Full disclosure: I'm not 100% living in Bitcoin yet, but I'm slowly learning how to make banks obsolete in my life. Fun fact: I used to like collecting bank accounts in different countries and even built a small service around it because I was born in a communist country with many restrictions, I thought using foreign banks could give me more freedom to use MY OWN MONEY, but at the end of the day, I was still stuck in the fiat system, the deception runs real deep.

"A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze." — Margaret Atwood.

Yes, I was that rat; I thought I figured out the formula for freedom, aka flag theory, but it turned out I was too naive. Long story short, I started educating Bitcoin and closed that service. As I went deeper and deeper into the Bitcoin rabbit hole, I set my mind to experiment with is it possible to live in Bitcoin; here is my experience partly living in Bitcoin as a nomad, many of them work for non-nomads too.

Step1. Figuring out Where Your Spending Goes

We are so used to subscribing to all kinds of products, and with a few clicks shopping convenience, many people end up buying many junk. One interesting thing I have learned after living in hyperinflation countries is many unwise shopping decisions would lead to either a. the idea that things would be more "expensive" tomorrow for the people who earn local currency or b. giving an illusion of things being "cheaper" if you earn other currency. In short, there are many ways to trick someone into buying things he or she doesn't even need in the fiat world.

Over-consumerism is a disease, so I took some time to analyze where my spending went last year and tried to see what minimal requirements I needed to live a healthy life. I suggest you do the same to start - simplifying your life because complicity clouds your mind. As someone making and spending in different currencies, I did something many people might call "crazy", but it changed me completely - I put most of my savings into Bitcoin to reach ultra simplicity, not only did I cut out all unnecessary spending, but I no longer wasted money on junk - practical, beautiful and long-lasting is my rule on spending now.

By the end of this step, you should have a rough idea of what or how much you really need monthly, and here is my setup:

  • Most of my savings are in cold wallet - money that I won't touch for a long time.
  • A hot wallet with a medium sum of BTC for emergencies - money that I can access anytime I need.
  • Daily spending from different LN wallets, for swapping sats to paying things.

And I'm using an Umbrel node to function in between, easy to do accounting this way too. I heard you - how do you run a node being a nomad? I put the node in my home base, and indeed, I can't guarantee it's online 24/7, so I'm also using Blixt wallet as a backup when I'm out and about.

Step2. Rely less on Banks and Back to Cash

As most of the nomads don't earn local currency, which means need to find a way to exchange local fiat for daily things, I had gone from using foreign banks to Neo banks, like wise, to use Bitcoin with KYC exchanges, then Non-KYC exchanges, and in-person exchange with cash.

Here are two main ways I recommend to solve the local currency needs:

1> Exchanges, I suggest using Non-KYC over KYC exchanges


I like the simple design of Hodlhodl: buyer and seller engage in a contract, and both set a password to access a multi-sig escrow address; once the fiat payment is being made, then the BTC in escrow would be released, which is quite smart.

  • Advantages: NO-KYC, many currency options and offers
  • Disadvantages: E-mail sign up and can't use alias; On-chain only, which can lead to tracking and high fees.


  1. Choose sell or buy with Bitcoin, and decide trading with which fiat currency.
  2. Both parties enter password to create a contract, with a detailed amount and expired time.
  3. The seller sends the BTC to escrow and hits confirm after it is sent.
  4. The Counterpart makes the fiat payment once the BTC transaction reaches one confirmation.
  5. When the fiat money arrives, the seller enters the password to release the Bitcoin in escrow and done.

I had quite a bad experience on hodlhodl at first because I met some of those traders who would ask you to cancel the order so that they could change the price. It's like when you are trying to buy something, then the seller is trying to raise the price to make more money; what a fiat mindset. But you can still find some good people there in it for the long term, do more tests.


  1. Check the reviews of each Counterpart, and avoid the bad ones.
  2. Start doing small tests and mark the good ones for the long term.
  3. Choose the low fee time to execute since it's Onchain only.
  4. Use a one-time wallet for each trade to avoid being tracked.


RoboSats is one of my favourite tools in Bitcoinlandia, it makes use of lightning-hold invoices, which sounds complicated at first, but it's not - think of it like you are sending something by plane, they would safely return without reaching the destination once the trade or swap is done because they are not meant to be sent out.

  • Advantages: NO-KYC, No sign-up, LN only, on Tor
  • Disadvantages: only a few offers at the moment

I haven't had the chance to do the fiat exchange in RoboSats , as it doesn't have the currency that matches my need, so I mainly use RoboSats to do swaps, as it can be cheaper than Boltz exchange sometimes, so do check the existing offers before proceeding.

Process ( for swaps )

  1. Select the swaps logo on top.
  2. Sent the LN invoice as a security bond, usually 2% of the swap  amount ( it will be charged only if you cancel or lose a dispute. )
  3. Pay the actual amount of sats that you want to swap.
  4. Both parties would communicate to provide BTC addresses.
  5. Wait for the BTC transaction to reach one confirmation and done.

I wrote a more detailed guide here.


  • Choose low-fee time to do the swaps.
  • Do not reuse the same robot ID for better privacy.
  • Always mark down the token.
  • Choose an active peer to avoid a LONG waiting time.
  • Ideally, using custodial wallets in these swaps:

a. without exposing any of the node IDs

b. without worrying about route problem, whether there is enough inbound liquidity or online or not.


Generally, both marketplaces have more offers in USD or Euro and fewer options for other fiat currencies. But the main problem with these exchanges is that they still need to go through banks, so I found a better solution later.

2> In-person P2P exchange

This might be a better option to trade with fiat, but it takes some work: gathering a few people who have opposite exchanging needs, e.g., as a nomad, if you want to have local fiat, then find the locals who want to stack more BTC; Ideally do it in person and over LN, your banks don't even have any trace this way.

  • Advantages: Flexible, they are your friends
  • Disadvantages: It could be bothering sometimes, especially when others don't have the need at that moment.


I mostly ask friends or use HodlHodl when I need local fiat, and I use RoboSats to do swaps, this strategy works great for your home base; More tricky if you are landing in a new place and without any friends. However, you can still make use of  BTCmap, especially the Community lists, try to meet some local Bitcoiners beforehand ( and verify their proof of work before meeting ), or maybe try with the shop owners or cafes, perhaps they would like to help and stack more non-KYC sats while we are slowly transiting to Bitcoin standard, which reminded me something familiar, during the Silk Road, many inns were on the way so that people could rest and share interesting things, leading to many thriving ideas.

Step3. Creating a Small Bitcoin Circular Economy

Orange-pilling people around you and the businesses you like slowly create a small Bitcoin circular economy, so you don't even have the NEED to have fiat anymore. However, this takes time, patience you must have.

Maybe All you Need is to Ask - Do you Accept Bitcoin?
Everything happened next all started with this simple ASK.
Maybe All you Need is to Ask - Do you Accept Bitcoin? ⚡️ ( Part II )
The only way to win is not to play

Tools that I use for Travelings

SIM card

I have tried many options, from Google Voice, travel e-sim, to local sims ( tips: Czech Republic and Ukraine did not require any ID). Now I mainly use silent link for the Internet when travelling, pay with BTC over LN, and with local sims for fiat stuff, and I top it up with Bitrefill.


I'm using Mullvad, pay with BTC over LN, here is a more detailed post: VPN and Fun Hacks Using it


I'm using Tutanota, with domains from njal.la, both paid in BTC, but Onchain only.


I don't travel as much now as I used to at the moment, I still aware of some options that can pay with Bitcoin, for example, travala, cheapair, but I don't have any experience with them yet; For other transportation, I mostly pay in cash.


I'm renting a long-term place as my home base, and I paid in BTC  ( USD terms, not in sats yet); I use Airbnb for short stays, but if I return to the same place, I would directly message the owner, either paying cash or BTC. Tips: once you find the place you like, taking the effort orange pilling the owner.

I was told that there's a new tool like Airbnb but with BTC: airbtc, but it seems they are showing tourist prices, much improvement is needed. Or maybe this is something you need to do the work yourself instead of expecting a third party to come in between? I like the idea of paying things in BTC, but I don't like overpaying with my precious sats. Honestly, if you want to earn my sats, offer better things or discounts, but these businesses are doing the opposite...

Other Spendings

General rules: avoid supermarkets, shopping malls and any chains;go direct to the makers, select the good ones, then orange-pilling them - going back to a peer-to-peer life.

However, many nomads probably don't have the time to do this, and that's exactly part of the reasons why being a semi-nomad makes more sense, for health and long-term relationships wise, one of the nicest feelings is going back to an old place and people excited to see you! It's nice adventuring to see something new but also a joy going back to the places where you enjoy, the art is to balance.

The Final Piece of the Puzzle: Start Earning in Bitcoin

Now we get to see some nice options to spend in Bitcoin, but then we need to have Bitcoin to pay first, and earning Bitcoin is way better than buying, as it completely changes your mindset.

I remember the first time I got paid in Bitcoin, I was like, wow it went directly to my cold wallet, fast, low fee, and no more dealing with middlemen, it was so refreshing! so I started doing different experiments to see if it's possible to earn in Bitcoin, I will share more of my findings in the future:)

Final Word

Imagine earning and spending in Bitcoin, roaming around with 12 seed words in your brain, nobody can tell you what you can and can't do with YOUR OWN MONEY, and no one can take it away from you, that's so liberating.

I'm slowly working toward this goal and happy to share more of my findings as I explore further.