Tonga, a small Pacific nation, might have Bitcoin as legal cash by the second quarter of 2023, and Bitcoin mining by the third quarter.
A former member of the Tongan Parliament, Lord Fusitu’a, has presented a timeline for the country’s adoption of Bitcoin (BTC). Fusitu’a, a Tongan aristocrat, has previously revealed the four-step method, which was based on the Salvadoran Bitcoin playbook.
Remittance is the first step, followed by legal tender, Bitcoin mining, and finally, shifting national treasuries to Bitcoin, thus converting the country to a Bitcoin standard.
Fusitu’a discussed stages two and three during a Twitter space chat, outlining a schedule for when these improvements might be implemented.
According to Lord Fusitu’a,
“Assume the [legal tender] measure passes in the first half of October. After then, the bill is sent to the palace office, where it will be held for three to four weeks. By the middle of November, HM [His Majesty] will either grant or deny royal ascension.”
After then, the bill is returned to the government for the “gazette” procedure. The purpose of the gazette is to keep the public informed about changes. Given that Tonga’s prayer week occurs in the first week of January, Lord Fusitu’a is optimistic that the gazette will be issued by the second week of January 2023.
“As a conservative estimate, the earliest date for activation is the beginning to middle of February.” If the last three processes are pushed through — which I have seen previously — it may be much, much sooner.”
“All things being equal, let’s say mid-February,” Lord Fusitu’a concluded.
The potential of the country’s Bitcoin mining businesses is enormous. Tonga has 21 volcanoes that produce over 2,000 megawatts (MW) of power annually (a Bitcoin coincidence). Tonga has “a potential 1960 MW with nothing to do,” according to the national grid, which consumes 40 MW per year.
However, the government may need to be on board in order to mine efficiently, and internet infrastructure must be reliable.
Fortunately, according to an agreement reached with the World Bank more than eight years ago, broadband infrastructure will not be a barrier to increasing internet and mining operations.
The World Bank telecommunications deal, which essentially “futureproofed” its broadband infrastructure, was brokered by Lord Fusitu’a’s mother. Lord Fusitu’a’s legal background helped him manage the deal during talks, and he now has a thorough understanding of the country’s fibre cable infrastructure.
El Salvador’s tourism has increased by 30% since Bitcoin’s acceptance, according to the minister.
To put it another way, Tonga has “enough bandwidth for the next 100 years.” Furthermore, because practically every house in Tonga has fibre connectivity because the cable is connected “to the door,” home mining is a viable option. As a result, in the 2020s, Tongan households may be able to mine at home using cheap surplus volcanic energy.
The government must be on board if the country is to reach a national level of Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin mining could start “as early as Q3 2023,” according to Lord Fusitu’a, and the government is likely to be on board.
“Mining activities could be privately run or part of a government-led joint venture. For it to take off, a new state-owned firm may be required,” he said.
Bitcoin mining companies that are interested in seeing how the Tongan Bitcoin storey unfolds have given Lord Fusitu’a mining machines in 40-foot shipping containers to test capacity. The names of the companies are kept under wraps.
Nonetheless, Tonga’s publicly stated ambitions to promote Bitcoin use are gathering steam.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.