Home Crypto Tonga Politician Hopes to Follow in Bitcoin’s Footsteps in El Salvador

Tonga Politician Hopes to Follow in Bitcoin’s Footsteps in El Salvador

El Salvador made Bitcoin (BTC) legal tender earlier this year. It’s still the only country to ever do this, but could Tonga be the next?

Bitcoin as legal tender

Lord Fusitu’a, a member of the Tongan parliament, believes the country can follow El Salvador’s lead and accept Bitcoin as legal tender. This was reported by the Financial Review. Fusitu’a said the following:

“Tonga is the country on Earth that relies most on remittances. Between 38% and 41.1% of our GDP, depending on which World Bank figures you use, is made up of remittances. To get those remittances to Tonga, Western Union takes an average of 30% of them. However, it can also be 50%. In El Salvador it is closer to 50%.”

He laid out a common justification from Bitcoin proponents for using the leading crypto as legal tender. Not only is Fusitu’a convinced of Bitcoin’s potential to make money transfers cheaper, he’s also completely sold on Bitcoin itself. He said the following:

“Bitcoin is the first truly global, open monetary system. Blockchain is the most optimal storage medium for money if you strive for decentralization and complete, egalitarian democratization of money.”

Jack Mallers’ strikes again

Fusitu’a directly cited Jack Mallers’ Strike, a digital wallet from Chicago-based Zap Solutions Inc, as a possible means of accepting Bitcoin as payment in Tonga. Mallers is a staunch supporter of Bitcoin as legal tender. Not only does the CEO of Zap believe in the argument that Bitcoin makes money transfers cheaper. He also believes that the cryptocurrency’s flagship is the best response to the inflation of the traditional currency.

“The kid I went to high school with is going to lean over a bar in Manhattan and drink a $35 Old Fashioned and tell me Bitcoin doesn’t matter? Privileged bastard,” Mallers said at this year’s Bitcoin conference in Miami.

Fusitu’a went so far as to say that using Strike to send money back to Tonga would not require a parliamentary act or even an approval from the National Reserve Bank of Tonga.

A previous investigation found that Zap Solutions Ltd did not have the proper licenses to operate in nearly every US state. Experts then suggested that this means that many cash and crypto transfers to El Salvador via Stike may be illegal.

Not so fast, Tonga

Fusitu’a is just as eager as Mallers to watch Bitcoin arrive on Tonga’s white sand beaches. But his enthusiasm is not shared by everyone in the country.

Sione Ngongo Kioa, governor of the Reserve Bank of Tonga, has reportedly said the bank has no plans to accept Bitcoin as legal tender any time soon. He indicated that the adoption of Bitcoin as an official alternative currency is certainly unlikely.

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