Liberland: The Pioneer Crypto-Economy Country Powered By Blockchain
Most critics of cryptocurrency have pointed at the fact that no coin is recognized as legal tender anywhere in the world. This regulatory bottleneck may very well hinder a future of crypto-based commerce.
However, not everyone is waiting for centralized approval to actualize their cryptocurrency dreams. After all, cryptocurrency to most enthusiasts is not just a commercial project; but an ideological one as well.
Therefore, instead of waiting on government benevolence to grant a lease of life to cryptocurrency, how about building an entirely new country that operates on cryptocurrency? Liberland is made of this.
Vit Jedlicka, who doubles up as the president of Liberland, launched the coin to pursue these ends. Having been an economist and politician in the Czech Republic, he knew all too well the futility of bringing change from within;
“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.”-Vit Jedlicka
Hence, came about Liberland, an experiment for a decentralized country on a 7-mile strip between Serbia and Croatia. The country currently has about 400 citizens, mostly former Serbs and Croats who decided to apply for extra citizenship.
Vit also expressed the intention to create a ‘floating city’ as a way to circumvent operational security challenges. The country has many high profile citizens who signed up for the project including the likes of Steve Corps and even Vitalik Buterin. Yes, Buterin as you probably know is the innovative mind behind the Ethereum project.
Liberland Merits will be the native cryptocurrency on the country. Nonetheless, Bitcoin will still facilitate a lot of the payments, at least in the short term future, owing to its popularity and relative stability compared to other coins.
Vit and his team will introduce tradeable merits in due course. At the moment, the existing merits are from distribution to citizens based on factors like original contribution to Liberland.
Each citizen needs to hold 5,000 Merits. That said, there are small exceptions for those who want to become actual residents.
Liberland will be a place like no other. Even the police come with a twist, as they will be available on demand, just like the Uber concept. Serbia and Croatia, two of its neighboring countries have not expressed the opposition that is normal for countries that seek self-determination. To cap it all, voluntary taxes! That is certain to get everyone excited.
Here are the bits and pieces of our Interview with Mr. Vit Jedlicka, The President of Liberland
Roy: How did you come up with the idea? What's behind it?
Vit: At some point, I realized it might be easier to take a new region than to fix an existing one. I think that was the driving point, and also many friends who were ready to help me achieve this from the very beginning. You know, by looking at the number of my friends who have already acquired Liberland citizenship, you can see there was a stronger push to make it happen. Yes, we realized that leading by a good example and you know doing the things as we want rather than changing some broken stuff would be the best way to go.
Roy: Sounds Good! Is there anyone living in Liberland today?
Vit: There are like 400 people living in Liberland and nearby communities. Many of them actually were former Serbians and Croatians. They decided to apply for extra citizenship. This is an encouraging move. Many locals and some of those people moved there permanently. I spoke recently to a guy from the Netherlands, and there were people from Denmark also. But about the ‘floating city' itself; that is something to be launched from April.
Roy: I see, I haven't read about it. Can you tell me more about it?
Vit: It will have a nice set of different houseboats that people can buy to stay on Liberland. To remain in Liberland right now as long as they are staying in the water we don't have any problems with security. So that's the way we're going forward. There will be this grant of the flagship and also grant of the working, seat of the government and small hotels as well as restaurants that will be placed there permanently starting April.
Roy: I want to ask, I have seen you have a bitcoin freedom boat?
Vit: Yes that is the flagship that I was talking about. It would be the restaurant, working space, and everything in one place. About 150 people will be able to go there and make a social event.
Roy: Would you be able to pay there with Bitcoin?
Vit: Of Course. I don't think you'll be able to pay with any other than cryptocurrency
Roy: I see, where is the boat right now?
Vit: Right now it is in the docks. There is lots of work going on coming in the week. So it is on our shipyard.
Roy: Yes, and will it represent the bitcoin and the freedom?
Vit: Yes! That was the idea. Not too many things named Bitcoin right now, so we wanted to pursue it. Because you know Bitcoin is great!
Roy: That brings me to your cryptocurrency. The Merits. Is it Tradeable already? what can you tell me about it?
Vit: Merits were distributed from the very beginning through our contributors from Liberland. And their distribution not only lessens the amount of taxes paid to Liberland and Voluntary taxes, but also they represent the share in the Liberland itself, the collateral in our justice system and our reputation. So they do have multiple aspects that were distributed. So far they are all in stake form, and we will design in which way we will unstake it. Our initial proposal is that 10% of the merits could be unstaked in a year, the final decision may be different. But the tradable merits are coming soon. I got everything in place.
I'm anticipating that we will have a launch. The presell actually started some time ago. So I would say the reasonable date to launch it is one month before the anniversary. So, our target date is the 13th of March.
Roy: I see. Very Interesting. Every citizen needs to hold the 5,000 merits, right?
Vit: Yes, with small exceptions but that's the general rule. We do have a new residency program for anybody who wants to become part of the ecosystem and want to become a new resident. This is similar to Estonia where they will only stake 50 merits. Now their 50 merits will be the cost for the part of the delivery of the system and also for the background checking of applicants for that residency. So, that will be a service to be accessed by you who have started and register new companies.
Roy: So I can live in Liberland with the new residency?
Vit: Well, of course yes, anybody can live in Liberland, and you will get the “heart” of staying here automatically once you visit Liberland. It is something that you can easily get there. But, anybody, of course, is welcome to go to Liberland right now. As long as they will stick with our floating Liberland, it is very safe.
Roy: That's very important.
Vit: We do have strong support from Croatia.
Roy: I heard you also have strong support from Serbia?
Vit: Well the Serbia support came after the inception of the country on 24th of April. So 11 days after the country started we received a statement from the foreign ministry that they don't mind the creation of Liberland and it is not a threat to their territory. We very much appreciate that. It was a form of recognition of our efforts, and they are still very supportive. For example, the mayor of Putin, the closest municipality to Liberland, is an honorary citizen of Liberland and also the awardee of the highest state award, star of Liberland merit. We are excellent friends, and he is supportive of our committee.
Roy: There's gonna be citizens and people living in Liberland soon starting in April. Who will be the Police?
Vit: We do have the initial security from Day 1. My former bodyguard from the early days of Liberland has turned out to be the security service of Liberland. He spends there continuously working with the local Liberlanders and taking care of the security. So we do have that element in place already. People are willing to take care of it, and we do have a plan to uberize police. You can already test that on our online application. For now, anybody who will be able to sign up with some degree of qualification will be able to partake its local community and people will get hold of him through the mobile app.
Roy: Interesting. Next, Liberland is a fair economy and a new country. How will it fund the development of the new economy and country?
Vit: We are looking for the Investors probably we will take care of it easily. We know there are more than 30 billion dollars pledged for the lot of the Liberland which is our missed number. It would be enough to build a second Dubai-like city. I'm not sure if that will be reasonable. In this project you know we have to be sensitive, and Liberland should be, I think, to maintain and to live in harmony with the local nature. But the potential for development is enormous, things are slowly moving, but I think once they get on the ground we can see an exponential growth of everything.
Roy: What are the Investment and Job Opportunities in Liberland today?
Vit: The website was launched not too long ago. For jobs, our open position will be for government and private companies are there. By that, we don't mean that the state is taking care of unemployment in the country. About Investments, of course, people can take part in the pre-selling of merits. They can also take the state merits. Also, they can basically become voluntary taxpayers as well as investors in Liberland. And they can invest locally. Like right now there is an opportunity to buy the looming scale on the main ship. You can be a hotel rooms owner, or you can kinda pre-rent it for some time, or you can buy a houseboat. There are now 2 sizes; one is with 8 beds and the other with 4 beds so you can choose whatever you prefer. I think it's a great opportunity also and this is part of the presentation I sent you.
Roy: Wow that's very nice. I've seen on the presentation that you are planning to become the world for most tax haven?
Vit: I don't like the word haven, I'd rather use the word heaven. We want to prove the system of how the involuntary tax works, and it's the best way and the possible system that can be out there. If we change the relations between the citizens and the state and we introduce the voluntaries in there, then we will see the best result.
Roy: Other countries are doing that, well, why are you trying to do that today? And what will be the difference between you and them?
Vit: I don't think so, I don't believe the structures there is tax havens, heavens I mean. They don't have big taxes, and there are usually some high fees, and they are extremely expensive to live in. So, I think there is a great market space. I mean moving to Monaco getting citizenship is impossible even to the 3rd generation people living there.
Getting your apartment means at least 30,000 euros per year, and moreover, it is simply very expensive to live in. Buying your apartment is almost impossible because of so high prices. A similar thing applies to Hong Kong. So what we are doing is that we want to be competitive with this jurisdiction or even better system taxation modules. You know, not having a zero tax but you are expected to pay some taxes and you are given a chance to choose for what particular purpose you want this taxes to be paid. Through that, you will also have a direct stake to the country which I think is another innovation which hasn't been introduced and I don't think there is another country competing on that.
Roy: I have heard you recently participated in the US Congress meeting and also your parliament meeting
Vit: We had one event in Parliament some one and half month ago. That was very good. Some of the members invited us, and also some members of parliament attended this official event which took place in the European Parliament. It was nice, and before that, by September, we had a state congressman and senators. It was also quite nice which resulted in some initiatives for recognition of Liberland in the united states, Senate, and in the state congresses. So this is something that I'm very proud of. Active steps are being taken right now.
Roy: I see and what is their attitude towards Liberland?
Vit: It's very positive, I think there is a large potential, I believe that is the right step to go from let's say top to bottom. And not only that, but I also feel there is strong support within the diplomatic community to help Liberland. It's not just some exotic diplomats from countries on the other side but also when Croatians, Serbians, and high-ranking officials are willing to help us move forward.
Roy: I think I have one more question. I heard about a Free Zone, is that correct?
Vit: That's a very good question. Yes, that's a place where the VAT taxes and import-export taxes are not paid. This is where the Liberland group of companies started to operate very recently, so it is an excellent opportunity for the physical trait in the region.
Roy: I see, sounds very interesting actually! I never heard of a free zone before. So my last actual question, do you think people will follow your dream and create other free countries like you?
Vit: I hope, and believe that everybody should have that right? This kind of sovereign right of people to govern on their own rules. It is something deeply embedded to international law, and I believe that now it should be exercised more by the people. The more good jurisdictions we have and the more competitive the environment the free the world will be.
Roy: I see, and I do believe in everything that you represent!
Vit: Thank you very much
Live and let live!
A fitting motto to sum up a project from the future. Vit Jedlicka may go down in history as the individual responsible for fulfilling the dream of a complete crypto-economy. This is one project every crypto-enthusiast should follow keenly and support.