Building businesses in the ‘spirit of Bitcoin’: The Bitcoin Hostel

A Bitcoin hostel under construction in Portugal reflects a growing trend of business built with more than just a digital currency in mind.

A Bitcoin (BTC) hostel is coming to Portugal’s shores. As it’s Europe’s first Bitcoin-only hostel, Cointelegraph spoke with the founders to find out how Bitcoin shapes the business model, from planning to architecture to the community. 

The Bitcoin Hostel is a homestay and hangout where Bitcoin (Lighting or on-chain) is the only acceptable payment method — a space where “the spirit of Bitcoin” shapes the decision-making process.

The hostel was founded by Berliners Albert Wolframm and his girlfriend, Valeria Pandimiglio. “She’s the business part, and I’m the architecture part, but I’m also more into Bitcoin,” he jokes. The Bitcoin Hostel combines Wolframm’s skills and hobbies: “traveling, Bitcoin and architecture.”

The Bitcoin Hostel shares developments with the Bitcoin community at every stage, taking into account Bitcoiners’ requests and advice in an “open-source style” of governance.

For example, when it comes to raising money, the hostel followed Tiago Vasconcelos’ advice to use Tallycoin. Vasconcelos is the Portuguese Bitcoiner behind the artificial intelligence trading bot that told readers to hodl, and a co-founder of Portugal’s A Seita Bitcoin, which is a Portuguese pun translating to “the Bitcoin Cult,” accepted. 

Vasconcelos told Cointelegraph that running a business through Bitcoin principles is “really disruptive.” He explained that businesses such as Bitcoin Hostel show:

“The true Bitcoin spirit, decentralized, community-driven, open-source! I think it’s the start of a new way of doing business that will start to catch on in the future!”

Indeed, the Bitcoin approach to building a business is gaining traction, from Jack Dorsey’s ₿Trust, which takes zero direction from its overseers to Bitcoin podcaster Peter McCormack’s football club, which he intends to run on a Bitcoin standard.

For examples of the Bitcoin spirit guiding entrepreneurial but grassroots endeavors, Paco De La India is traveling the globe with only a Bitcoin seed phrase in his pocket, while “Nourou” in West Africa strives to put Bitcoin-based decisions at the heart of the Senegalese restoration community.

The Bitcoin Hostel Portugal. Source: Bitcoin Hostel

The hostel is hosting a competition to choose the design of the hostel while participating in Twitter Spaces and updating Bitcoiners and interested parties in real time. Regarding the design competition, although Wolframm’s professional architecture skills will come in handy, the website jokes that the design “with the most Hash… eh sorry, Design-Power will win!”

In line with Bitcoin philosophy, Wolframm champions autonomy and “giving power back to the people.” Taking inspiration from his master’s degree, in which he learned that people are happier and more prosperous when equipped with greater autonomy and a vision for the future, he muses that Bitcoin is the tool to allow greater freedoms.

To date, the Bitcoin Hostel has received an “amazing response from the Bitcoin community,” as Bitcoiners around the world are keen to lend a hand. 

“We got more than 1,000 followers and, like, so many private messages also from people asking if where we are at, what status we have, and if they can support us in any way.”

The Bitcoin Hostel couple has secured a fiat loan — “we don’t want to sell any Bitcoin” — and have begun scouting locations in Portugal to construct the building. Wolframm shared that he has received a tremendous amount of value from Bitcoiners in the space, and the encouragement spurs him on to continue building out the business in a Bitcoin-centric way. 

Related: US grassroots adoption: The Bitcoin Lightning party in Portland

“MTC,” the founder of Sats Ledger — a Bitcoin savings book for kids — told Cointelegraph that he was similarly overwhelmed by the spirited response from the Bitcoin community when he began his Bitcoin side hustle. MTC also told Cointelegraph that the Bitcoin community reaction was “phenomenal,” sharing this advice:

“If people have an itch to contribute something or to do a side project in this space, I would say ‘Throw your heart into it’ because you’re going to get feedback and connections and insights and experiences from it that you just wouldn’t have dreamt of.”

The Bitcoin Hostel camper complete with laser eyes. Source: Twitter

For the Bitcoin Hostel, the architecture competition is en route, the campervan is secured, and construction should begin in early 2023.

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