MS Satoshi: The incredible story of the Ocean Builders cryptoliner

In 2020, three cryptocurrency enthusiasts will buy a cruise ship. The Ocean Builders, as they call themselves, call their liner the MS Satoshi, otherwise known as the Crypto Cruise Ship. They dreamed of creating a free community around bitcoin (BTC). This dream has come to an end. Here is the incredible story of this mad will to be free embodied by the coastal town

What is the coastal town Where seafarer

the seafarer is the idea of ​​withdrawing from formal societies and governments by building a ‘home’ or even a community, unregulated and nationless in international waters. This concept is not new: the Esperantist Republic of Rose Island existed in 1968 a few months before the Italian islands. It is updated by bitcoin (BTC) enthusiasts who yearn for freedom. We will see that it is very difficult to implement, because the ocean is not a free space, but on the contrary a highly regulated space.

The Dramatic Episode Chad Elwartowskiengineer and early investor in bitcoins (BTC), is proof of this (Pseudo Elwar on the famous Bitcointalk forum).

Chad Elwartowski and his partner receive death threats from Thai authorities

Chad Elwartowski Unshakable Optimism

in 2019, Chad Elwartowski is being threatened with death by the Thai authorities who are in his coastal town offshore as a threat. After escaping the police with his companion, he gave up his liner MS SatoshiU.S sailor retains his optimism and his thirst for freedom. In March 2021, he stated on bitcointalk that he wanted to know more about buying a country: “I looked at what it takes to actually buy a country. †

Today he is fully involved in his project of sea ​​pods

The Ocean Builders envision the Seapods in Panama

From 2019 Panama will support the new project of the three ocean builders Romundtkoch and Elwartowski : them sea ​​pods† Individual houses held 3 meters above the water by a single column and tripod-like base below the ocean. The designer, Koen Olthuis, is a Dutch “aquatect”, an architect specialized in aquatic projects. The sea ​​pods have a fantastic aspect, like the white helmet of a giant that emerges monstrously from the waves. Inside, every surface is curved. The ocean builders hire a team of about 30 engineers and mechanics and start building the first prototype of soap pot

Panama’s Department of Tourism hopes a new “ocean community” will attract visitors as part of its 2020-2025 Sustainable Tourism Plan. The idea of ​​a community of crypto investors settling off their shores, paying no taxes, doesn’t seem to bother him.

The Story of the MS Satoshi Liner

In October 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic docked a large number of ships, Chad ElwartowskiGrant Romundt and Rudiger Kocho redeem Pacific Dawn, a 240-foot cruise ship for $9.5 million. The goal was to settle off the coast of Panama and create a community of cryptocurrency enthusiasts there. as a tribute to Satoshi Nakamotothe pseudonym of the mysterious inventor (or inventors) of bitcoin (BTC), they rename the ship the MS Satoshi

But turning a cruise ship into a self-contained entity turns out to be more difficult than expected: The high seas, which seem boundless and free, are in fact one of the most regulated places on Earth. The cruise ship industry in particular is subject to complex rules.


they settle Olthuis to draw the plans, to place the ship in the heart of a floating community, surrounded by sea ​​pods† In his project, the MS Satoshi would be connected via two loop tunnels over water to artificial floating platforms for agriculture, manufacturing and parks. Seen from the air, the entire community would form the B-shape of bitcoin (BTC).

The project in video

Marketing of cabins on the MS Satoshi

the marketing of MS Satoshi started quickly. Her 777 cabins would go up for auction from November 5, 2020. viva viva, the new company founded for marketing, offered cabins starting at $25,000. Built in 1991 at the Fincantieri shipyard in Trieste, Italy, the ship is one of only two cruise ships designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. A crew of about 40 people will be hired, including a cook, engineers and cleaning staff. A seasoned British cruise captain, Peter Harrisarrived to take command of the liner.

The MS Satoshi is not insured to stay in place

Chad Elwartowski wanted to turn the ship into a floating home, to get around some of the very strict requirements of maritime law. But Panama wanted it to be officially classified as a ship. Insured to navigate, the MS Satoshi is not insured to remain static.

MS Satoshi huts don’t sell

Operating such a ship, even at the dock, can cost up to $1 million per month. Fuel alone was about $12,000 a day. He had to sail, he was insured for that, but that was not the intention. On the one hand the huts did not sell, on the other hand he could not stay at the quay due to lack of insurance.

The end of a utopia. Instagram photo.

December 2020: the end of a dream

The ocean builders understand they have to sell the Satoshi, but who would be crazy enough to buy a cruise ship in the midst of a pandemic? The team announces the sale of the Satoshi for scrap to a shipyard in Alang, India. the demolition of satoshi proves impossible due to international regulations. The contract with the yard must be terminated.

The purchase of the MS Satoshi

finally, the MS Satoshi finds buyers at the British cruise line Ambassador Cruise Line† It is being renamed for the fourth time in three decades of navigation. ‘Ambience’ is now the new name. The inaugural cruise will take place on April 20, 2022. On Monday, June 6, 2022, the liner Ambience will make a stopover in Honfleur. You can see what happened to the . has happened MS Satoshi here and realize the gigantism of this liner.

You can view the projects of . follow ocean builders and understand the seafarer

The excellent Guardian article gives you a lot of detail about this incredible libertarian adventure.

the seafarer is still relevant despite current local regulations forcing bitcoin (BTC) enthusiasts to give up or adapt. Creating a community around bitcoin (BTC), independent of any state, seems impossible these days and we can only admire the combativeness of enthusiasts like Chad Elwartowski and his associates. However, in an interviewGrant Romundt admits he has given up on his libertarian dream to turn these Seapods into a real business. Can we blame him?

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Mary Batshwok

Subprimes, financial crises, galloping inflation, tax havens… Bitcoin is designed for greater transparency and perhaps ultimately game-changing. I try to understand this new environment and try to explain it myself. The road is undoubtedly long, but it is worth it.

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