In a comment about how things might shake out in response to a modern-day btc 6102, @k00b proposed that if the American govt got too heavy-handed, btc people would just move, since a lot of places in the world are a lot more compelling as expat destinations than they were 90 years ago.
This made me wonder: what would be the best destinations in such a scenario? Some desirable factors that come to mind, at least for me personally:
  • favorable legal and regulatory climate pertaining to btc
  • good social fabric (e.g., not an organized-crime hellscape where people have to live in armed and gated communities, or a place with a latent civil war bubbling under the surface)
  • a sizeable English-speaking contingent, or in a pinch, a language an English-speaker can achieve intermediate proficiency in without a decade of intense study
  • Cost of living not absurdly high
  • Climate and environment generally tolerable
  • Good and reliable infrastructure, both physical and digital
  • At least a medium level of culture, e.g., you can buy books, and find someone to talk to about them; there's a respectable art museum around someplace
Obviously all of these things are tradeoffs -- I list them to slightly restrict the scope of possibilities, while recognizing that not everyone is going to value the same things. But given that rough sketch, what comes to mind? If we got 6102ed, what would be some attractive places to migrate to?
1620 sats \ 21 replies \ @k00b 5 Nov
When the hamas-isreal thing started happening and we got kind of spooked, my wife (IR major with South America focus) decided Uruguay is probably the spot considering El Salvador isn't exactly low key.
Uruguay is ranked first in the Americas for democracy, and first in Latin America in peace, low perception of corruption, and e-government. It is the lowest-ranking South American nation in the Global Terrorism Index, and ranks second in the continent on economic freedom, income equality, per-capita income, and inflows of FDI. Uruguay is the third-best country on the continent in terms of Human Development Index, GDP growth, innovation, and infrastructure. Uruguay is regarded as one of the most socially progressive countries in Latin America. It ranks high on global measures of personal rights, tolerance, and inclusion issues, including its acceptance of the LGBT community. The country has legalized the consumption and production of cannabis, same-sex marriage, prostitution and abortion. Uruguay is a founding member of the United Nations, OAS, and Mercosur.
Uruguay was a nice chill place when I visited twenty years ago, but I was only passing through, and I have no idea about its political / civic / infra situation. What were the aspects of it that appealed to ya'll?
If anyone does make it down here, even to scout it out, please hit me up. Would love to give all of you a warm welcome.
Now is a great time as we’re now moving into summer months of December to March.
I can vouch that it is extremely chill in Uruguay 🇺🇾 , (and whilst some might claim it is boring) that is exactly what you want during times like this. One of the most commonly used words is “tranqui” which you probably don’t need to google.
No political polarisation, the whole country’s history is made up of immigration, plentiful food, solid gun laws, strong European vibes, meat & cowboy-based culture 🤠 Literally everyone just loves to sit outside, sip mate and chill with a view and sunset.
More expensive to live than most places if you’re on a budget, but the peace of mind more than makes up for that.
As a Brit having made the trip last year, people are so welcoming and surprised to see Westerns WANT to come here. Which makes them really welcoming and will very much leave you alone. Even people that aren’t so fortunate, rarely bother you unlike in many other Latin American countries. People find their way to get by.
2378 sats \ 6 replies \ @davidw 6 Nov
For those that are interested…
The downsides that exist are probably that there isn’t really much of a Bitcoin economy here yet in Uruguay. They haven’t needed it. The next biggest one is that bureaucracy still exists.
Definitely witnessed an uptick in the amount of libertarian minded people here, moving from abroad, which is a huge plus. People I’ve enjoyed connecting with.
The cashless card culture has expanded and is commonplace. I’m becoming one of the minority in local markets still using cash. It’s still used but much less than other Latin economies, at least in major cities like Montevideo and Punta del Este. They have hooked people in with 15-20% discounts in cafes and restaurants if you have a certain branded card. Now people use cards daily.
Supermarkets are pretty much run by a French monopoly here. There’s lots of brands but all with the same/similar owners, which is why veggies and consumables are 2x-3x more expensive than neighbouring countries. I try to avoid lining their pockets by opting for the local markets or “ferias” and building relationships there.
On the plus side, you can exchange significant amounts of dollars for pesos or vice versa without any sort of identification whatsoever. These are large registered businesses. In the U.K., even exchanging $100 felt like an inquisition and a favour I was being granted.
You need to present ID to get a SIM card like most countries, but it’s so refreshing to walk in & pay a competitive FX rate without being asked your name. To not get asked about what you plan to do with your depreciating dollars, or your travel plans etc. Reason being I expect, many big purchases like houses and cars are denominated in dollars, just like neighbouring Argentina. Those assets by the way are also fairly pricey for the region near the coastline cities given the stability on offer.
Renting and purchasing property comes with quite a lot of additional costs. With very little work or effort on the agency side. I gather it’s often best to find a good agent to trust with this process, or even a friend who does it on the side. Or just be prepared to eat that cost.
Linked to the agency world, and being both a positive and negative, sometimes when paying for a service you’ll find you as the buyer need to chase to get things done. The culture is very different here, to the detriment of speediness. It’s almost like businesses are not motivated by money and believe you are lucky to being served at all, even when paying hefty fees. I guess that’s the “tranqui” way.
It’s just a general observation and not always the case, but also potentially provides good opportunities for those people that are responsive and are willing to setup a business here. You will soon find yourself as the exception if you keep your promises and can deliver on time.
Linked to the agency world, and being both a positive and negative, sometimes when paying for a service you’ll find you as the buyer need to chase to get things done. The culture is very different here, to the detriment of speediness. It’s almost like businesses are not motivated by money and believe you are lucky to being served at all, even when paying hefty fees. I guess that’s the “tranqui” way.
This was my experience when I lived in BsAs and it drove me mad, though I think it was partly the vibe and partly corruption and partly just the collapse of everything (this was in 2004, after the recent bout of currency collapse; there have been many since, as we all know.)
What's internet like, where you are? That was another infuriating thing, but then, it was twenty years ago. I assume it's better now.
[Edit] Also: have you ever written about your experiences on SN in a comprehensive way? That would be dynamite. I perused some of your posts, and didn't notice one such, though I didn't read closely. This was a helpful article on Uruguay that you posted, but it would be cool to hear your own story.
Internet is bang on, really great fibre and cell coverage (given the whole country is flat). Cheap too. Also Starlink recently came online here, which was the motivation to dig deeper into their service in a recent SN article of mine.
Thanks for the suggestion. I guess I’ll type something up and cross-post to Nostr next week. We’ll see if people ‘dig it’. Hopefully it’ll inspire others to do the same for their preferred Plan B destinations.
Don’t be surprised if i regurgitate a lot of the above though 😅
That Starlink article was one of the best to ever appear here, at least since I've been here. Nice one. I look forward to your Our Man in Havana report ;)
Appreciate the pat on the back. Thanks.
Does Elvis have Nostr btw?
Do you know if they got stupid over covid or did they have a reasonable reaction overall?
I wasn’t here at that time, but I’m told that generally people were able to do as they pleased. Without much social pressure or stigma.
Someone who lived outside the capital, in a small town, told me if it were not for their Twitter account, they’d have had no idea for 3+ months that it was a thing.
So overall, I would say much more on the reasonable side, in comparison to pretty much most countries.
It’s helped by the fact that Uruguay doesn’t have much in the way of TV channels given the size of the country. Therefore entertainment and news is for from a combination of Argentina, Brazil and United States. So controlled media isn’t such a thing here. I feel most people have a decent assessment of world affairs, at least those I have interacted with.
I might have to start planning a trip to check out this ignored little gem of a country. Thanks for all of your info.
Thanks for the question. Planning to finish a more thorough write-up in the next week.
As I said to others, would love to greet anyone that comes to check it out.
228 sats \ 2 replies \ @td 6 Nov
This episode has a lot of good information:
228 sats \ 1 reply \ @davidw 6 Nov
Nice listen. Especially from 1hr40 on this subject.
Yeah, this is very timely!
175 sats \ 0 replies \ @k00b 5 Nov
I'm not much of a life-planner so it was mostly her reasoning that led to Uruguay. The way I understood her, it was:
  1. progressive
  2. peaceful
  3. ignored
I also recently met a really rich, really cool guy that ended up moving/living there which (for me) is an independent source of validation.
A friend of mine bought a house in Uruguay because of all those reasons. But they eventually moved to Columbia because his wife had family there.
173 sats \ 1 reply \ @davidw 6 Nov
Yes, I have witnessed this also. Of course moving forward family reasons isn’t unexpected but in general for other South Americans, Uruguay isn’t actually an easy destination to come to and get accustomed to.
Many people from Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico I have met said they struggled for a few years, to find meaningful friends and to feel accepted. Not to mention it isn’t that close anyway. Think it’s an 7 hour flight from Bogota, so even Miami is closer to Colombia. In those other countries it’s very common to get invites to houses and to find close friends.
In Uruguay however (at least for non-Europeans) it takes a little more work. Culturally it’s very different, much more isolated than most of South America. More European, less densely populated too, so in the big cities people tend to keep themselves to themselves, unless involved in activities & sports. Solitude is quite normal for some reason. Not for everyone and not perfect by any stretch.
Ha, this is knit so deeply into my bones I can't even tell you. It's like when I lived in England for a bit, and people talked about how stand-offish the English were, and I was like: wtf are you talking about?
Baselines are important.
Here's an interesting article, a libertarian take by a guy (Doug Casey) who lives there part of the year:
He's mostly negative on it, but ends like this:
"I know I’ve sounded quite negative on Uruguay. On the bright side, it’s peaceful and pleasant. And there’s not a bubble in property, as there is in most of the world’s first-rate cities. But, frankly, there is no perfect place in the world. That’s why, if you can afford it, you want to have comfortable digs several places in the world…"
Not the easiest place to visit with a non EU passport, but Liberland is a very BTC friendly place to go
Everyone speaks English and there's a strong sense of community. Plots of land can also be claimed, if you are able to stay for 25 or more days.
Liberland was the first country to accept Bitcoin, before El Salvador.
Talk about a dark horse! Not only did I not think about this in terms of btc-migration, I didn't even know that it existed. Thanks for the knowledge drop.
Panama and Costa Rica come to mind, in addition to El Salvador, of course. El Salvador is obvious. Both Panama and Costa Rica have stable political environments, low crime, and substantial English speaking expat communities. Also, they are short plane rides from the U.S. to visit family and friends.
665 sats \ 8 replies \ @kr 5 Nov
Madeira and Lugano are two European hotspots for Bitcoiners
Do you know what the appeal is? Other than Lugano looks like paradise?
If it's like anywhere else in the EU, seems like a hard jump for an American unless you're already rich, or graced with dual citizenship.
306 sats \ 5 replies \ @k00b 6 Nov
If Madeira is anything like the Azores, it's also paradise (I've never seen a happier cow than on Terceira). It also has a pro-bitcoin government.
Lugano appears to be very crypto-forward probably due to Tether's influence there. Switzerland also doesn't have capital gains tax on crypto sales which is probably why someone like Vitalik lives there.
So far, the plan forming in my mind is: start w/ Uruguay, and if hyperbitcoinization happens, maybe can afford Lugano ;)
51 sats \ 1 reply \ @nemo 6 Nov
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They don’t seem to care about that in Uruguay so much.
Personally speaking, people are very much left to themselves. You can live a very humble & introverted life here. Uruguayans are just shocked to see people want to come to their country other than for work reasons. Very rarely do I get questioned on anything else besides “why on earth did you want to come here?” 😂
In terms of authorities, they have rolled out a “digital ID” here for all public services, but they’re so inept and their systems don’t talk to each other that I’ve had to show my identity in physical offices 3 times to advance through the different systems, e.g. health, gov website and business registration 😅 They’re really not very well advanced on these things, at least not yet.
As long as you pay some taxes, you’ll be left alone, is what I’ve heard. To appear on their lists. There are processes to follow and steps to go through, but once setup I hear most people are just left alone.
Software businesses can effectively pay 0% tax via legal exemptions that exist. Just need to pay for pension and medical insurance, about $200 pm, as owner of said business.
152 sats \ 0 replies \ @Ice9 6 Nov
I have friends that just built a place on the ocean in Nicaragua. They have been to all Central American countries, and spent significant time in all of them with their overland truck. I don't specifically know why they settled on Nicaragua... It may just be they found a nice place to build. They are not bitcoiners, and have spent reasonable time trying to convince me I'm wrong. LoL. 😂 Crazy enough he own owned Bitcoin for a month at the end of 2017 when it ripped from $10k-20k. I don't know how much he was in for though. Not a lot. Hasn't touched it since.
Azores are a different paradise.. Madeira is a lot more tropical.. Azores lot more virgin. Cool you know that place. Shame Portugal just dropped a lot on the friendly places to btc list.
0 sats \ 0 replies \ @kr 6 Nov
Yeah it might be a bit of a jump for most Americans to adapt, maybe not the easiest culture fit
574 sats \ 1 reply \ @usagi 6 Nov
I have no suggestions, but one thing to keep in mind when evaluating other countries, including ones that look like Bitcoin paradises: things can change. E.g. what if the rulers of that paradise suddenly decide to raise taxes?
That's such a good point. I have a friend who's always going on about Puerto Rico. And yeah, right this second, it's a nice choice. But like you said, that tax situation could evaporate tomorrow. And then what?
That's why having an actual functioning government, and a viable civil society, matters. I don't want to be murdered in my bed when the walls get breached and the have-nots storm in, screaming for vengeance.
131 sats \ 1 reply \ @aljaz 6 Nov
Stay away from European Union as far as possible
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183 sats \ 2 replies \ @eluc 6 Nov
You should consider Switzerland.
No capital gain tax, low income tax compared to most modern countries, reasonable wealth tax.
Super high quality of life, lot of things to do, espacially if you like nature, hiking, skiing, biking... and culture is strong too, library, museum, concerts, shows...
Law and regulations are quite good, with lot of freedom and still support when needed (unemployememt benefit, retirement funds, if you worked here long enough).
It's safe, nobody shoot at each other. Bulding don't collapse when wind blow too much and there are not so much natural disaster (depending on you area, there might be some flooding from time to time but it's well managed when it happens).
Cost of living should be similar than in large US cities, especially housing cost, but you can live in a wonderful country side or mountain and stay within 30-60 min away from a larger city.
Healthcare costs are high but definitly lower than US and you get access to good hospital and doctors whatever your income/wealth is.
Another alternative with even less taxes is Dubaï. But culture and quality of life is really not like Switzerland or US I would say. I only been there in tourist so I cannot say too much.
152 sats \ 1 reply \ @aljaz 6 Nov
Switzerland (tho my experience is based on Zurich) just robs me the wrong way. Yes, its safe, great health system, public transport etc. But its expensive af and the swiss mentality seems like people live in a prison they built for themselves.
Renting is completely fucked - insanely overpriced, astronomically more demand than supply, the process itself is invasive and absurd (completely retarted application processes, disclosing your salary, references etc).
You need a guide book just to figure out how to take the trash, take the plastics to the supermarket, take the glass to the other place, keep the paper at home. I mean who the fuck regulates trash bags?
Don't get me started on the social norms - like being an outcast if by any chance you wash your clothes on sunday. Not to mention the washing machine situation - most of the apartment buildings have shared washers but of course being switzerland you need to have a complicated systems which very frequently end up being insane, like having a slot to wash clothes every 2-3 weeks, i've even seen once a month.
Food is below average in taste and (at least in zurich) probably one of the most expensive on the planet. The service sucks, i've never been served as badly as in restaurants in Zurich, they can't even spell hospitality let alone know what it is.
I really don't understand the people who put Switzerland in such high esteem. If you are not a high net worth individual I think the quality of life is actually worse than many places.
152 sats \ 0 replies \ @eluc 14 Nov
I was born here so some of these are just "normal" to me, but I can also say that some are just myth or at least more exception than standard. What is really expensive is housing, but if you choose an area not near Leman Lake nore Zurich Lake, you will have less difficulty and more reasonnable costs. For having a job and living in one of these area I confirm that it's really the worst problem in Switzerland and I had to move to another area to avoid that. But on the otherside, if you don't move too often, it's painful once when moving but then you forget about the process and take the cost into account for your target job and salary.
Health insurance is the second worst thing but still cheaper than US and at least you can mostly trust your doctors to do the best for you not for their wallet, they are full non stop anyway, they will not chase more patient or try to keep them longer than necessary.
Rest of the costs are not that high, it depends of your lifestyle of course, if you got to restaurants several time per months, yes it's more expensive than most countries. If you cook most of your meals and don't do expensive activites all weekends, you will still end up with high quality of life and relatively normal cost of living due to higher income and lower taxes.
The trash and laundry stuff is more of a joke than a strick rules, at least in most places I lived. I was in a building with laundry schedules but nobody cares if you were out of it, except maybe one old lady, so you just avoid her day and it's fine. And now it's more and more that you get you own machine in your appartment or in the basement. If you have a house it's not a problem either. The trash we are the ones sorting it the best in my building, apparently nobody cares, even trash bag without tax mark and full of glass and aluminum are taken off. So unless you are in one of the rare strick city, it's not a real problem and sorting trash make you realize how much shit we consummed and reconsider some of your choices. Not the worst thing that can happen.
Then again, I didn't live in or visited any country where I could get the same benefits as in Switzerland with similar income and tax level, but I don't know every places on earth.
Patagonia. I would suggest avoid any large city. Most of replies down the thread do not acknowledge an abrupt change in status quo, worldwide. Drop the flat lattes mate.
I might have a different approach - I look for places where the government doesn't annoy me, and you don't need to look for specific BTC-friendly places, depending on outside policy would easily lead to miseries, as you might want to avoid influence from any politicians in your life - imagine places where most Bitcoiners gather, and then one day due to policy change... Building your own tribe in the hidden places is better, far from the noise.
I mean, what's a better way to protect yourself? You live among normal people.
Slovenia, Malta (aka blockchain island), Dubai, Taiwan and perhaps the UK soon, since PayPal just got approved a crypto license there. Not the ideal orange pill mechanism but ehh...
531 sats \ 3 replies \ @aljaz 6 Nov
How did Slovenistan end up on that list, yes the bitcoin tax or lack of it generally means that you can get away with pyong 0 if you are not a trader but otherwise its a shithole - high taxation on everything, horrible laws around businesses, rains half a year, mandatory public health system is mostly a joke
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Slovenistan, good one lol. Ljubljana in Slovenia was named the most crypto-friendly European city of 2022. According to (, after studying regulatory laws, taxes, adoption rates, and other facts and figures from different countries. Here is the top 5 from the list of crypto friendly countries:
  1. El Salvador
  2. Singapore
  3. Slovenia
  4. Portugal
  5. Switzerland
yeah but that is a hyper optimization for one parameter and missing out on a wholesome picture
Why not Germany? The only country in the world with no speed-limit on 70% of the Autobahn! Yes, it is heading downhill right now with his clown socialist climate hysteric government but this might change soon again as people seem to wake up. And Germany has a big, very active bitcoin community (e.g. einundzwanzig). No tax on BTC profits if you hodl at least 1 year should you ever plan to convert to Fiat.
I'm considering buying a 40ft sailboat and a passport in 5 years. and just head west from california.
I wouldn't commit my entire life to the UAE or any of those middleastern countries. Sheikhs have full control to change rules as they see fit. I've had a friend detained for a month in Abu Dhabi for an in race mistake (ex endurance athlete), deemed hit and run. He had to essentially buy his way out and get his passport back. I think it even had to go through Lance Armstrong and some of his connections with US diplomats.
Switzerland comes to mind, skip Zurich and Geneva and you will be fine.
0 sats \ 0 replies \ @td 6 Nov
Very difficult to become a citizen
0 sats \ 0 replies \ @OT 6 Nov
Not enough IMO!