Tonga Politician Hopes to Follow in El Salvador’s Bitcoin Footstep

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Lord Fusitu’a is a member of the Tongan parliament. He is also an active proponent of Bitcoin and believes that Tonga can emulate El Salvador in adopting Bitcoin.

“Tonga is the highest remittance-dependent country on earth. Between 38% and 41.1% of our GDP, depending on which World Bank figures you use, is remittances,” Fusitu’a said.

“To get those remittances to Tonga, Western Union takes a 30% bite out of them, on average. It can be 50%. In El Salvador, it’s closer to 50%,” he added. Besides, he relayed a common justification made by BTC advocates for using it as a legal tender.

Fusitu’a is not just driven by Bitcoin’s potential to make remittances cheaper. But, he also sees the appeal of cryptocurrency itself.

“Bitcoin is the first truly global natively open monetary system. Blockchain is the most optimal storage medium for money. But only if your goal is decentralization and complete, equal democratization of money,” he said.

Jack Mallers’ Strikes Again

Fusitu’a is making moves to bring Bitcoin into the Tongan economy. He cited Jack Mallers, CEO of Chicago-based Zap Solutions Inc. A man recently released an app that allows people in his city to pay for things using cryptocurrency. Fusitu’a claims this as evidence that it is possible.

Mallers, the CEO of Zap, believes that Bitcoin will make a better legal tender. Moreover, he thinks it can reduce remittance costs. And fight back against traditional inflation rates.

“The kid I went to high school with is going to lean over a bar in Manhattan. And drink a $35 Old Fashioned and tell me Bitcoin doesn’t matter? Privileged brat.” Mallers said during this year’s Bitcoin Conference in Miami.

Fusitu’a went as far as to say that using Strike would not need an act of parliament. Or even a government approval in Tonga.

An investigation by Decrypt earlier this year found that Zap Solutions Ltd operates without a license. Yet, they work in nearly every single U.S state. Thus, they could be engaging in illegality if they are sending funds overseas.

To date, Strike has not responded to Decrypt’s multiple requests for comment.

In Tonga? Hold On A Minute

Despite Fusitu’a eagerness to see Bitcoin arrive on Tongan shores, not everyone shares his idea. The Reserve Bank of Tonga Governor, Sione Ngongo Kioa, has said that they are not likely to accept Bitcoin as legal tender any time soon.

“The adoption of Bitcoin as an official alternative currency is unlikely,” he said.