How can one build a Bitcoin community (BTC)? How do you start? Where to start? What are the best practices and where to start? Cointelegraph spoke to Bitcoin community leaders around the world to find out more about this growing phenomenon in Bitcoin. There are many circular-based Bitcoin economies and community initiatives all over the world, from South Africa to Indonesia to El Salvador and Congo. Cointelegraph asked the successful community-focused Bitcoiners how to kickstart a Bitcoin circular economy and what advice they’d lend to enthusiasts looking to replicate the success of projects like Bitcoin Beach, El Zonte. Bitcoin Beach – Using Bitcoin Source: Twitter. Lightning is the beginning for Mike Peterson, the Bitcoin community project leader. Peterson was the pioneer of the Bitcoin Beach project, which was launched in El Zonte (El Salvador), a sleepy surf community. The circular economy stimulated a nation and led to El Salvador adopting Bitcoin legal tender in 2021. Peterson told Cointelegraph:“You need to be using lightning for for people to be transacting and to build a circular economy. It must be built on lightning. [..] You need to get people transacting.”The layer-2 Lightning Network is a payments solution built on top of Bitcoin. El Chivo, a Lightning-enabled Bitcoin wallet, is one of the most popular in El Salvador. However, it has had some issues since its launch. To instantly transact with each other, Bitcoin enthusiasts around the globe use Wallet of Satoshi (or Muun Wallet), CoinCorner, Blue Wallet, and CoinCorner. Peterson continued: “If you get them making that first transaction and they see how easy it is and that they’ve actually sent value from one person to another in like a second time for hardly almost no fees, that’s what the light bulb goes off and they realize the value that that has.”Ultimately, leading with Lightning helps newbies realize that Bitcoin can be easy and even fun. CoinCorner, a UK-based cryptocurrency exchange, has come up with innovative ways to show the Lightning Network in the Isle of Man. Source: TwitterHermann VIvier, the founder of Bitcoin Ekasi in South Africa’s Western Cape, shared some tricks for creating a Bitcoin economy. First, while it’s important to “put one foot in front of the other,” and “just start,” he said, try to see if there’s a preexisting community to tap into:“We had something that that was already existing and we built the Bitcoin community on top of that.”Bitcoin Ekasi is a township project that keeps kids away from gangs in school and among South Africa’s Atlantic waves, where they learn lifeguarding and surf skills. Vivier teaches Bitcoin as another element of the kids’ education.Recent: What can blockchain do for increasing human longevity?Furthermore, Vivier also shared that it’s important to keep it simple. He joked that he would stick to Bitcoin. His hours of labor and love given to this community project have turned him into a “Bitcoin maximalist,” as it helps in avoiding the risk of scams in crypto, while blockchain buzzwords can get in the way of making progress: “I would say 100% focus on Bitcoin only. But at the moment, Bitcoin is where it’s at. But at the moment Bitcoin is where it’s at.”Nourou, founder of Bitcoin Senegal, a community-led Bitcoin project in West Africa, told Cointelegraph, “You cannot create a community if you aren’t capable of answering people’s questions–and that requires a wide range of knowledge.”Iman Yudha, who leads a group of crypto and Bitcoin enthusiasts in Indonesia, agrees. He told Cointelegraph that it’s important to “Get educated first–before you make any decisions. That’s my personal opinion.” After establishing a solid basis of foundational knowledge about Bitcoin, crypto and security. Nourou recommends to start talking about Bitcoin with close relations: “Start with the family if you can’t convince your mother, your brother, your sister, the cousins, and so on, it’s a bad start.” He notes that the following step varies depending on the culture, business practice and environment. Over in Senegal, “it is the wealthiest who roughly define fashion, who define trends. So people tend to copy them.” It’s for that reason that Nourou tried to target his Bitcoin communication to those communities first. Incidentally, Nourou is hosting West Africa’s first major Bitcoin conference, Dakar Bitcoin Days, on Dec. 2 in West Africa’s largest theater.Cointelegraph attended Dakar, Senegal’s first ever Bitcoin meetup in 2022.Lukas, a co-founder of Global Bitcoin Fest — which holds marathon Twitter Spaces for people all around the world — again encourages Bitcoin enthusiasts to focus on the people. It can be “lonely” in the land of Bitcoin, he told Cointelegraph, so finding a team with shared values can spur things along. He shared an example:“It’s a conversation that I’ve had recently with two guys in Zimbabwe. They want to kickstart a [project] there. He wanted it, but he was all alone. […] Then he found Metamorphoses, another great maxi, and now they’re forming a team — and the energy is completely different now.” Yudha chimed in, sharing that energy and enthusiasm are critical, and community builders should avoid being “toxic” where possible. Recent: FTX collapse: The crypto industry’s Lehman Brothers momentThese Bitcoin pioneers recommend that you find like-minded people to work with, start small, take advantage of existing communities, and learn and understand the subject matter. This can be done by focusing on Bitcoin and Bitcoin only. And to get people interested and transacting, get people using the Lightning Network because that’s what gives people their own light bulb moment.

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