Another domino is lined up to fall on the road to bitcoinization. A former lawmaker from the Pacific island nation of Tonga on Wednesday shared a step-by-step approach to adopting Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender.
In a series of tweets, Lord Fusitu’a, former Tonga MP, published an ETA for Bitcoin legal tender in Tonga. To copy El Salvador’s playbook, this decision could embark more than 100,000 Tongans on the Bitcoin network.
In his five-point plan, the president of the World Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption outlines the path to adoption:
1. The September / October bill is presented to Parliament. Pass.
2. Sent to the Palace Office for submission to Her Majesty for Royal Assent.
4. 2-3 weeks Gazetted by Govt activation date set.
4. On the activation date #BTC becomes legal tender. https://t.co/TNjQjeEbjN
– Lord Fusitu’a (@LordFusitua) January 12, 2022
In a follow-up comment, Fusitu’a noted the bill is “modeled on and is almost identical to the El Salvador bill”.
The announcement sowed the seeds of Bitcoin Twitter questions, predictions and outright jubilation before Tongans set the record straight. He enthusiastically responded that the deadline for BTC to become legal tender could arrive as early as November or December of this year, to respond, “Boom! It’s us, brother! in a tweet.
In 2021, it was widely assumed that Tonga would become one of the next countries to adopt BTC as legal tender. Speculation peaked after a Podcast Lord Fusitu’a undertook with Peter McCormack, Bedford-based Bitcoiner.
During the conversation, the then-MP shared the case of remittances for the adoption of BTC as legal tender. He said the adoption would cause:
“Disposable income up by 30%. With that extra 30% some (people) are going to save it rather than put it in the economy and stack sats. “
Tonga is a remote island nation that rests on remittances from countries including Australia, New Zealand and the United States. The International Finance Corporation estimates Tonga receives more income from remittances than any other country in the world, contributing up to 30% of household income.
Moreover, while the Tongan population is only six digits, the Tongan diaspora is vast. The International Organization for Migration estimates The Tongan population living abroad is 126,000, with up to 18,000 Tongans in Australia.
The use case of remittances was one of the main drivers for El Salvador adopting BTC as legal tender. According to in the world Bank, Tonga’s remittances as a percentage of gross domestic product are significantly higher than El Salvador, at 39% versus 24%, respectively.
Aside from remittances, the Lord spoke of the national advantages for adopting the open source protocol. He Okay that Tonga could create a circular economy BTC and that this is “one of the few cases where being a small, sparsely populated island archipelago is an advantage”.
When the islands’ internet infrastructure was called into question, Tongans claimed internet and smartphone penetration rates outmoded 90%. The most recent from the World Bank The figures – although five years ago in 2017 – shows Tonga at 50% internet penetration.
It may take a while for the islands to go live, but Fusitu’a is adamant about the future of her country’s BTC:
An economy that uses bitcoin for payment at every step of the supply chain. From seed to table. Pay cassava roots and cattle in bitcoins from the farm vendor to the waitress serving them to you at Kardo’s steak bar and every step in between. #BTC https://t.co/oR48NGzTGm
– Lord Fusitu’a (@LordFusitua) January 13, 2022
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