neeraj shrugged this off. “The way I see it,” he stated, “you’d be there, but the arrangement would be voluntary.” That is, if I needed to eat, I’d volunteer to “work.”
Since eternally, libertarians have dreamed up these types of cosseted micro-communities, and it wholly gels with their twofold just-leave-me-the-hell-alone/have-fun-staying-poor set of political views. And, fairly ominously, crypto folks are really getting shut to constructing these items.
There was Bitcointopia , as an illustration, which concerned the promoting of massive tracts of land in alternate for Bitcoin. There was the “ Satoshi cruise liner ,” which was a sort of marooned crypto convention, and a catastrophe .
It isn’t simply Bitcoiners—altcoin followers are at it, too. Consider the “ Blockchain City ” supposedly being in-built the Nevada desert by a lawyer-turned-crypto millionaire. And then there is the apotheosis: El Salvador , that tiny Central American nation which Nayib Bukele and Bitcoiners have become a laboratory for deranged financial experiments. And of course, there’s Francisco Suarez’s Bitcoin City: Miami .
Welcome to Satoshi Shores!
The query nonetheless stays: Will any actual Bitcoin Citadels be constructed?
Trawling the web searching for clues, I got here throughout an organization known as “Satoshi Shores,” a undertaking that is actively exploiting the Citadel branding. Still in the works, it is the “worlds [sic] first Bitcoin resort where blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiasts can network in luxury.” It is “not just any leisure resort. It’s the first of its kind—the only luxury resort dedicated to the Bitcoin users around the world.” It additionally describes itself as “The Crypto Citadel.”
Wondering if they had been hiring (and considering perhaps I might interview them), I despatched an e mail. It bounced.
Perhaps they went bust. Or perhaps they worry the free press. More doubtless, although, they’re sitting fairly in their ivory tower (unfinished resort) and don’t want to communicate to some hack reporter.
It’s the Bitcoiner dream, actually: to be fortified, closely armed and plentifully stocked; off grid and unresponsive to emails; at a complete take away from the relaxation of civil society.
It’s good for them, and even higher for the relaxation of us.