Bracing for Bitcoin in Buenos Aires
A Trip to the Embassy
There is a large, imposing steel door along a popular street, in the bustling downtown business hub of Buenos Aires. There are no visible markings, or signs, that would indicate to passers-by what is housed inside. And given the time of day, it may take a few buzzes before anyone answers the door. But when someone does get around to letting you in, you’ll quickly find yourself in the nascent epicenter of Buenos Aires’ burgeoning Bitcoin industry.
Once inside, one will find an environment that is frenetic but welcoming. After a brief introduction to some of the building’s chief organizers, along with a tour of the facility, I was a fellow citizen in good standing, in the world of Bitcoin. Introductions aside, I was left alone with my laptop and an Internet connection, and any contribution to the brave new decentralized world was mine to create. This atmosphere seems to be working.
Judging by the piles of construction debris and unfinished cabling strewn on the floor, one wouldn’t be inclined to believe that this is an active work center. The smell of drying paint permeates the halls, and the occasional moments of silence are quickly disturbed by the jarring thunks of carpenters at work. But if you poke past the construction crew, and peer into the rooms lining the hallways, you will find the who’s who of the burgeoning Buenos Aires Bitcoin scene furrowing an eyebrow, and furiously typing on laptops at their desks.
This post was published at Bitcoin Magazine on SEPTEMBER 15, 2014.