Atlantis is Back and it is Using Bitcoin

News and Analysis

According to a Facebook entry by the prime minister of self-proclaimed micronation Atlantis, Joby Weeks, the country has officially made Bitcoin its currency.

The country formerly known as Pontinha, is a small island off the Portuguese coast occupying 178 square meters of area. According to the country’s self-proclaimed leader “Prince” Renato Barros, 56, who earlier worked as an arts-and-crafts teacher, the population of the country is just four people, including himself.

“I have both a Portuguese passport and a passport for Pontinha (where my passport number is 0001). There are four citizens: me, my wife, my son, and my daughter. I am the police, the gardener, everything. I am whatever I want to be, that’s the dream, isn’t it? If I decide I want to have a national song, I can choose it, and I can change it any time. The same with my flag – it could be blue today, red tomorrow. Of course, my power is only absolute here, where I am the true sovereign,” he said to the Guardian last year.

There are lots of such self-proclaimed nations globally. Some of them are just virtual, while others occupy some disputable or unclaimed territories. None of them has been recognized by any UN-member so far. However, the idea of a country where cryptocurrency is a legal tender, still provoked uncontrollable dreams in the heads of bitcoin enthusiasts.

They recalled the recently announced e-residency of the Estonian government powered by the BitNation project, which offers notary services to its e-citizens. Even though the island is not large enough to accommodate even a hundred people, it still might become a virtual Mecca for all those out there, who wish to see the first cryptocurrency central bank in the world.

Bitcoin is a number-one choice for virtual states, as they usually do not have enough assets to issue their own physical currencies. The biggest problem, however, is that no real country recognizes such micronations, and they usually remain either a thought experiment, or a weird tourist attraction. No one takes them seriously.

Earlier this year, the so-called Free Republic of Liberland was claimed on 6 strip of land between Serbia and Croatia. The authorities of a micronation stated they wished using bitcoin or other cryptocurrency as their legal tender. Back then, the bitcoin community felt exalted, however, as some had predicted, the project came to nothing.

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