Liberland: The Independent European ‘Nation’ That Runs on Cryptocurrency
Almost three years ago Vít Jedlička, a Czech economist turned politician, declared himself president of 2.7 square miles of unclaimed marsh along the west coast of the Danube between Croatia and Serbia that he named the Free Republic of Liberland. As of December, Liberland had 480,000 registered diaspora members, 150,000 eligible applications for citizenship and 100 representative offices abroad.
Jedlička conceived of Liberland as a haven for those suffering from runaway taxation while living in countries within the European Union, including the Czech Republic. “For many years, I worked for lowering taxes and regulations in the Czech Republic, but I suddenly realized that it would be easier to start a new country than to fix an existing one”, he says. “We suffered 40 years of serious damage to our society under a communist regime and, unfortunately, many of the same people are in power again.”
Now, the Croatian government does not currently recognize Liberland and has been actively detaining visitors to the area. “The situation on the mainland in Liberland is still difficult as Croatian police illegally persecute all visitors and settlers,” Jedlicka told the Telegraph in an interview. “We are waiting for exoneration from the Croatian constitutional court but for now, our settlement has essentially moved to the river, where we host visitors almost on a daily basis.” Since 2015, an estimated 100 people have been arrested and forcefully removed by the Croatian authorities.
As you might imagine, Liberland functions a lot like a up-start cryptocurrency project. They conduct all formal government business through popular online social channels, like email, WhatsApp, and Skype, enabling all representatives to be instantly connected across the globe.
To fund their operations, Liberland accepts bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash donations, and the state budget is reportedly distributed across a dozen different cryptocurrencies. They are also planning an April ICO for their own national cryptocurrency called Liberland Merits. These tokens will function as a reward system to those who pay taxes and contributed to the development of Liberland, essentially offering a stake in the country.
Here is a breakdown of Liberland’s currencies, merits and monetary policy,
— Free competition of currencies – Liberland government shall not create or support any monopolies, including monetary affairs.
— Government issues points evaluating labor, called Merits – Liberland Merits are a way of tracking peoples’ contributions towards the country
— At this stage, Merits are fixed 1:1 to USD – every 1 USD of donation or investment is converted 1:1 into Liberland Merit and credited to your online Merit account
— Merits overview here https://liberland.org/cz/donations-list/
— Once the Merits become tradable, the secondary market for Merits will be created
— Mertis will be shifted to blockchain / bitcoin technology
— No Merit banknotes or coins will be issued
— There is no place for regular government monetary policy in Liberland.
— The absence of regular central banking and use of cryptocurrencies means no central (interbank) interest rates
— Liberland is the only issuer of Liberland Merits, thus controls the supply of this cryptocurrency.
— There is a clear linear dependency between the Merit supply and Liberland citizens’ and supporters’ contribution to its growth.
— The total Merits supply has been irrevocably capped, similar to Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies supply.
Time will tell whether Jedlička’s vision of a libertarian meritocracy running on cryptocurrency is viable in concept. For now, he is doing his best to promote his nation to the international community while battling the local authorities.