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Cruise ship being converted into an innovation hub for entrepreneurs

PortandTerminal.com, December 2, 2020

Ocean Builders‘ plan to convert luxury cruise liners into ocean communities of digital nomads, crypto-enthusiasts and entrepreneurs is one step closer to fruition with the first wave of cabins up for auction aboard MS Satoshi.

The 804ft ship (named after the elusive Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto) is being prepared to set sail from the Mediterranean and anchor in the Gulf of Panama where it will welcome its first residents in early 2021.

MS Satoshi, aka the Crypto Cruise Ship, houses 777 cabins (tentatively priced between US$25,000 to US$50,000) with a capacity of 2,020 people plus crew and crew quarters. Facilities include multiple restaurants, a theatre, casino, gym and wellness areas.

Woman exercising in gym
Source: Ocean Builders

The ship will be used for tourism, home residence, research and office space and aims to become an incubator for innovation and entrepreneurship.

The brainchild of Ocean Builders COO Chad Elwartowski, a Michigan-born software engineer turned bitcoin trader, the goal is to create a floating community for the advancement of ocean technology, engineering, sustainable living and experimentation.

A leading figure in the seasteading movement, a libertarian group dedicated to building independent floating cities on the high seas, Elwartoski is convinced that the global pandemic has actually done wonders for the cause.

“Coronavirus is an opportunity to show the world that what we’re building is actually going to be very useful in the future,” Chad Elwartowski told The Guardian, in a recent video post from his beachside base in Panama.

Woman standing at rail on cruise ship looking at sea
Source: Ocean Builders

“No matter if you’re scared of the virus or the reaction to the virus,” he adds, “living out on the ocean will be helpful for these situations.”

If Elwartowski’s vision is realised, the MS Satoshi will be a gathering place for digital nomads, cryptocurrency enthusiasts, expats, researchers, and entrepreneurs, working together in a blockchain and non-blockchain crypto-friendly environment. Bitcoin, US. dollars and other forms of payment are accepted.

He says: “We look forward to creating a hub for technology and innovation here in Panama. Our goal is to figure out how to live sustainably on the sea and chart new waters in this new frontier.”

Source: Ocean Builders

From cheap deals and health screening, to group charters and party ships, the cruise industry is working hard to rebuild its appeal – post pandemic and indeed before coronavirus struck, as Anthony Pearce, co-founder of Cruise Adviser magazine writes for Globetrender here.

However, a reimagining of the cruise as a crypto-fuelled utopia for Silicon Valley tech nuts and start-up bros probably wasn’t what it had in mind. That said, when it comes to WFA or WFH, living it up on an ocean liner off Panama with a tribe of likeminded nerds doesn’t sound too bad.

Ocean Builders hopes that entrepreneurs will come on board to run restaurants, events, fitness classes, and other businesses and is calling on the elites of London, San Francisco and New York to join them on their floating office.

Residents will pay an ongoing fee for the upkeep of the ship and amenities (amount yet to be determined). Ocean Builders is able to assist residents with acquiring permanent residency in Panama if they want to live in the country full time.

Read Globetrender’s full coverage of the MV Satoshi project by clicking here.

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