The path to Bitcoinization is about to be dominated by another domino. A former Tonga lawmaker shared his play-by-play strategy for adopting Bitcoin (BTC), as legal tender, Wednesday.
Lord Fusitu’a (an ex-member of parliament for Tonga) posted a series tweets indicating that he has an ETA to make Bitcoin legal tender in Tonga. The move, which is a copy of El Salvador’s strategy, could bring more than 100,000 Tongans to the Bitcoin network.
The Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption’s chairman, has laid out a five-point plan that outlines the path to adoption.
1. September/Oct Bill is sent to Parliament Passed. 2. For submission to His Majesty’s Royal Assent, sent to Palace Office 3.
Fusitu’a responded to Fusitu’a by saying that the bill was “modeled after and is almost identical with the El Salvador bill.”
This announcement set the stage for speculations, predictions, and joy from Bitcoin Twitter. He replied enthusiastically that BTC could become legal tender as soon as November or December of this year. In a tweet, he said: “That’s us brother!”
It was widely believed that Tonga would be the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal currency in 2021. After a podcast Lord Fusitu’a recorded with Peter McCormack, a Bedford-based bitcoiner, speculation reached fever pitch.
The conversation was a shared by the former member of parliament. He stated that adoption would lead to:
“A 30% increase in disposable income. People will save that 30% extra income instead of putting it in the economy and buying sats.
Tonga, an isolated island nation, relies on remittances from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. According to the International Finance Corporation, Tonga earns up to 30% of its household income through remittances.
Moreover, although the Tongan population is only six-figures, the Tongan diaspora number in the thousands. According to the International Organization for Migration, there are 126,000 Tongans living abroad. There may be up to 18,000 Tongans living in Australia.
El Salvador adopted BTC as legal currency because of its remittance usage case. The World Bank reports that Tonga’s remittances as a percentage gross domestic product are significantly higher than El Salvador’s at 39% and 24% respectively.
Related: El Salvador: How it began vs. what it turned out with the Bitcoin Law 2021
The Lord mentioned domestic benefits of adopting the open source protocol, besides the remittance. Tonga could establish a BTC circular economic and he said that it was “one of few cases in which being a small, sparsely populated island kingdom archipelago can be an advantage.”
The Tongan claimed that 90% of the islands’ smartphone penetration rate was achieved after the internet infrastructure was questioned. According to the World Bank, Tonga has 50% internet penetration. These figures are from 2017, five years ago.
Although it may take some time to bring the islands online, Fusitu’a is determined about his country’s BTC future.
A bitcoin-based economy is one that accepts payment in bitcoin at all stages of its supply chain. From the seed to your plate. Pay for cassava roots and cattle in bitcoin from the farming supplier all the way to the waitress serving it to you at Kardo’s steak bar and every step in between in #BTC https://t.co/oR48NGzTGm
— Lord Fusitua (@LordFusitua), January 13, 2022