Tonga Intends Following El Salvador Playbook, Making BTC Legal Tender by November

According to former member of parliament Lord Fusitu’a, the small Polynesian island nation of Tonga is likely to emulate El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender, perhaps as soon as November this year.

1. Sept/Oct Bill goes to Parliament. Passed.

2. Sent to Palace Office for submission to His Majesty for Royal Assent.

4. 2-3 Weeks Gazetted by Govt activation date set.

4. On activation date
#BTC becomes legal tender.

— Lord Fusitu’a (@LordFusitua) January 12, 2022

No Stranger to Bitcoin

As reported by Crypto News Australia last October, Lord Fusitu’a is a well-known Bitcoin advocate who previously expressed a desire for the country to adopt it as legal tender.

Bitcoin is the first truly global natively open monetary system. Blockchain is the most optimal storage medium for money if your goal is decentralisation and complete, egalitarian democratisation of money.

Lord Fusitu’a

One of the primary motivations for adopting Bitcoin is that Tonga remains highly dependent on remittances, even more so than El Salvador, which as a result of adopting Bitcoin may cost Western Union as much as US$400 million per annum.

Between 38 percent and 41.1 percent of our GDP, depending on which World Bank figures you use, is remittances. To get those remittances to Tonga, Western Union takes a 30 percent bite out of them, on average.

Lord Fusitu’a

As a member of the Tongan royal family, Lord Fusitu’a enjoys significant influence within the small island nation and took to Twitter to outline his vision for adopting Bitcoin.

The playbook, which entailed tabling a bill before parliament, was, according to him, “almost identical to the El Salvador bill”:

November Seen as Realistic Date of Adoption

Shortly after his series of tweets, Twitter was abuzz with speculation as to when Bitcoin could be legal tender in Tonga, to which Lord Fusitu’a enthusiastically replied.

So, we *could* see #Bitcoin as legal tender during November/December 2022. That gives us just under a year to build up infrastructure with lightning nodes and get Tongan’s educated on Bitcoin and Lightning. Let’s go!

— Derek Ross 🌋⚡ (@derekmross) January 12, 2022

If successful, the move could onboard more than 100,000 Tongans onto the Bitcoin network. For many, this comes as no surprise. In 2021, Tonga was one of the shortlisted countries to adopt Bitcoin next, following an appearance on the What Bitcoin Did podcast last year.

Lord Fusitu’a. Source: RNZ

Lord Fusitu’a has been singing the praises of Bitcoin for some time, asserting that it can make the nation “competitive and wealthy” if embraced. Aside from the focus on remittances, the other benefit to Tongans is an inflation-proof vehicle for long-term savings.

Nation state adoption of Bitcoin has commenced and the game theory is under way.

Tellingly, it’s not just Bitcoiners who are forecasting other nation states joining the Bitcoin network. Fidelity Asset Management, a US$4.2 trillion fund manager, has similar thoughts:

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