gunned down at the gate of a home he’d rented in a rough neighborhood high above Acapulco on the first day of February.
Some say he was selling drugs, infringing on the turf of local dealers. Others suggest he incited violence by standing up to neighborhood thugs who rammed a vehicle into his home’s gate. His girlfriend initially accused another expat anarchist of orchestrating the killing. The common thread behind the theories: This crime was personal.
Whatever the reason, Galton’s murder has set the loose-knit community on edge and led some to question the allure and adequateness of Acapulco as a haven for rebels and dreamers.
Acapulco has longbeen a strategic crossroad for commerce and cultural exchange. For more than two centuries, Spanish galleons loaded with Mexican silver sailed from the port for the Philippines and returned laden with porcelain and spices. Hard currency came again in the 1800s, after Mexico won independence from Spain, with gold shipments from the California Gold Rush pausing in the bay en route to Panama.
Digital transactions remain rare in Mexico, where more than 80 percent of purchases are with cash and millions of Mexicans lack bank accounts. Employment for half the working population is considered informal, which means they don’t pay taxes. But the majority of Mexicans now have smart phones, which makes anonymous crypto transactions a tempting prospect.
Bitso, the main exchange for cryptocurrency in Mexico, says it has more than 550,000 users trading nine different cryptocurrencies. That’s 0.5 percent of the population at large. The currency will need to scale up to be practical.
Gustavo Sartorius first encountere
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