This video is fascinating. What would a complete Bitcoin novice ‘s experience visiting Bitcoin Beach be? Carol is from California, but she fell in love and moved to El Salvador. She runs the “That Expat Mom” YouTube channel and did us all a favor by visiting El Zonte. She’s admittedly clueless about Bitcoin, but eager to learn. Her husband Carlos and their two kids are with her. They begin their adventure with two goals.
- Buy some Bitcoin
- Pay for their lunch with that Bitcoin
Will they accomplish their goals? Watch the video and/or read our recap to find out.
Related Reading | Visit El Salvador’s Bitcoin Beach Through VICE’s Mini-Documentary
This Complete Bitcoin Novice ‘s Adventure Begins
For those of us inside the community, it’s incredibly beneficial to watch the process through a complete Bitcoin novice ‘s eyes. Our first contact with the cryptocurrency was so long ago that it’s easy to forget how daunting everything is at first. This video is also crucial for those who are considering making the peregrination to El Salvador to see what a whole country with Bitcoin as a legal currency looks like.
After just a 45 minute drive from San Salvador, the family arrives at El Tunco, the center of the Surf City project. A much bigger and tourist-friendly town than El Zonte, the colors and the vibe couldn’t look more inviting. That Expat Mom is in the wrong place, though. And it takes them half the video to find that out.
Right there in El Tunco this complete Bitcoin novice finds an ATM. Carlos uses it and the public can see the whole process, which seems simple enough. Sadly, he buys $20 and gets $13.83 in Bitcoin. The fee is almost 30%! Not a good look for Bitcoin. ATMs are always expensive and they have fixed costs, but this leaves the family confused and shaken. It’s a good thing that they have an adventurous spirit.
The Road To El Zonte AKA Bitcoin Beach
The family already looks beaten when they return to the car. On the road to El Zonte, these complete Bitcoin novices inform us that Carlos had done a little homework. He downloaded an app but the ATM didn’t recognize it. He had to install the one the ATM recommended. We also learn that another family was there and couldn’t figure out how to use the ATM. So, maybe the process wasn’t so simple after all.
The steep fees are on their mind, “I guess the transactions between people are not going to have any expense,” Carlos says, but when it comes to purchasing Bitcoin, “I guess they take a cut.” He’s not wrong. But that ATM was particularly expensive and will probably scare away a lot of people.
The family arrives at El Zonte and finds a Bitcoin information center. Someone there tries to help Carlos buy Bitcoin through his bank account. The kids are hungry and the weather is hot and humid. Prepare for a big disappointment… he’s not able to buy Bitcoin and the family leaves even more confused. They don’t know what hit them. Most of the things they infer from the situation are incorrect.
After that, in an anticlimactic ending, it seems like they’re finally going to eat their lunch and the video cuts to Carol in her house. We can’t see the transaction. We don’t even know if they paid for lunch in Bitcoin.
BTC price chart for 08/11/2021 on Binance US | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com
A Complete Bitcoin Novice ‘s Conclusion
Back in her house, Carol recaps the event and we find out that she’s still confused. She learned a little about wallets, but the topic is still daunting. She says that they recorded the video a couple of weeks after President Bukele announced that Bitcoin was going to be legal tender. Everything is fresh and most people don’t know what’s going on She’s optimistic and thinks the whole process will be streamlined soon.
Related Reading | News From El Salvador, Early July: Bukele, El Zonte, And The ATM Factory
In the comments to the video, though, we learn that these complete Bitcoin novices have been experimenting with wallets and are already connected to the Lightning Network.
I was clueless going in… most of us are at first 😊 there is a learning curve for sure but one worth investing time in. Much will change here over the next couple of months and we are excited for the Chivo app. We have also been experimenting with the Strike app and electronic transfers as well as finding local vendors who already accept Bitcoin (all will in September) thank you for the like I think you’ll like part 2 coming soon.
So, there’s hope after all. In fact, this is bullish for El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption. And September is less than a month away.
Featured Image by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash - Charts by TradingView