I found it interesting that in the early days of Bitcoin, people were giving away this magical internet money and even setting up Bitcoin faucets for this purpose. Roger Ver was one of the first to do this and – as far as I can tell – gave away Bitcoin very generously. Gavin Andresen too. Regardless of what the bitcoin community thinks of these two now, giving away bitcoin was vital to the growth of the network in the early days, and we owe them great thanks for that.
I claim that Bitcoin faucets are the same, if not more important, today, regardless of price! Why? Because it takes people from zero. If, like me, you believe that Bitcoin is a lifeboat, we want as many people as possible to be able to trade satoshis. Faucets can be found in online games and other pointless uses today, but I couldn’t find any that would serve the purpose I suggested.
So my question to the Bitcoin community is: Why aren’t more Bitcoiners setting up Bitcoin faucets that support causes and people who value them? Problems in our world do not solve themselves. Invest in what you value most.
For example, I was an impact investor who supported smallholders for many years before investing in Bitcoin. About five years ago my family made a sizeable donation to Slow Money to help smallholders in Colorado. Unfortunately we donated the melting ice cube in US dollars.
My thought was and is: that smallholders and gardeners are the unsung heroes in our health system. Invest in what you value most in your community. In my case, I value health over wealth. I value clean air, clean soil, clean water, clean food – nutrient-rich and free from toxins – clean energy and clean ecosystems. These are things that our fiat monetary system does not appreciate! Fiat is hostile and harmful to everyone. If that’s true, I have to put my money where my mouth is and do it now. The problem of depleted soil and nutritionally bankrupt food will not go away on its own and it just keeps getting worse. Money that reveres consumption over restoration and resilience does great damage to any ecosystem that humans need to thrive.
According to Dr. Max Gerson, the pioneer of the Gerson Protocol, which reverses cancer and other diseases with nutritious organic foods: The soil is our external metabolism. As bad as our knowledge gaps are about money, the knowledge gaps we have in our culture about soil health are even worse. And soil health will have a direct impact on community health. We’ve all heard that food is medicine; Well, take it one step further: “Soil is medicine”. Healthy soil creates healthy food that produces a healthy immune system.
With all of this in context, you might be wondering, “How hard would it be to set up a bitcoin faucet for the floor guard?” I don’t know, but I’m not waiting for someone to start one. Instead, a young urban farmer from Lakewood, Colorado came to me to raise US dollars from investors, and instead I offered to add bitcoin to his balance sheet. He accepted immediately, but didn’t know anything about Bitcoin at the time I made the offer. After doing his homework, he was very excited about the offer. No orange pill required. We’ve since met personally, I’ve toured his farm and we got him to use Opendime (thanks to Nic Carter for the idea of watching his podcast with Lex Fridman) to store the private keys to his Bitcoin and to make an agreement for at least a year not to touch. Another bitcoiner has been added to the network. And a healthcare hero on top of that. And I wasn’t shy when I told him I thought he and others who do restorative agriculture were health heroes of the most precious kind.
I also asked him to think about which of his colleagues we could do this with next. He’ll think about it and we’ll do the next one together. We will go through the same process with the next smallholder who will restore the soil in our community. And when that’s done, the three of us will choose the fourth recipient, and so on. Peer to peer. Rinse and repeat until every smallholder in Colorado has Bitcoin on their balance sheet. Well, that’s something I’d love to go viral.
My passion for helping smallholders stems from my involvement in Slow Money. One of the big ideas I heard at my first Slow Money Gathering in 2013 was, “If you’re working on a project that can be completed in your life, don’t think big enough!” Why not adopt a smallholder in Your community instead of adopting a freeway? Put Bitcoin on its balance sheet. I don’t know if we can do this for every smallholder in my life, but the way is clear. The health benefits to our community are 100 times better than pushing the government for subsidies.
For those of you interested in starting a floor guard rooster in your community please contact me at and I will share what I know and how I did it. I don’t know how many peer-to-peer floor guard taps will be needed to support the smallholder farmers in Colorado, but I am ready to be one of them. My only hope is that we will start thousands of them in every state. The health impact of helping thousands of smallholders can never be overstated!
Instead of donating US dollars, which tends to encourage debt slavery and overconsumption, why not donate bitcoin and promote freedom and resilience? I am all for HODLing and I assume that this is the prevailing mindset for most Bitcoiners. For the prosperous boomers and those who operate from abundance, however, I present this challenge: why wait to address structural issues like soil depletion, living water, nutritionally bankrupt food, and a host of other problems that only get worse when we wait ?
The old adage applies here: If not now, then when? If not you who? I am ready to help anyone who is willing to accompany me on this path. Bitcoiners can turn our disease care system into a healthcare system. All it takes is ten thousand Bitcoin faucets of all kinds.
This is a guest post by Mark Maraia. The opinions expressed are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.