What It Is

Earlier this week, Pontinha, which is the smallest country in the world, announced that it will be adopting bitcoin as its national currency. The revelation comes thanks to Prime Minister Joby Weeks via a post on Facebook. No, really. And if you think that's a little odd, hold on, because things are only going to get stranger.

To begin, Pontinha is a small island off the shore of Madeira, Portugal. It has an old Templar Fort that belonged to the king of Portugal over a hundred years ago. He sold the island to a British family that was of Templar lineage before the fall of the monarchy, and the family held the island in trust for over a century.

They eventually sold it to a Portuguese art teacher who is now known as Prince D. Renato Barros. Of his little island nation, Barros stated in an interview with The Guardian in 2014, "There are four citizens: me, my wife, my son and my daughter." Yes, there are only four people living in this country.

Currently, the tiny nation is in the process of becoming a sovereign nation. Obviously, it won't exactly rival the other major world powers, but it is trying to get recognized in its own, original way—by turning to Bitcoin.

The Implications

Among the potential developments of this sovereign state—soon to be renamed Atlantis—is the prospect of setting up a banking connection to corporations that can legally represent cryptocurrency-fueled companies across the world and in cyberspace. Weeks also suggested the possibility of an e-passport and an e-residency, similar to Estonia.

Aside from that, Weeks wants to establish an Ambassador Club, wherein citizens of Atlantis can make and maintain contacts from all over the world. You can listen to a discussion of the announcement on Soundcloud.

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