Bitcoin Lake (Lago Bitcoin) is a non-governmental and non-profit organization based in Panajachel, Guatemala. Its main idea is to spread awareness about bitcoin to the local community and create a bitcoin circular economy in Panajachel.
Bitcoin Lake (Lago Bitcoin) is a non-governmental and non-profit organization based in Panajachel, Guatemala, near lake Atitlán. It is founded by Patrick Melder, a doctor, serial entrepreneur, and up-and-coming bitcoin influencer.
Patrick was inspired by the Bitcoin Beach project launched in El Zonte, El Salvador. Bitcoin Lakes’ main idea is also to spread awareness about bitcoin to the local community and create a bitcoin circular economy in Panajachel.
How Bitcoin Lake Put Its Objectives into Action
- Teaching the youth. Following the experience of Bitcoin Beach, Patrick started the adoption of bitcoin by teaching children and a limited number of adults. In 2022, a curriculum that focuses on teaching children about bitcoin and the Lightning Network was already developed at the Centro Educativo Josué.
- Connecting the community. Using bitcoin in Guatemala is a profitable option for those currently unbanked or underserved by traditional financial services. Using bitcoin and the Lightning Network benefits both formal and informal businesses. Official businesses can avoid paying huge fees, and with the help of the Lightning Network, they have instant transactions. Informal businesses that do not have a bank account can have a free checking account in an alternative monetary system.
- Cleaning the lake – mining bitcoin. Collecting organic waste around the lake Atitlán, processing it in a biodigester, thereby obtaining methane and mining bitcoins from it – this is the plan. Also, one of the parts of this plan is cleaning around the lake. Children earn money for cleaning around the lake, and they are paid in sats. This approach contributes to the development of a circular economy.
In the long term, our goal is to use bitcoin mining to help generate basic income for people around the lake. We want to help build a reliable and renewable energy network using Bitcoin mining and renewable energy sources. Every renewable energy source known to man is available around the lake. – said Patrick Melder
The first steps of mining were implemented in the Kaboom bitcoin mining project. The waste cooking oil that used to end up in a lake polluting it is now utilized for bitcoin mining. This not only keeps the oil out of the lake but also provides a needed income stream for the local community. The money generated from mining can be used to fund various projects in the area, such as infrastructure, education, and healthcare.
Well, I'm sure most of you have seen our viral video – but if you haven't here it is again!@mrcdbrown3 & @A2JUN_AJPU_bits showing off our Kaboom project ? @BillWhittaker11
It all started with a plan ? https://t.co/XM6hJy1R1n#Bitcoin #Guatemala
— Bitcoin Lake / Lago Bitcoin Guatemala ????⚡️ (@LakeBitcoin) September 12, 2022
Chances for Bitcoin to Become Guatemala’s Legal Tender
There still needs to be a regulation for bitcoin in Guatemala. Guatemala’s banking regulator Superintendencia de Bancos stated that bitcoin is not backed by the state and is not considered legal tender. Furthermore, merchants and businesses are not obligated to accept bitcoin in exchange for goods and services.
It is not considered a foreign currency, is not guaranteed, nor can it be forced to be accepted as a means of payment in transactions of goods and services.
But there are no signs that the state will ban bitcoin or limit its use. It is quite possible that the prospects of this direction will bring the same results as in El Salvador. Patrick notes that the government needs to look into bitcoin more closely and understand its potential rather than simply rejecting it.
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