How to easily spend Cryptocurrencies in Mexico
I set an intention before starting my year’s traveling throughout Mexico, Guatemala and South America that I wanted to share my knowledge surrounding Cryptocurrencies and help others to benefit from them as much as I have. Six weeks into my travels and I have already bought two things with Cryptos and ran an ad hoc workshop on how to use them in Spanish!
I feel the only way for Cryptocurrencies to become mainstream is to use them and that's exactly what I have been doing...
The Venezuelan connection
Last year I interviewed the founder of “Dash Caracas” Venezuela (Eugenia Alcala). She explained how the Venezuelan national currency (The bolivar) going into hyper inflation is affecting the people, resulting in them being priced out of their lives and seeing their whole country decline into chaos as a result. Her organisation is helping business owners understand cryptocurrencies and in particular how to use Dash as a solid alternative currency which is impossible to inflate and instead holds value for the people using it.
Everyone has a smartphone
The phrase “banking the unbanked” is used a lot in the world of Cryptocurrencies because most humans have access to mobile smart phones and therefore have the ability to buy and sell, however as they do not have bank accounts they are unable to so - their only option to date is to use cash. Cash is a great instant mechanism for buying and selling goods but can be difficult to safely transport and store it and there is the risk of it being stolen if carried around.
Personally I do not want more usage of banks who through their fractional reserve practices are able to create money out of nothing through loans and interest which leads to inflation. However now there are many viable mobile cryptocurrency wallets like Coinomi and Jaxx that allow humans to buy and sell goods using Cryptocurrencies instantly and the golden nugget for me is that they get to own the currency rather than the bank!
So back to my intention of sharing cryptocurrencies with the masses who want to hear it…
Dash for my Veggie Burger!
Staying at the mountain town in central Mexico called Sans Cristóbal de Las Casas I stumbled across a place called “Naturalissmo” run by a joyful fella named Leo. My freshly prepared veggie burger followed by a glass of Kombucha was “muy rica!” (delicious). When it came to paying the bill I asked him if he knew about cryptocurrencies - he replied that he had wanted to know how to buy them.
I suggested instead of buying them from an exchange, he accept cryptocurrencies as payment for his food. I explained about using a software wallet to receive cryptos and he asked me if I would show him - I was like a dog to a bone and dived in….
He didn't have a smartphone but had an old laptop running Windows 7 (32bit) which restricted which multi currency wallet he could use. So I installed the Jaxx Wallet, showed him how to backup the private seed in case he needed to restore the wallet to another computer. I wish I could have taken a photo of the momentous moment I whipped out my phone scanned his Dash QR code and sent him 70 Mexican pesos in Dash! Unfortunately the next day cryptos in general took a nose dive but if he has held onto his Dash he will certainly be in profit now.
Leo, if you are reading this - please make sure you print off your seed and hide it somewhere safe!
My first Crypto workshop (in Spanish)
A few weeks later we were in the hot jungle area of Palenque where the Mayan ruins are situated. We were staying at a place called “El Colombre” run by a Venezuelan couple (Henrique and Shirley) and their family who were forced out of Venezuela because of the crisis. It was sad to hear again how the Boliva’s inflation was causing hardship for the countries people. I thought back to my interview with Eugenia last year and started chatting to both Henrique and Shirley one evening and introducing Cryptocurrencies and in particular Dash.
They were keen to hear more, so I got my pen out and drew pictures backed up with my basic Spanish and took them through fractional reserve banking processes, how cryptos work, where to buy them from and how to accept them using a wallet.
Paying for healing with bitcoin
This situation took me by surprise as my girlfriend (Nisha) and I were at a bar chatting to a lovely guy named Rafael about his work helping others using the ancient healing ceremony which involves smoking the secretions from the Bufo Alvarius Toad. If you want to learn of my experience during this ceremony click here to read my blog post on Steemit. We chatted all evening and the conversations drifted from the issues presenting society, nutrition and of course cryptocurrencies!
We decided to do a healing ceremony with him and he was also keen to receive payment in Cryptocurrencies (Dash from me and Bitcoin from Nisha). I walked him through setting up the multicurrency wallet “Coinomi” on his smart phone and made sure he understood the importance of backing up his seed.
Two days later we met up at a lovely Cenote (water hole) for the ceremony, got our phones out scanned his wallet’s QR codes and successfully sent Dash and Bitcoin to hiM. Dash was there within 30 seconds and Bitcoin took around five minutes.
No bank account required!
In conclusion I feel the ease in which I was able to pay for goods using Cryptocurrencies demonstrates great potential for anyone with a smart phone, an internet connection and a skill or product to sell to get on board...no bank account required!
Know anyone who needs help accepting Cryptocurrencies?
If you know anyone, a company or organization in Central or South America who wants to get involved in cryptocurrencies; I offer one on one and small group training sessions both in English and Spanish in return for payment in Cryptocurrencies, food or accomodation while travelling.