The air was sticky in this 200 year old Caribbean city. All the buildings were the original architecture, and I could not stop thinking about the crazy stories I had heard about this place. Years ago many of the biggest drug cartels in the world allegedly laundered billions of dollars here before stricter banking laws were adopted. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but Shadow Man seemed like a cool guy with an interesting story.
We randomly met in a Bitcoin chat group months previous after discussing an article I wrote, “Extortion, Police Raids and Secrecy: Inside The Venezuelan Bitcoin Mining World.” Shadow Man understood the underground Caribbean Bitcoin world from a real life perspective. He also dealt directly with India, Venezuela and other South American countries. He did not just understand it. He was pioneering it.
We agreed to meet at a restaurant and as I sat down at the table, I realized I didn’t even know this guys name or what he looked like. All kinds of thoughts raced through my head. Five minutes later a sharply dressed young guy walks in with a well tailored suit jacket. We made eye contact and I waved him over. We then introduced ourselves, and before long, we were deep in Bitcoin conversation.
After he told me more about himself and his business, I kept thinking, “Most of the world has no clue this even goes on.” Everyday we read articles about developers, venture capital deals and ICO’s, but we rarely hear about the real life stories of the people carving out their piece of the ecosystem.
“Not all treasure is silver and gold mate.” Captain Jack Sparrow
Who Is Shadow Man?
When we were about to part ways, I asked if I could do an interview with him. Like most people in the Bitcoin underground, he declined at first. I told him I would keep his identity and location anonymous. This was the genesis of the name Shadow Man. There is nothing dubious about it. He just wishes to remain in the shadows, which is something I can respect.
A few months after I got back to the states we re-connected and put this interview together. Some of the details of his business we left out to protect his privacy. Shadow Man without a doubt has helped bring Bitcoin to his Island and surrounding countries. He is a perfect example of a Bitcoin entrepreneur growing the ecosystem in a remote area of the world.
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