Vanuatu, an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean, has enacted a citizenship policy where anyone who pays $20,000, or the equivalent in Bitcoin, can become a citizen of the country.
The announcement marks the first time that a country’s citizenship can be bought with Bitcoin, setting an exciting precedent for the still relatively nascent currency. The move comes as people increasingly adopt a more globalized outlook with a rise in people seeking as many as 3 nationalities in total. It also coincides with a time of increasing uncertainty in regards to borders and immigration with many governments looking to capitalize on this new form of citizenship revenue.
Dominic Volek, head of Southeast Asia for Henley & Partners, a citizenship consultancy firm, says:
There has been a sharp increase worldwide in the number of individuals wanting to acquire a beneficial second or third residence or citizenship to globalize their family’s opportunities and expand their business interests in a changing and uncertain world. More and more governments are seeing these programs as an innovative way of driving economic growth.
More Power to Bitcoin
Vanuatu citizenship for under 50 bitcoin
Strangely enough, Vanuatu proves why Bitcoin can never be banned https://t.co/hVeDzBMLIi
— Gabriel 👂🏻👃🏻👁️ (@GabrielDVine) October 10, 2017
Some argue that the move to grant citizenship for Bitcoin demonstrates why Bitcoin can never be banned, pointing out that one country’s ban, with its inherent loss, would become another country’s gain. An example would be the outlawing of and measures taken against companies related to gambling. In this area, countries that have then adopted more flexible gambling legislature ,such as Malta, have gone on to benefit from the migration of such gambling entities.
China as Case in Point
Simon Black of Sovereignman.com argues:
Bitcoin will be no different. Some governments will idiotically chase away the wealth, investment, and opportunity that comes from blockchain and cryptofinance. Others will embrace it. They’ll become safe havens.
These accusations of idiocy can easily be levelled currently at China, who recently took the unprecedented step of attempting to shut down the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges, citing that they claim to have technological benefit but that they actually do not.
Is a more global citizen at the heart of Bitcoin’s decentralisation? Will we begin to see more examples of Bitcoin opening the way to buying citizenship to a country? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images Courtesy of Bitcoinist archives.