EP 008: A Few Potential Citadel Models
Everything looks great in Theory, Let's consider some practice.
I ran a recent Twitter survey asking how a Bitcoin Citadel should operate.
A bit of a provocative question if you ask me because I was insinuating some sort of moral element to a group of hardcore individualist bitcoin maximalists.
In earnest, I don’t think there is a grand moral imperative for how a citadel should operate (you will have to interpret the principles yourself when it comes to building your citadel), but I do see it as informative when mapping out the vision of the Citadel and observing where folks begin to converge on vision.
We touched on vision a bit in the last newsletter, but it bears repeating.
While building a citadel, you should be thinking about the 250 year vision (if you recall, per my trip to New Orleans) as a way to frame longevity, layout, and operating rules of your Bitcoin Citadel.
This is not a 3 or even 10 year operation.
You’re building something your great-grandchildren should be proud to inherit.
And by inheritance I don’t mean simply a chunk of land or a few outbuildings. I mean the place and culture that you are building today, the set of rules and norms your community, no matter how large, operate by.
Whether those rules and norms are religious, secular, cultural, or entirely esoteric is immaterial, but they must exist or your citadel will be no different culturally than any Starbucks in Midtown Manhattan.
Place is not just a place.
Place is what you make it, and place becomes you.
Let’s look at a few places.
By no means is this exhaustive, but below are a few of the types of places I’m seeing in WY within my geographic range, utility needs, and price window (currently low/mid 6 figures).
As one in business might build personas to idealize general types of customers that are walking through the door, so too will we build personas for the types of locations we are considering purchasing.
The Retreat Center:
The Retreat Center is a property of between 12 and 75 acres.
It tends to take the form of a blank canvas, often with extremely limited access to water and electricity, and the seller is either an individual getting rid of some personal acreage, or a developer selling slots in a larger ranch.
The Pros of Retreat Centers are that they are often very close to desirable places to visit, and tend to have more idyllic scenery.
The Cons of Retreat Centers are that they often come without water access, have an annual HOA, often have restrictive building covenants, along with being smaller in acreage than we would prefer.
What to build?
If we bought a Retreat Center, we would need to be very clear on the covenants and governance structure to ensure maximal building and operating freedom on our land.
Lands like this would serve as excellent tourist or community space, because in addition to their acreage, they are often near National or State Parks which host an abundance of recreational activities.
You can build out camping pads, glamping options, and set up off grid tiny homes as rental units.
Additionally, the Retreat Center works for small scale farming, chickens or other animals that don’t require big acreage.
The Wild Hill/Meadow:
The Wild Hill/Meadow is a plot of between 60 and 200 acres.
These tend to look like failed homesteads or nearly raw land. Water is almost always available in the form of wells or springs, while electricity may or may not be (however the space is a good candidate for solar/wind).
These properties are often owned by legacy individual owners and are in more remote locations, tucked away off some county road, miles from the nearest town.
The Pros of the Wild Hill/Meadow are that you are typically getting more land at a better price per acre. The land itself, because you have more, is often a better candidate for hosting regenerative livestock grazing. (You need larger acreage in WY than average to host livestock because of the lower annual rainfall.)
The Cons of the Wild Hill/Meadow are that you’re further away from, well, everything, and you’ll need to build most of your accommodations from scratch as water is typically the only utility you’ll find here. (But a pro is that you generally do not have any land covenants.)
What to build?
If purchasing a Wild Hill/Meadow, we would dive into making the housing and accommodations and building a mix of ranching/farming and small scale rental units.
Because we’re so far away from major attractions, rentals would not be our main source of income, we would need to rely on farming and utilizing the land itself.
The Prepper is a plot of between 40 and 100 acres.
These look like manufactured homes on absolutely flat parcels of land located as close to nowhere as possible. There are already small homes on these properties that have utility systems in place. However, these systems are often set up by the previous owner and may lack quality workmanship.
I’ve never seen a Prepper plot that looked like a woman lived in it, which should tell you everything about how comfortable it is. Hard fail on the Wife Index of Livability or potentially big renovations needed.
The Pros the Prepper Plots are that they are dirt cheap and come with established living space, basic utilities. At least a shell to live in.
The cons are that they are in the absolute middle of nowhere on the rawest, least viable land, with little access to live water (rivers, streams, springs).
What to build?
There isn’t much you can do with a Prepper plot but wait out the inevitable zombie apocalypse. The land isn’t viable for much farming, water is scarce, and location makes any sort of glamping possibility very difficult.
These properties should be avoided at because they lack even our most basic requirements for Citadel Building. If we found one with water, that would change the math, but outside of that potential, these are typically not good citadel locations.
The Barn is a plot of between 35 and 60 acres.
These look like either working pole barns, modified quonsets, or metal warehouses that have been setup as either working facilities for livestock, or giant sheds.
Barns generally have access to utilities such as water and electricity, as well as the benefit of a closed off and covered space from poor weather. You’ll see these parcels either being sold as small ranchettes, or as smaller portion of a larger ranch that is being parted out from a single owner.
The Pros of Barns are that what they lack in location or acreage, they make up for with ease of access to basic utilities. The Barn itself can be refinished for people to live/work within, can be used to host events, retreats, and serves as a sort of “town square” you can build a series of camping plots or tiny homes around.
The Cons of Barns are that you’re getting less acreage than preferred, and paying for the quality of the building on site. Additionally, because of the working nature of these spaces, they can either be in extremely remote areas, or closer to towns and sights to see, there really is no hard and fast rule here.
What to build?
Barns serve well as a small “town" square” from which you could build a co-working and living space for travelers looking for a more comfortable location to work and build community from.
You would need to build out a comfortable set of living spaces, as well as the main space, and would likely want to have smaller animals on site (goats, sheep, chickens) as an additional source of cashflow.
Buying a barn is highly contingent on the location and quality of the working space. Because covenants are typically not an issue, how much remediation you would need, and established your utilities are become the major factors.
Now we search.
With a few personas in mind, we can now better conceptualize how we would build out particular spaces we come across.
Remember, personae are built as frameworks, not as hard guides to color within the lines. I don’t expect I’ve thought of every type of possible land persona, and fully expect we will find some blends that are better, worse, or altogether unexpected.
However, they are necessary for framing our thinking.
A bad first draft is 100x better than no first draft.
I hope you enjoyed this update! I’m loving the process of getting my thoughts down and hope you’re getting excited to build your own Citadel (or are actively in the process.)
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