The Tuvalu Government has today announced its plans to become the world’s first paperless society using Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) and its digital public ledger. The highly scalable, low-cost system, which is in accordance with the original, set-in-stone Bitcoin protocol, provides long-term thinking and sustainability highly valued by the Tuvalu Government. Typically seen as “small,” “remote,” and “precariously placed,” Tuvalu and its partners view the nation’s characteristics as an ICT strength that will allow it to maneuver more rapidly in terms of tech development. Working in collaboration with the leading blockchain technology company nChain, the Bitcoin consultancy Elas Digital, and the community-tech consultancy Faiā, Tuvalu has taken the first step in migrating to a completely digital infrastructure using BSV’s unprecedented scalability and efficiency.
Tuvalu is inhabited by roughly 11,000 people but currently does not have an electronic banking system. The plan to move the country’s national register to the blockchain will be followed by an exploration into digital currency, representing a huge feat of technological leapfrogging.
Comprising nine islands, Tuvalu has a domestic revenue of around $60 million, $5 million of which comes from its ownership of the .tv domain. Assigned to Tuvalu in 1995, the domain has, in recent years, become a lucrative asset for the country because of the proliferation of live-stream programming and competitive gaming. In 2021, Tuvalu’s agreement with the Virginia-based network infrastructure firm Verisign, which currently has rights to administer the .tv domain, will come to an end, prompting new negotiations and providing a contributing catalyst for future investments in the nation.
The National Digital Ledger partnership is facilitated by Faiā and its Managing Director, George Siosi Samuels, whose Tuvaluan heritage prompted him to develop a five-point plan to assist Tuvalu with its digital transformation. In a 2020 Medium article, George identified ways in which Tuvalu could preserve its culture, land, and heritage by leveraging its .tv domain name and introducing a nation-wide digital transformation program.
George Samuels explained: “After the article was published and gained traction, I was approached by the Tuvalu Government to consult on how Tuvalu could leverage blockchain technology for their digital transformation efforts. This is a critical investment in the future of Tuvalu, and so it’s my sincerest ambition to honor my ancestors by helping them leapfrog into the future I see coming with firm foundations. We identified nChain and Elas as the right transformation partners, primarily because of their unmatched blockchain development capabilities, patent portfolios, and highly secure and scalable solutions using the BSV blockchain. Data is the new oil, and Tuvalu is taking the right steps to navigating this new area, just like our wayfinding ancestors did with the oceans.”
At the forefront of the climate-change crisis, Tuvalu is among the first nations directly and massively affected by the impacts of rising sea levels. As the country evaluates its future in light of the continuing effects of climate change, the partnership with nChain, Elas, and Faiā presents a revolutionary long-term investment.