You and fifteen pals. All booze included.
Got a spare bitcoin gettin’ all het-up in that virtual wallet? Want to throw a crypto-shekel at Martin Daly, the great surf explorer who set up his alt-universe on Beren Island in the Marshalls there, and get a piece, maybe the last piece of empty surf heaven, for you and fifteen pals?
All booze included?
To celebrate the wild ride of cryptocurrency, and to attract a hipper, more tech-savvy crowd instead of the usual dinos wiring cash via Western Union, Marty’s offering a deal which means, given bitcoin’s volatility, either you win, ie the currency crashes, or he wins, it soars.
Marty, who is now sixty four, tells me what brought him to the Marshalls, specifically Beran Island, a twenty-hour sail from Majuro, the republic’s capital city, in the first place.
“I know what the ocean and the reefs are supposed to look like. I grew up diving pristine reefs, reefs without names when I was a kid in Townsville in Queensland. When I was on The Crossing I went everywhere, dove everywhere and I saw that ninety-five percent of the world’s reefs were impacted. Two thirds were actually gone or dead. Put your head underwater here and you see what’s supposed to be here.”
Near Beran island he found a righthander, which Marty called Nirvana (“The best thing I’ve ever seen”) and “like a typical human being when I first came here I sat on the beach and thought, I’ll put a treehouse here, a wharf here, I could build bungalows here. And I said to myself, ‘What sort of fuckwit are you? You spend your whole life looking for Nirvana, you find it, and the first thing you want to do is destroy it… You never get sick of it. If you were standing here you’d go, ‘Oh my god, mate.’ It’s everything a bloke could want: great surf, great diving, the reefs are alive, it’s not fishing it’s catching, so we never run out of fresh fish. It’s stupid.”
Eventually, he decided, yeah, he’ll do something but he’d learn from lessons past and make something he calls “a shining light of responsible development.”
So he built an off-the-grid lodge for sixteen people, powered by wind turbines and solar panels. All of the rubbish the lodge creates is processed and all non-biodegradable refuse is taken back to Majuro’s dump furnaces and its recycling centre. He grows watermelons, papaya, tomatoes, kale, catches a ton of fish and even keeps a few hogs.
“Fuck,” says Marty, “I’ve died and gone to heaven.”
Interestingly, the Marshall Islands is going to be the first country in the world to swing over to a cryptocurrency, shucking the US dollar.
“This is the way of the future,” the country’s minister-in-assistance to the president of the Marshall Islands, David Paul, told Reuters. “As a country, we reserve the right to issue a currency in whatever form it is, whether in digital or fiat form.”
Called the SOV, supply is capped at twenty-four million in order to prevent inflation.
The 24 mill tokens represents the country’s 24 municipalities and some very clever Israelis are going to issue the SOV.