On the western bank of Europe’s second largest river, the Danube between Croatia and Serbia is a small block of land, Liberland, that is now asserting itself as a separate country.
This disputed territory on 13th April 2015 was declared, officially, as the Free Republic of Liberland by its president Vit Jedlicka. At the time, this move was ridiculed, mocked and dismissed but two years on, a nation whose size is just shy of 10km2 has almost 40,000 would-be citizens. And here’s why.
According to experts, this financial year was a very definitive one in attaining legal status and regulatory measures for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
While some countries welcomed the change with open arms, others have remained skeptical. Although the lack of legal status of cryptocurrencies as a commodity or even legal tender has by no means deterred people from buying, trading and selling it definitely has pissed a lot of people off. Which is why a micronation like Liberland has become such a massive hit amongst cryptocurrency enthusiast’s.
Liberland is a nation whose finances are carried out solely in Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash, Liberland is also a country that is working towards setting up a legal system that exploits the vast features of blockchain technology and is currently accepting applications for citizenship.
The country has also announced that sometime in April this year, it will issue its very own token called the “Merit”. As a country that runs solely on donations in the form of Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash, all investors are already being awarded these tokens or “Merits” which gives them an equal stake, a sense of partnership and a certain amount of responsibility towards the well-being of the nation.
Liberland also boasts of a financial strategy which outlines “four key robust pillars” which are voluntary taxation, no government debt, no fiscal policy, minimal government expenditure and free competitions of currencies which single-handedly rules out the entire concept of a specific legal tender.
This comes as a great reprieve to investors and cryptocurrency holders that are offered with their country’s totalitarian approach to the crypto-world and the changes it brings.
Rules for Citizenship
As any country that offers citizenship, Liberland also has a certain number of rules and criteria that it expects its to-be citizens to adhere to. The eligibility criteria include factors like:
- Respect for other people’s opinions
- Respect for private ownership and;
- A clean criminal record.
Although the disputed land has literally zero population, thanks to Croatia’s police, it is a viable and sensible option for people with large amounts of cryptocurrency holdings to apply for citizenship. Of course, the fact remains that the country as such has no legal recognition on the world stage nor from the United Nations and also the very real reality that it is probably a place people can never actually live in because of its small landmass. But cryptocurrency enthusiasts are happily jumping at the option for citizenship because it legalises their holdings and investments.
However, only time will tell how Liberland, as a country, will fare in the world and whether or not it will be accepted as the 197th nation of the world remains to be seen.