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Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Bitcoin Jungle?

Bitcoin Jungle is a community project that was created in Osa, Puntarenas, Costa Rica in 2021. We provide technical infrastructure, community events & educational information for Costa Ricans to help them learn about, use & adopt Bitcoin. We also support local tourism by attracting tourists to Osa to experience using Bitcoin in day to day life in a way they haven’t seen before. This concept is known as a Bitcoin Circular Economy.

What is a Bitcoin Circular Economy?

Bitcoin circular economies are a concept pioneered by Bitcoin Beach in El Salvador. The idea is to build a local economy where you can attract Bitcoin into a community and keep it there, enabling commerce to occur with Bitcoin in every step of the economic cycle. For example, we attract Bitcoin tourists who spend their Bitcoin at locally owned businesses. These vendors can then pay their suppliers in Bitcoin, who in return can pay the producers in Bitcoin. The producers can then use Bitcoin to purchase other goods and services. Today, there are Bitcoin Circular Economies all over the world, adapted to the needs of their community.

What Bitcoin Jungle is not?

We are not a profit seeking company. We don’t charge any fees to send or receive Bitcoin over the Lightning Network. We do not wish to force the use of Bitcoin onto anyone. We do not charge any commissions to any business who accepts Bitcoin or who receives Bitcoin tourists.

How does Bitcoin Jungle Make Money?

We don’t. The service is free to use. We are funded by Bitcoin enthusiasts that want to contribute to our mission of driving the knowledge & ability for anyone to use Bitcoin in their life. We believe Bitcoin is a force of good in this world, we are passionate about the technology, we love to share our knowledge and we want to contribute our skills to the Costa Rican economy in a positive way.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is an open protocol that enables the transfer of value digitally. It is an open network- anyone, anywhere can participate without asking for permission. Bitcoin is not controlled by any one person, company or government. The internet will have a native currency; it's just a matter of time.

Who uses Bitcoin?

Bitcoin, like any other form of money, has many uses. Some use Bitcoin as a savings tool, helping protect their savings against inflation. Others use Bitcoin as a payments tool, helping make payments cheaper, faster & more reliable than alternatives. 

 

The Human Rights Foundation helps activists around the world learn how to adopt Bitcoin to further their causes. Women's rights activists in Afghanistan use Bitcoin to pay staff because women are denied access to bank accounts. Russian civil society activists use Bitcoin to receive donations and pay expenses after having their bank accounts closed. There are countless examples of Bitcoin being used for good throughout the world.

 

In the future, creative endeavors will rely heavily on micropayments, something that's been discussed since the dawn of the internet, and finally being realized at scale. Artificial Intelligence agents will need a standardized way to transact. Commerce will be less constrained by national borders, flowing freely around the world without gatekeepers or rent seekers.

Who uses Bitcoin Jungle?

 

The first business in Costa Rica to adopt Bitcoin was the farmer’s market, Eco Feria, in Dominical. This farmer’s market is Tica owned and operated. The friction of payments between vendors (mostly Tico) and customers (mostly Foreign) was a real pain point for this community-run farmer’s market. 

 

Customers found it difficult and expensive to withdraw cash at the ATMs and   found the barriers of entry to accepting credit cards to be too high. Combine that with the fact that foreigners largely don’t have access to SINPE Movil and this inefficiency in payments was truly cumbersome.

 

Using Bitcoin as a form of payment was so successful among the vendors that word spread to all the tourism based companies in the area that Bitcoin could be used as a faster, easier & cheaper way to accept payments from foreigners for their goods and services.

 

Bitcoin Jungle is proving to be forging a new connection between Costa Ricans and foreigners visiting and living in this beautiful country. By enabling fast & secure payments between these 2 communities, we are helping forge new bonds and bring people closer together. 

 

There are hundreds of businesses around Costa Rica that accept Bitcoin as a form of payment today. You can see a map of business here: maps.bitcoinjungle.app.

Isn’t Bitcoin used for money laundering?

 

No more than any other form of money. All forms of technology can be used for both good & bad. The advent of the telephone spurred a rise of kidnappings, the automobile made bank robberies easier, and the rise of the internet enabled international scams that prey on the elderly and tech illiterate. This is not an intrinsic property of any particular technology, it applies equally to all new innovations. We don’t view the invention of the telephone as bad, because it provided so many benefits to society. It’s important to not dismiss Bitcoin until you’ve done your own research into its current and potential future uses as the technology matures.

How Does Bitcoin Jungle prevent money laundering?

 

Bitcoin Jungle does not have a bank account in any country. Having a bank account would be the first prerequisite in “money laundering”. Our wallet has daily limits as well as both automated systems and internal audits that review any suspicious activity. The average payment of Bitcoin Jungle users is under 20.000 colones.

Are there Costa Ricans involved?

 

Of course! Although the idea of Bitcoin Jungle was created by a group of foreign immigrants to Costa Rica, it would be a complete failure without the adoption of Costa Ricans. Bitcoin Jungle is a member of the Bitcoin Association of Costa Rica, which is founded and run exclusively by Costa Rican citizens. 80% of Bitcoin Jungle users are Costa Rican. Bitcoin Jungle does not accept users from the United States.

How can Bitcoin benefit Costa Rica?

 

We believe that Bitcoin can benefit Costa Rica in many ways. Besides facilitating payments between foreign visitors and local vendors which drives the tourism sector of the economy, Bitcoin companies are starting to realize the potential of expanding their operations to Costa Rica. There are now Bitcoin related jobs for engineers, software developers & finance experts in Costa Rica. In the future, we see the expansion of hydroelectric powered Bitcoin mining as a huge opportunity for the country. Also, providing the country with another option to use as a hedge against the debasement of the US Dollar could prove invaluable.

Do I have to use Bitcoin Jungle?

 

No! As we mentioned above, Bitcoin is an open network. In practice, this means that every Bitcoin app works together. A Costa Rican farmer can have Bitcoin Jungle on their phone and a foreigner can use another Bitcoin-enabled app to make instant, cheap & easy payments between them.

 

Strike in the US, Bull Bitcoin in Canada, Relai in the European Union and Osmo in Central America are examples of services and apps that connect a bank account in their respective country to the Bitcoin network. All of these services are fully regulated and licensed in their respective jurisdiction.

Is Bitcoin Jungle unique?

 

No, Bitcoin Jungle is one of many similar projects that have emerged all over the world. Some other Bitcoin community projects we know of are:

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