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Dark Wallet, Settling in

Op-ed - Dark Wallet

With the precision of Occupy Wall Street, the Dark Wallet symposium assembled in a cold social center near the center of Milan. People trickled in from this country and that with no specific expectation. A dozen or so cultures represented, all present with the purpose of delivering tools to the people.Dark Wallet is not about the antithesis of anything, rather the embracing of an ethos.

One might think of a trip to illustrious Milan would entail fashion, flare and fame, but the MACAO social center was as far removed from those ideals as I was from home. Living in a squat definitely lacks a certain appeal to many, but with the removal of vanity comes much more focus on enabling social action.For Dark Wallet, MACAO was to be a platform to introduce and educate the public on how Bitcoin and similar technologies can introduce a dismantling of the corruption we call “government”.

To be clear, there was little-to-no organization. Although each person was left to fend for themselves,there was a social bond that encouraged us all to act with respect towards each other.Beginning with basics like sleeping quarters, we all contributed to ensure everyone’s essentials were taken care of: bedrooms here, bathrooms there, kitchen downstairs. So it went for the first few days as visitors trickled in, but it wasn’t long before trips to the market were being coordinated and full meals were being prepared by and for the entirety of the crew.

Can’t cook? There’s always dishes and trash detail. Without a single appointed or elected official, the community with thriving with minimal conveniences. This self-organization is a libertarian’s dream of the future of communities. There were no rules—all you have to survive on was your merit.

As the week marched on, Bitcoin ideals abounded, with smoke-laced discussions on the depths of anarchism often entering into our collective conversation. Discussions ranged from the ultra technical to the ephemeral, from hallways to desks to couch. Everyone spoke with everyone in every possible permutation of English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian.

Along the way, there have been some exciting moments, including a visit from Cody Wilson & his tagalong cameraman, the excitement of breaking the $1000 barrier, and celebrating the success of Sean’s Outpost and Satoshi Forest with Jason King. To say this is a unique event would be a massive understatement and the excitement inside our event reached a fever pitch when Richard Matthew Stallman, founder of GNU Project, came to stay in the very squat we called home.

In retrospect, the week was far more about the sharing of ideas and honing of goals. Dark Wallet set out to create special software, but stands to have more far-reaching effects on Bitcoin software as a whole with hopeful implications for all humans. As the week closes out, we stand with a platform before us, ready for implementation.