Liberland, the World’s First ‘Country’ to Accept Cryptocurrencies
A newly formed country, known as ‘Liberland’, is doing what most other countries across the world are afraid of trying, which is to embrace bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Liberland, otherwise officially known as The Free Republic of Liberland is a small stretch of disputed land that was earlier lying unclaimed at the banks of river Danube between Croatia and Serbia.
The parcel of land, also known as Gornja Siga, measures 7 square kilometres and was a no man’s land until it was finally claimed by right wing Croatian economist, Vid Jedlicka, on April 13, 2015. Liberland has its own flag, a constitution and a national anthem with a motto that reads ‘Live and Let Live’.
Liberland is currently accepting applications for citizenship and those wishing to become citizens have to abide by the rules and regulations. Half a million people from across the world including more than 12000 American citizens and around 5500 from the United Kingdom have already applied for citizenship to this East European country. According to an article in The Telegraph, a conference was also organised by the leaders of Liberland in April 2016. A major topic of discussion at this conference was blockchain. Blockchain is the technology that essentially enabled the bitcoin and cryptocurrency revolution. The finances of the country too are run using cryptocurrencies.
Liberland, which ranks as the third smallest country after the Vatican and Monaco and also has plans to launching its own cryptocurrency ‘Merit’ in April this year, with those making donations already being awarded with some number of tokens. The country also has plans to launch its own legal system on a blockchain.
On January 27, the ‘1st International Bitcoin Forum of the Canary Islands’ took place in Tenerife. Vit Jedlicka was one of the prominent speakers at the event.
Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency that aims to become the global world reserve currency. For a country like Liberland, it makes sense to use bitcoin as a currency rather than to issue a new fiat currency. Also, it would be much easier for Liberland to use bitcoin for trade purpose as it can be transferred seamlessly over the internet from one wallet to another and settled in real time.
Jedlicka says, “We have almost half a million people with us on this voyage, in terms of population, our potential population, we are larger than Malta or Iceland, in a way which is great, that’s a good start to build a country, in order to build a nation you actually need people for it and not just that. We’re working hard to get our diplomatic offices around the world up and running, so we can get good relations with other countries,” further adding, “Right now I’m in Mexico, I’m putting together a representative office here, we’ve got amazing people representing us, people close to governments that can make sure that our relations are as good as possible.”
Jedlicka, who even brought 20 tickets to attend President Trump’s inauguration, told The Washington Post that he is looking forward to the Trump administration supporting him and also hopes that the government will officially recognise Liberland, which has not been recognised by any country or the United Nations as of the time of writing this article.