Niko Laamanen: Leaderless Organisations, Moving to Madeira & Bitcoin Adoption

by | Sep 1, 2023 | Podcast

“When you go to Madeira, things tend to happen to you.  I’ve seen this happen. I’ve seen the light go on in people’s eyes when they arrive. They’re like, ‘Yeah, I want to live here’. I’ve seen that many times.

I haven’t seen that anywhere else.

Niko Laamanen scaled

This week on the podcast it’s another dispatch from my recent visit to BTC Prague.

My guest is Niko Laamanen, a Finnish gentleman who left an unfulfilling life as a construction engineer to start a publishing house specialising in the dissemination of content promoting ideas of freedom and liberty in all its myriad forms, or in Niko’s own words, “Stuff you don’t really learn at school but maybe you should.”

Konsensus Network, as it is called, is a project that was born out of the emerging Bitcoin movement and has grown and evolved in a way characterised by the traits of what is known as a ‘starfish organization’: a leaderless, open-source network of collaborators.

You can hear more on that fascinating concept from Niko in our conversation along with discussions about digital nomadism, ‘escaping the matrix,’ the importance of books and content curation, as well as Niko’s views on the progress of worldwide Bitcoin adoption and why he chose to move to the Portuguese island of Madeira, which has become somewhat of a Bitcoiner hotspot in recent times.

Enjoy the conversation.

Automatically Generated Summary

Section Overview: This section introduces the podcast and the guest, Niko Laamanen, who is a Finnish gentleman running a publishing house focused on promoting freedom and liberty.

Introduction to Niko Laamanen

  • Niko Laamanen left his career as a construction engineer to start a publishing house that promotes ideas of freedom and liberty. 00:53
  • Konsensus Network, Niko’s project, emerged from the Bitcoin movement and operates as a leaderless open-source network. 01:16
  • The conversation will cover topics such as digital nomadism, escaping the matrix, content curation, worldwide Bitcoin adoption progress, and why Niko chose to move to Madeira. 01:41


Section Overview: In this section, Timothy asks Niko about his background in publishing and how he became involved in Bitcoin publishing.

Transition into Publishing

  • Niko does not have a history in publishing apart from starting Konsensus Network. 03:28
  • Previously, Niko worked as a construction engineer in Helsinki but felt unfulfilled by replacing old buildings with modern materials. He eventually burned out due to high taxation rates in Finland. 04:24

Study Notes

  • Niko Laamanen left his career as a construction engineer to start Konsensus Network, a publishing house focused on promoting freedom and liberty through content dissemination. The project emerged from the Bitcoin movement and operates as an open-source network.
  • Topics discussed include digital nomadism, escaping the matrix, content curation, worldwide Bitcoin adoption progress, and why Niko chose to move to Madeira.
  • Prior to starting Konsensus Network, Niko worked as a construction engineer in Helsinki but felt unfulfilled by replacing old buildings with modern materials. He eventually burned out due to high taxation rates in Finland.

05:45 Taking a Year Off

Section Overview: The speaker decides to take a year off and explains their conversation with someone about it.

Conversation about Taking Time Off

  • The speaker tells someone that they need to take a year off and can’t continue with their current situation.
  • The person agrees and allows the speaker to take a year off without any obligations.
  • The speaker sells all their possessions and packs everything into a backpack.

06:22 Feeling of Freedom

Section Overview: The speaker reflects on the feeling of freedom after selling all their possessions.

Embracing Freedom

  • Selling all possessions made the speaker realize the true meaning of freedom.
  • They express that they will never give up this freedom again.

06:57 Solo Travel Experience

Section Overview: The speaker discusses their experience of solo travel and finding versions of that feeling with children.

Solo Travel Adventure

  • The speaker shares how they gave up their career, sold possessions, and embarked on solo travel.
  • They recall the feeling of flying alone with just a backpack to Calcutta and eventually spending time in the Himalayas for almost two years.
  • Although they can’t capture the exact feeling again, having children allows them to experience different versions of it through them.

07:19 Land Route Journey

Section Overview: The speaker describes their land route journey from Helsinki to Kuala Lumpur, using trains as much as possible but also taking buses and ferries when necessary.

Land Route Details

  • The journey starts with taking the Trans-Siberian train from Helsinki.
  • They enjoy train travel but had to use buses in countries like Cambodia where there were no functional train tracks.
  • The final destination is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, passing through various countries along the way.

08:08 Positive Experiences during Travel

Section Overview: The speaker shares positive experiences and life lessons learned during their travel.

Trans-Siberian Train and People

  • Taking the Trans-Siberian train was a great experience, even without knowing Russian.
  • The speaker emphasizes that most people in the world are decent and not bad.

09:05 Mongolia Adventure

Section Overview: The speaker talks about their adventure in Mongolia, including solo travel recommendations.

Solo Travel Recommendation

  • The speaker recommends solo travel to fully embrace opportunities and adventures.
  • They recall taking a bus from Ulanuday to the Gobi Desert, which was both the worst and best bus ride of their life.
  • They spend time in the desert, exploring dunes and enjoying the beauty of Mongolia.

10:24 Continuing the Journey

Section Overview: The speaker continues their journey to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, India, China, and Singapore.

Further Destinations

  • After Mongolia, they visit Vietnam where they get their scuba diving license.
  • Cambodia becomes one of their favorite places due to its relaxed atmosphere and affordability.
  • They continue traveling through Thailand before reaching Malaysia.
  • Originally planning to go all the way to Singapore, they change plans when invited to a friend’s wedding in India. From there, they fly back to China before completing their trip by flying from China to Singapore.

11:11 Extended Stay in China

Section Overview: The speaker spends an extended period teaching English in China before realizing they won’t be returning to Finland.

Teaching English in China

  • They stay in China for several months teaching English as it is an easy job opportunity for English speakers.
  • At some point during this trip, they realize that they won’t be going back to Finland.

Note: This summary provides an overview of the main points discussed in the transcript. It is important to refer back to the original transcript for a more detailed understanding of the speaker’s experiences and insights.

12:00 Starting from Debt-Free to Credit Card Debt

Section Overview: The speaker explains how they sold everything and paid off their debts, becoming debt-free but with no money. They then started accumulating credit card debt when they began traveling.

Transitioning from Debt-Free to Credit Card Debt

  • Sold everything and paid off all debts, becoming debt-free.
  • Started accumulating credit card debt immediately after starting to travel.

12:36 Tasting Freedom and Unemployability

Section Overview: The speaker shares their realization that they were not going to make enough money in China to cover their credit card debt. They considered going back to their old job but realized they were unemployable at that point due to the taste of freedom they had experienced.

Realization of Insufficient Income and Unemployability

  • Realized that income in China was insufficient to cover credit card debt.
  • Considered going back to old job for higher pay and comfort.
  • Realized they were unemployable due to experiencing freedom and not wanting to give it up.

13:02 Starting a Consultancy Company for Construction

Section Overview: The speaker discusses how they started their own company as a construction engineering consultant, allowing them the flexibility to travel while working remotely using modern technology.

Starting a Construction Consultancy Company

  • Started own company as a construction engineering consultant.
  • Able to travel with girlfriend and later with child while working remotely using smartphone.
  • Became a digital nomad before discovering Bitcoin.

14:03 Revelation of Bitcoin’s Potential for Freedom

Section Overview: The speaker describes how discovering Bitcoin was an even bigger revelation than realizing the flaws in traditional systems. Bitcoin provided the opportunity for unconfiscatable money and the ability to keep what they earned.

Revelation of Bitcoin’s Potential

  • Realized that traditional systems were flawed and not free.
  • Became a freedom maximalist before discovering Bitcoin.
  • Obsessed with the idea of unconfiscatable money and keeping what they earned.
  • Shifted focus to studying, writing, and teaching about Bitcoin.

15:28 Translating “The Bitcoin Standard” and Starfish Organization

Section Overview: The speaker discusses their involvement in translating “The Bitcoin Standard” into Finnish and how it led to the formation of a starfish organization. They explain that a starfish organization is leaderless and formed by individuals who cooperate willingly to achieve common goals.

Translating “The Bitcoin Standard” and Starfish Organization

  • Involved in translating “The Bitcoin Standard” into Finnish.
  • Formed a team for translation, leading to the concept of a starfish organization.
  • Starfish organizations are leaderless and formed by individuals cooperating willingly.
  • Expanded translations to other languages/markets, growing the organization.

17:31 Growing Konsensus Network as a Publishing Company

Section Overview: The speaker shares their experience in expanding Konsensus Network as a publishing company, starting with one book and now having around 80 books. They discuss their skill set in computers and research that helped them navigate this new venture successfully.

Expanding Konsensus Network as a Publishing Company

  • Started with one book in Finland, then expanded to other markets/languages.
  • Currently have around 80 books in their bookstore.
  • Utilized computer skills and research abilities for success in publishing industry.

18:33 Publishing a Book: Challenges and Opportunities

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses the challenges and opportunities of publishing a book.

The Skill Set Required for Publishing a Book

  • Publishing a book is not as easy as it may seem.
  • It requires specific skill sets such as content curation, editing, typesetting, and cover design.
  • The speaker realizes that they possess these skills after working on book publishing for five years.

The Irony of Book Publishing in the Digital Age

  • It is ironic that book publishing can still be a viable business in today’s digital age.
  • Books were once highly valued but are now often seen as vanity projects or simply for fun.
  • However, there is still a niche market of readers who appreciate physical books and value the experience they provide.

Bitcoiners’ Appreciation for Tangible Things

  • Bitcoin enthusiasts also appreciate tangible things like physical books.
  • Bitcoin enables trust among individuals, and physical books offer a similar sense of trustworthiness.
  • Books have existed for thousands of years and are perceived to persist for many more years to come.
  • Unlike electronic books, paper books do not require electricity to be enjoyed.

Complementary Experience of Physical Books

  • Physical books offer a different experience compared to simple content consumption.
  • Some books may not work well as audiobooks or e-books due to their unique characteristics.
  • While e-books are convenient for travel, physical books provide a distinct service.

22:40 The Impact of Podcasts on Reading Habits

Section Overview: This section explores how podcasts have influenced reading habits.

Shift in Reading Habits due to Podcasts

  • The speaker used to read many physical books before discovering podcasts.
  • Since listening to podcasts, their ability to read physical books has diminished.
  • Despite this shift, the speaker continues to buy books and has a large library at home.

Rewiring of the Brain

  • The constant consumption of podcasts has rewired the speaker’s brain, making it difficult to focus on reading.
  • However, they still appreciate and collect physical books as a complementary experience.

23:54 Publishing Formats and Profitability

Section Overview: This section discusses the different publishing formats and the profitability of book publishing.

Availability of Different Book Formats

  • The speaker’s publishing company offers various formats, including hardcover, e-books, and audiobooks.
  • They are currently working on expanding their collection of audiobooks.

Profitability in Book Publishing

  • The company is not yet profitable but operates as a non-profit organization.
  • Their focus is on establishing a baseline library that will eventually generate revenue.
  • The goal is not to make huge amounts of money but to build a reputable brand in book publishing.


Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses the concept of a Starfish organization and how it operates on a voluntary basis without financial incentives.

Understanding Starfish Organizations

  • A Starfish organization is based on voluntary participation and does not involve monetary compensation.
  • The core of a Starfish organization is formed by individuals who choose to contribute their time and effort.
  • Leadership exists within the organization, but it is not based on formal authority or voting.
  • Leaders emerge naturally as people choose to follow those who demonstrate expertise or success in specific areas.

Leadership in a Starfish Organization

  • Each team within the organization may have its own leader, such as the Dutch team or the French team.
  • Leadership is based on example and proof of work rather than imposed authority.
  • The speaker compares this leadership model to that of Amazon Indians, where chieftains were followed by others due to their skills and abilities, not through voting or appointment.

Voluntary Contributions

  • The speaker emphasizes that they do not tell people what to do in the organization but instead present possibilities for contribution.
  • Individuals are welcome to join projects without any immediate financial gain or fame.
  • People can choose projects based on their own interests and priorities.
  • The speaker mentions an example of someone joining a project independently after being introduced to it through a podcast interview.


Section Overview: This section focuses on how an open-source publishing house operates, including funding for book production and distribution.

Economic Risk and Capital Investment

  • When an author brings their work to the publishing house, they are appreciated for sharing their work with them.
  • The publishing house takes some economic risk when producing books, including costs for editing, typesetting, cover design, publication, and distribution.
  • Printing books requires capital investment, which involves some level of risk for the publishing house.

Leveraging Amazon for Distribution

  • The speaker mentions that while they are not a fan of Amazon and do not want to be dependent on them, they acknowledge Amazon’s expertise in global distribution and print-on-demand.
  • Self-publishing authors can use Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) to upload their PDFs and publish their books.
  • Authors can order author copies at cost from Amazon, although the quality may be lower compared to local printing options.

Low-Risk Printing Options

  • The publishing house follows a low-risk approach by doing smaller print runs, such as 50 books, if they anticipate lower sales.
  • This allows them to minimize upfront costs and assess the demand for a particular book before committing to larger print runs.

Note: Timestamps have been associated with relevant bullet points.

31:30 The Starfish Way of Organizing Business

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses the concept of organizing businesses in a starfish-like manner and whether it is a new idea or something that has existed historically.

Is the Starfish Way of Organizing Business a New Idea?

  • The speaker wonders if the starfish way of organizing business is something that already existed historically or in contemporary times.
  • They mention that typically, when people gather together to work on something, it tends to be more informal, like friends getting together.
  • However, they note that there are examples of more officially open-source businesses following the starfish model.

Examples of Starfish Organizations

  • The speaker mentions two examples of starfish organizations: Amazon and Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • They explain that Amazon started as a starfish organization with the ideology of getting books out to people.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous is another example where individuals with similar ideas gathered together for self-improvement.

32:48 Balancing Starfish and Spider Elements in Organizations

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses how organizations like Amazon and Konsensus have elements of both starfish and spider structures.

Amazon’s Transition from Starfish to Spider Organization

  • The speaker ponders why Amazon transitioned from being primarily a starfish organization to having strong spider components.
  • They acknowledge that while individual sellers on Amazon still operate in a somewhat starfish manner, there is also a significant spider component in terms of management and control.

Konsensus’ Evolution towards Middle Management

  • The speaker relates their own experience at Konsensus and how they have observed the emergence of middle management within the organization.
  • They explain that middle management plays an important role in coordinating different teams and ensuring hierarchy exists for effective decision-making.
  • While leaderlessness does not imply no hierarchy, the speaker emphasizes the importance of balancing hierarchy and decentralization.

34:24 Planning and Evolution of Konsensus Network

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses their initial plans for Konsensus Network and how it evolved over time.

Planned Approach to Konsensus Network

  • The speaker reveals that they had read a book called “The Starfish and the Spider” after reading the Bitcoin white paper.
  • They initially started Konsensus Network with a group of people aiming to make YouTube videos to educate others about Bitcoin.
  • The speaker mentions that they planned to apply a starfish-like model in publishing, which turned out to work well for them.

Unexpected Success and Gradual Transition

  • The speaker admits that while they planned certain aspects of Konsensus Network, they did not expect it to work so perfectly according to their plan.
  • They highlight that people approached them wanting to join their efforts, leading to a gradual shift where they had less involvement in day-to-day management and control.
  • Despite not expecting such success, the speaker expresses satisfaction with the direction in which Konsensus Network has evolved.

37:03 Publishing Books through Konsensus Network

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses the publication process within Konsensus Network and differentiates between self-publishing and traditional publishing.

Publication of “Bitcoin Standard”

  • The speaker clarifies that “The Bitcoin Standard” was published by Wiley, not self-published like some other books from Konsensus Network.
  • While they are not familiar with all the details of how Wiley was involved, they mention that Saifedean used Wiley as his publisher for this particular book.

Self-Publishing by Syph House

  • The latest books from Konsensus Network, such as “Fiat Standard” and “Principles of Economics,” are self-published.
  • The speaker acknowledges that they are involved in translating these books but not directly responsible for the publishing process.

Note: The transcript provided does not contain any timestamps beyond 0:37:28.


Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses the concept of a Starfish organization and its applicability. They also touch upon the idea of praxiology and its significance.

The Starfish Model

  • The speaker believes that the Starfish model can benefit everyone, as it offers a different way to organize.
  • However, they emphasize that it is not a silver bullet solution and may not work for every organization.
  • The Starfish model requires a specific kind of ideology-driven approach to fuel the organization’s progress.
  • It is important to note that the Starfish model does not replace traditional centralized authority (Spider organization), but rather provides an alternative way to organize.

Decentralization in Starfish Organizations

  • Unlike spiders, if you cut off a leg from a starfish, it can grow into another starfish.
  • This decentralized nature allows starfish organizations to adapt and regenerate even when parts are removed or damaged.


Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses their favorite praxiology books and explains what praxiology is all about.

Praxiology: The Study of Human Action

  • Praxiology is defined as the study of human action.
  • It encompasses understanding how individuals act, how incentive models affect decision-making, and how perceived marginal utility influences choices.
  • Praxiology is considered fundamental and has shaped the speaker’s understanding of life and the world.
  • While Bitcoin is seen as a crown jewel emerging from chaotic free markets, praxiology delves deeper into studying human action in various societies.


Section Overview: In this section, the speaker shares their motivation behind creating a starfish organization and their desire to educate others.

Seeking Freedom through Education

  • The speaker expresses their dissatisfaction with the world and feeling cheated for a significant part of their life.
  • They believe in the inherent freedom of individuals and aim to educate others about it.
  • However, they acknowledge that education cannot be forced upon those who are not ready or willing to learn.
  • Instead, they have built a library as a resource for people to explore when they are ready.


Section Overview: In this section, the speaker reflects on their personal journey of discovering praxiology and taking action against their uneasiness.

Taking Action Against Uneasiness

  • The speaker felt something was wrong but couldn’t pinpoint it until they discovered the truth.
  • They express anger towards their past experiences but decided to take action instead of dwelling on it.
  • The speaker believes in empowering individuals through education rather than forcing change upon them.

Note: The transcript provided does not contain any further sections.

44:28 Theosophical Society and Ley Lines

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses their experience at the Theosophical Society in central Java and their fascination with ley lines.

The Head of Theosophical Society

  • The speaker settled down in central Java for almost a year.
  • They encountered the head of the Theosophical Society, who had a phenomenal library.
  • The library had a significant impact on the speaker’s life.

Ley Lines

  • Ley lines are alignments of various landmarks and monuments around the world.
  • The speaker discovered a book about ley lines in the library.
  • This discovery became an inflection point in their life.

Love for Libraries

  • After visiting that library, the speaker developed a love for libraries.
  • They ended up collecting thousands of books over time.

45:18 Photocopies and Curated Libraries

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker talks about photocopying books and the value of well-curated libraries.

Photocopying Books

  • In central Java, it was difficult to buy books directly.
  • People would take books to photocopy shops to create copies for themselves.
  • Many books in that library were photocopies due to limited access to original copies.

Love for Curated Libraries

  • Since discovering that library, the speaker has developed a deep appreciation for well-curated libraries.
  • Well-curated libraries provide access to knowledge and serve as gateways to different subjects.

46:27 Chundoku – Stacking Unread Books

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses their habit of accumulating unread books and introduces the concept of “Chundoku.”

Chundoku – Stacking Unread Books

  • “Chundoku” is a Japanese term that refers to the act of stacking books without reading them.
  • The speaker struggles to find time to read all the books they have accumulated.
  • Many Bitcoiners also have stacks of unread books related to their field of interest.

47:41 The Canon of Bitcoin Books

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker talks about the curated collection of Bitcoin-related books and how it expands over time.

The Canon of Bitcoin Books

  • The speaker mentions the well-curated collection of Bitcoin-related books known as the “Canon.”
  • This collection represents a broad subject that is constantly evolving.
  • New ideas and paradigms within Bitcoin often lead to the creation of new books.

48:58 Evergreen Books and Favorites

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses their preference for evergreen information in books and shares some favorite book recommendations.

Evergreen Books

  • The speaker looks for books that provide timeless information which does not expire.
  • They value curated content that ages like fine wine.

Favorite Bitcoin Book

  • The speaker recommends “Crypto Economics” by Eric Wascoil as their favorite Bitcoin book.
  • It offers a practical and logical understanding of the axioms behind Bitcoin’s functionality.

Most Influential Books

  • Rothbard’s “Man, Economy, and State” is mentioned as a book that changed the speaker’s life by helping them understand economics and the world.
  • “The Starfish and Spider” helped them put a name to something they had been working on – leading from within.


Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses the availability of a book and the German license for “The Sovereign Individual.”

Availability of “The Sovereign Individual”

  • The speaker mentions having a book on their stall but clarifies that they are not publishing it.
  • They mention having the German license for “The Sovereign Individual” and plan to release a German version.
  • It is mentioned that there are multiple versions of the book available, including one in Spanish.


Section Overview: This section focuses on the availability of different language versions of “The Sovereign Individual.”

Language Versions of “The Sovereign Individual”

  • The speaker confirms that there are multiple language versions of the book, including Spanish.
  • They express surprise at there not being a German version yet and mention their plans to create one.


Section Overview: In this section, the conversation shifts to discussing the location and incorporation of the speaker’s company.

Location and Incorporation

  • The speaker mentions living in Madeira and confirms it as their current location.
  • They discuss having a local company but not currently using it.
  • The speaker explains that their main company, Konsensus Network, is an internet-based company incorporated in Estonia due to its e-residency program making management easy from anywhere.


Section Overview: This section continues discussing the location and incorporation of the speaker’s company.

Company Location

  • The speaker explains that despite living in Madeira, they have kept their company incorporated in Estonia as it doesn’t make sense to move it around.
  • They clarify that while they have an address in Estonia, all operations are conducted online.


Section Overview: This section explores the speaker’s connection to Madeira and their decision to move there.

Connection to Madeira

  • The speaker shares that they were introduced to Madeira by a friend who used to live there.
  • They explain that as someone from Finland, where the weather is not ideal for most of the year, Madeira offers a more pleasant climate all year round.
  • The speaker mentions that Bitcoin-related opportunities in Madeira are an added bonus but were not the primary reason for moving there.


Section Overview: In this section, the conversation delves into the speaker’s initial move to Madeira and their reasons for choosing it.

Reasons for Choosing Madeira

  • The speaker confirms that they moved to Madeira before any connection with Bitcoin or meeting Andre.
  • They explain that they took over their friend’s apartment when he moved out.
  • The main reasons for choosing Madeira were the favorable weather, family-friendly environment, safety, and lower cost of living compared to Finland.


Section Overview: This section discusses tax and jurisdictional considerations related to living in Madeira.

Tax Considerations

  • At the time of moving, there were tax advantages in favor of living in Madeira compared to Finland.
  • The speaker mentions that Bitcoin taxation in Finland was unfavorable at that time but acknowledges changes may have occurred since then.
  • They highlight Estonia’s e-residency program as a factor in incorporating their company there initially.


Section Overview: This section continues discussing tax considerations related to living in different locations.

Taxation Changes

  • The speaker explains that while tax advantages played a role in their decision initially, it was not the primary motivation for choosing Madeira.
  • They mention potential changes in Bitcoin taxation in Finland, which may now be similar to Germany.
  • The speaker emphasizes that the weather and improved quality of life were the main factors for choosing Madeira.


Section Overview: This section explores the speaker’s involvement with “Free Madeira” and its origins.

Involvement with “Free Madeira”

  • The speaker confirms their participation in “Free Madeira.”
  • They mention Andre as the person who started it and describe him as a serial entrepreneur on the island.
  • The purpose of “Free Madeira” is to have someone knowledgeable discussing topics related to governments and cryptocurrencies.


Section Overview: This section discusses the meaning behind the name “Free Madeira.”

Meaning of “Free Madeira”

  • The name “Free Madeira” is an acronym in Portuguese, but the speaker doesn’t recall its specific words.
  • It is explained that the name represents a filter, ensuring that discussions about governments and cryptocurrencies are led by individuals who understand these topics.


Section Overview: This section provides background information on Andre, who started “Free Madeira.”

Background of Andre

  • Andre is described as a lifelong resident of Madeira with multiple businesses.
  • The exact number of his businesses is unknown to the speaker.


Section Overview: The speaker discusses their experience of taking the president to the Miami Bitcoin conference and the events leading up to it.

Taking the President to Miami

  • The speaker moved to Madeira two years ago and shortly after met with Andre, who later informed them about meeting the president. 57:21
  • The speaker mentions Billy Hinman taking them to Miami for the Bitcoin conference. 57:47
  • There was a group of Bitcoin thinkers and influencers who came to Madeira to talk to regulators about Bitcoin possibilities. Peter RCO from the Free Cities Foundation was also present. 58:22
  • Despite excitement, progress in fiat land is slow, and there are limitations due to being part of the EU. However, meetings with regulators showed their interest in Bitcoin. 58:59


Section Overview: The speaker discusses Madeira’s autonomy within Portugal and its attraction for Bitcoiners.

Autonomy and Attraction

  • Madeira has a sense of separation from mainland Portugal due to its history and pride in being an island. However, it is still part of the EU, so secession is unlikely. 59:57
  • It was easy for the speaker, holding an EU passport, to move and live in Madeira by obtaining a non-habitual residence permit (NHR). 01:00:26
  • Madeira actively seeks high net worth individuals and Bitcoiners as investments and business starters. 01:02:59


Section Overview: The speaker discusses merchant adoption of Bitcoin in Madeira and the experience of living amongst other Bitcoiners.

Merchant Adoption and Living Amongst Bitcoiners

  • Merchant adoption is not extensive, with only a few places accepting Bitcoin payments on Chau Pizzeria is one such place. 01:03:26
  • Madeira aims to attract high net worth individuals and Bitcoiners to invest and start businesses on the island. They are interested in making it easier for them to do so. 01:03:18
  • Madeira offers a similar attraction as El Salvador, where people can live among other Bitcoiners, but there are limitations due to being part of the EU. 01:02:39

01:04:17 Bitcoin Adoption and Longevity

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses the adoption of Bitcoin in various locations and questions the longevity of these adoption efforts.

Bitcoin Adoption Flashpoints

  • The speaker observes that Bitcoin adoption tends to occur in flashpoints, such as El Salvador, Laguna, and Madeira.
  • There are concerns about the longevity of these adoption efforts if they are not sustained over time.

Starfish Organization

  • Bitcoiners are described as a quintessential starfish organization.
  • They prioritize their own interests and understand themselves as sovereign individuals.
  • Bitcoiners engage in regulation shopping and jurisdictional arbitrage.

Real Adoption vs. Coercion

  • Real adoption occurs when people voluntarily choose to go to a place and start using Bitcoin for their daily lives.
  • The speaker believes that real adoption is not about being able to pay for pizza with Bitcoin but rather about individuals making independent choices.
  • Coercion, such as forcing entrepreneurs to accept Bitcoin, is not considered true adoption.

Longevity of Adoption Efforts

  • The speaker expresses skepticism about the longevity of places branded as “Bitcoin Island,” “Bitcoin Lake,” or “Bitcoin Beach.”
  • While some people may be attracted to these places because of Bitcoin, true adoption happens when people choose a location based on other factors like lifestyle preferences.
  • The speaker does not foresee long-term sustainability in these branding efforts.

01:07:10 Coercion and Real Adoption

Section Overview: This section explores the concept of coercion in relation to Bitcoin adoption and emphasizes the importance of voluntary human action for sustainable adoption.

Coercion Aspect

  • The speaker expresses wariness regarding coercion in countries like El Salvador where accepting Bitcoin is legally mandated.
  • Making something legal implies a threat of violence if individuals do not comply, which is not considered real adoption.

Voluntary Human Action

  • The speaker believes that true adoption and sustainability depend on voluntary human action and trade.
  • People want to be free to make their own decisions and choices, rather than being forced to use Bitcoin.
  • While fiat currency may have its flaws, coercion is not the solution.

Limitations of Bitcoin Parties and Gatherings

  • While Bitcoin parties and gatherings can be enjoyable for enthusiasts, they do not represent the majority of people in the world.
  • These events are important for networking with peers but do not drive widespread adoption.

01:08:52 Adoption Models and Experiences

Section Overview: This section discusses different adoption models and shares personal experiences related to using Bitcoin as a means of payment or receiving money.

Adoption Models

  • One adoption model involves using Bitcoin as a way to receive money differently from traditional methods.
  • Another model involves creating marketplaces where individuals can transact using Bitcoin.

Personal Experience

  • The speaker shares an experience of someone who initially used Bitcoin for receiving payments but eventually started stacking Bitcoin as an investment.
  • In another example, a meat producer was able to sell directly to customers by accepting Bitcoin as payment, leading them to become interested in stacking Bitcoin over time.

01:11:06 The Importance of Adoption and Freedom

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses the importance of adoption and freedom in relation to using Bitcoin as a form of payment.

Benefits of Adoption

  • The speaker shares an example of supporting a local business by paying with Bitcoin through the Lightning Network. Despite the business receiving a dollar stablecoin instead of Bitcoin, they may benefit from future bull runs.
  • The adoption process may not be immediate, but once people are forced to use Bitcoin as legal tender, they might come around to its benefits.
  • While customers have the choice to use other currencies, merchants are obligated to accept legal tender. However, this does not align with true freedom.

Real-Life Example

  • The speaker recounts their experience with convincing a pizzeria owner to accept Bitcoin. They initially approached him because they enjoyed his pizza and wanted to celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day at his establishment.
  • After explaining the potential benefits for his business and offering assistance in setting up a mobile wallet, the pizzeria owner agreed to accept Bitcoin.

Importance of Human Capital

  • The conversation highlights that it is not just ideology driving adoption but also good people who genuinely want to help and do what is right.
  • The human capital within the Bitcoin community plays a crucial role in its functioning and success.
  • This emphasizes the significance of real-life individuals who care about Bitcoin’s principles and contribute to its growth.

01:14:29 Starfish Organizations and Criminal Elements

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker explores starfish organizations in relation to criminal activities and leadership roles within such organizations.

Starfish Organizations

  • Starfish organizations operate without central leadership or hierarchy. They rely on pure incentives for individuals’ participation.
  • These decentralized structures allow for efficient functioning without relying on traditional leadership models.

Criminal Starfish Organizations

  • The speaker acknowledges that criminal starfish organizations can exist, where individuals engage in illegal activities.
  • While gangs may resemble starfish organizations, they often have leadership roles and do not fully embody the decentralized nature of a true starfish organization.

01:15:45 Importance of People in Bitcoin’s Functioning

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker emphasizes the importance of people in Bitcoin’s functioning and how their contributions enable its success.

Human Capital and Bitcoin

  • Bitcoin relies on people to work for it and support its ecosystem. Without individuals actively participating, Bitcoin would not be able to function effectively.
  • The absence of a central authority or leader is what makes Bitcoin a quintessential starfish organization.

Negative Impacts and Criminal Elements

  • While most participants contribute positively to the Bitcoin community, there is potential for negative impacts from criminal elements.
  • Criminal starfish organizations can exist where violence or threats are used to enforce compliance. However, some individuals may excel at criminal activities without resorting to violence.

Note: Timestamps provided are approximate and should be verified with the actual video content.

01:17:01 Future of Madeira and Bitcoin Technology

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses the future of Madeira in relation to Bitcoin technology and their personal involvement.

The Potential of Madeira

  • The speaker believes that Madeira is a promising place for investment and connection with Bitcoin technology.
  • They consider Madeira to be the “least worst” place in the EU, as they have a negative view of the EU.
  • Despite some inconveniences like flight cancellations, they appreciate the isolation and limited population of Madeira.
  • The natural beauty and protected areas of Madeira make it an attractive location for them.

High-Signal Individuals in Madeira

  • The speaker values their time and company, preferring high-quality interactions over wasting time with useless friends or acquaintances.
  • They express satisfaction with the caliber of individuals arriving in Madeira, allowing for meaningful conversations and connections.
  • This level of engagement was not possible in previous locations such as Finland.

Keeping Options Open

  • While currently committed to Madeira, the speaker acknowledges that circumstances may change.
  • If there are significant issues within the EU or unforeseen events occur, they would consider exploring other options.

01:19:34 Impressions of Madeira

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker shares their impressions of Madeira based on photos shared by others.

Attraction to Madeira

  • The speaker mentions being unable to relocate due to their current life stage but expresses interest in visiting as a holiday destination.
  • They find photos shared by people in Madeira astonishing and believe that visiting can lead to transformative experiences.
  • Many individuals who visit or move to Madeira express a strong desire to live there permanently.

01:20:24 Traveling to Madeira

Section Overview: In this section, the speaker discusses travel options to reach Madeira.

Direct Flights and Accessibility

  • There are direct flights to Madeira from various big European cities, including some in Finland.
  • While some routes may require a stopover in Lisbon, direct flights are available for most major destinations.
  • The speaker expresses interest in adding Madeira to their list of potential travel destinations.


Madeira is seen as a promising location for investment and connection with Bitcoin technology. The isolation, limited population, natural beauty, and protected areas make it an attractive place for the speaker. They value high-quality interactions and appreciate the caliber of individuals arriving in Madeira. While committed to Madeira for now, they keep their options open for the future. The speaker finds photos of Madeira astonishing and believes that visiting can lead to transformative experiences. Direct flights are available from various European cities, making it accessible for potential visitors.