The Pacific Islands are set to cause a stir in the Bitcoin community in the coming year. Lord Fusitu’a, a Tongan noble and former member of the Tongan parliament, announced that Fiji has elected a new pro-Bitcoin prime minister.
The Twitter post read:
Congratulations to brother Sitiveni Rabuka and our GOPAC Fiji’s Biman Prasad on winning your seats in the Fijian elections – And for being elected Prime Minister & Deputy Prime Minister of Fiji respectively. Toso Viti.
A new pro-Bitcoin friendly prime minister in the South Pacific. Fiji’s newly elected Prime Minister Rabuka. Let’s go 2 for 2 – BTC Legal Tender Bills for the Pacific in 2023.
Rabuka was already elected as the new prime minister at the head of a three-party coalition government on December 24. Fijian voters ousted the FijiFirst government of Frank Bainimarama after two terms in office, expressing their desire for change.
As prime minister, Rabuka will be responsible for foreign affairs, climate change, environment, public service, information, and public enterprises, and heads a cabinet consisting of 19 ministers and 10 deputy ministers.
Lord Fusitu’a previously stated in a November 13 tweet that he “held a half-hour phone call” with Sitiveni Rabuka to give him recommendations on how to begin BTC mining based on renewable energy and the best path for adoption for Fiji.
Define surreal & mainstream adoption in one sentence: just received and spent half an hour on a call with Sitiveni Rabuka asking for recommendations on how to begin renewable energy based bitcoin mining & the best path for #BitcoinAdoption for Fiji 🇫🇯 #Boom pic.twitter.com/K73X4rM5YD
— Lord Fusitu’a (@LordFusitua) November 13, 2021
Other sources report that Fusitu’a had explained to Fiji’s new prime minister via Zoom, step by step, how to follow El Salvador’s playbook to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.
Will Fiji And Tonga Adopt Bitcoin As A Legal Tender?
For Tonga itself, Fusitu’a had already presented a timeline in January this year on how the island nation of 106,000 people could adopt Bitcoin. According to the nobleman, the nation plans to adopt BTC as a legal tender by the second quarter of 2023 and Bitcoin mining by the third quarter of 2023.
The island state has 21 active volcanoes that could meet the population’s electricity needs many times over, offering huge potential for mining with volcanic energy. Fiji, which consists of 330 islands and has a population of 903,000, is aiming to generate all of the islands’ energy from renewable sources by 2030 as part of a 20-year plan.
Generating electricity from volcanic energy, fueled by Bitcoin mining, could be an important lever for this. Moreover, the island nation has massive hydropower, unlike Tonga, as Lord Fusitu’a explained.
In addition to mining, Bitcoin and the Lightning Network could generate significant savings potential, as Fiji receives over 11% of its GDP from foreign remittances, according to the World Bank.
However, when Fiji’s Rabuka addressed the nation for the first time as the new prime minister on Thursday, he did not yet mention Bitcoin. It, therefore, remains to be seen how the story will unfold.
At press time, the BTC price stood at $16,600.
Featured image from Janis Rozenfelds / Unsplash, Chart from TradingView.com