Sunday, January 23

Vitalik Buterin, from a march in Plaza de Mayo to an Argentine crypto cave

The same Vitalik Buterin who days ago met with former President Mauricio Macri, who participated in meetings with important businessmen and who made tickets for his public conference run out in 10 minutes, also learned about other facets of daily life in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Among the anecdotes told by those who had contact with the 27-year-old developer, whose fortune – according to Forbes – amounts to USD 1,500 million, is that of “Paleobit.” This maximalist bitcoiner was in charge of taking Vitalik to a “cryptocave” and, inadvertently, made him witness a march in Plaza de Mayo.

In the everyday speech of Argentines, a cave is a currency exchange house that operates clandestinely, without having the corresponding authorization. In bitcoiner lingo, those that incorporate the sale of cryptocurrencies are called “cryptocaves”.

“What Vitalik really wanted was to enjoy the dynamics of a cave,” said Paleobit in the latest edition of the PlebsCast podcast, which has him as one of its drivers.

An AirBnB hiring and an unexpected encounter

But we go from the beginning: Paleobit comments that he has an account on the AirBnB platform in which, among other things, he offers a Bitcoin Tower.

This is an experience, which can be enjoyed in Spanish or English, in which those interested visit various historical places in Buenos Aires (for example, the Plaza de Mayo and the Central Bank) while talking about the history of money in general, and of the Argentine currency in particular.

Also – after teaching them how to create a wallet – visitors are taken to a bitcoin ATM and a cave, places where, if they wish, they can buy their first satoshis.

Paleobit tells in the aforementioned podcast that, after learning of the arrival of Vitalik Buterin to Argentina, he was a little upset. «I saw Twitter and the photo of Vitalik was everywhere everyone wanted to take one selfie with Vitalik and show it like a trophy ».

In this context, he received a message informing him that someone had acquired his bitcoiner experience on AirBnB. «A gringuita hires the experience and tells me ‘I’m going with 7 friends’». That caught the attention of the bitcoiner because – according to his account – few people hire this service and, generally, they do it in very small groups.

The day chosen for the tour was Monday, December 20, coincidentally the day on which the 20th anniversary of the resignation of former President Fernando De La Rúa, in the context of the economic and social crisis that Argentina experienced in 2001.

«I arrived at Plaza de Mayo (agreed point for the meeting) and there were hundreds of people with flags of the Classist and Combative Current, the Workers’ Pole, the June 22 Organization … they were all making choripantes, it was impossible to enter the Plaza de Mayo ! ”, Recalls the host of the tour.

On December 20, a march for the 20th anniversary of the 2001 repression was called in Plaza de Mayo, in the Argentine capital. Fountain: @PCRargentina /

After rescheduling the meeting point to a couple of blocks, in a slightly quieter place, people began to arrive. “I waited for them at the Starbucks in Florida and Rivadavia, two, three … and the last to arrive was Vitalik, who was seated in front of me at the Starbucks table”, he narrates and adds: “I started to shit laughing! Everyone desperate to take a picture with him, and I get, bang! Bounce, there.

Vitalik Buterin from Plaza de Mayo to the cryptocave

Despite his surprise, Paleobit behaved professionally and treated his occasional customers like any other group (although he reports that it was not necessary to teach the creator of Ethereum how to install a wallet on his cell phone).

We were walking with Vitalik Buterin in the middle of the march in Plaza de Mayo, with the flags, the firecrackers, the choripanes… I was walking with a guy of USD 1,500 million in the middle of that sea of ​​people, very bizarre.

Paleobit, co-conductor del podcast PlebsCast.

Then came the most awaited moment by the creator of Ethereum: the entrance to the cryptocave. «The caveman tells me” No, I can’t believe it! “And I answer him “Yes, I brought it to Vitalik who wants to sell some ethers (ETH) for pesos” », relata Paleobit.

The operation was as it usually happens in these places: Vitalik Buterin sent ETH to the cave and he waited for the transaction to be confirmed. “I wait like 20 minutes for confirmation, Vitalik will have paid little gas!” comments the host of the bitcoiner tour.

Then, the exchange operator gave Vitalik 91 thousand pesos (equivalent to approximately USD 455) and, according to Paleobit, the leader etherean He counted them one by one. Laughing, Paleobit remembers: “One more distrustful than the other! The famous “do not believe, verify” live and direct, between Vitalik and the caveman ».

The group also participated in the visit to the cryptocave and an interesting talk was put together among all about the free market.

States need inflation

The atmosphere of protest and marches in Buenos Aires that day made it easier for Paleobit to illustrate his exposition on the history of the Argentine currency. Convertibility, forced pesifications, the corralito, the devaluation of the peso and other issues were addressed, as usual, during his tour.

Paleobit mentions that it was he who told Vitalik Buterin that Argentina has a large, very inefficient state, but there is great potential in its people. That phrase was reproduced by the developer in the conference he gave the next day at La Usina del Arte.

The bitcoiner comments that, during the conversation with Vitalik and the group, They talked a lot about inflation, and concluded that it is a necessity for the States. “The state without inflation cannot survive, because it is so big that the only way to liquefy this cost is to ask for debt or print money. And they will vote the same, this party, or the other … they will never leave. It is not the objective of the State to lower inflation, “he says.

Paleobit: «I always talk about Bitcoin»

The dialogue on the PlebsCast podcast continued its course and the conversation turned to the virtues of Bitcoin. For Paleobit, Satoshi Nakamoto’s cryptocurrency provides financial integrity. It is, according to him, a financial system available to anyone. “The certainty that comes from having, as humans, that tool available to each one of us is impressive,” says the podcaster and regrets that there are people who do not value it.

“Did Vitalik comment on Bitcoin?” Pablo (the other co-host of the space) asked Paleobit. His response made clear his particular thinking on the subject:

«From my part there was no other word that is not Bitcoin. I always talk about Bitcoin and try to avoid ‘crypto’. I believe that Bitcoin has a fundamental characteristic and that is that it cannot be copied, imitated or reproduced. Satoshi Nakamoto’s genius was throwing this onto the court and disappearing. No government can compromise Satoshi, there is no foundation, there is no marketing team. Instead, all other ‘coins’ have their foundation, their VCs, their marketing departments. Bitcoin is something that will never be reproduced in the history of mankind again. ‘

Paleobitc, co-conductor of PopulationCast.