In the Broadway musical “South Pacific,” the character Bloody Mary sings about Bali Hai, a mystical island located “where the sky meets the sea.”
It sounds like the stuff of fantasy but a company is looking to create a cryptocurrency paradise called Satoshi Island, a 800-acre private island in Sanma Province of Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean.
The island gets its name from Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator or the creators, of bitcoin.
‘Thank you for this opportunity!’
The company, Satoshi Island Holdings Limited, has a Twitter page that describes the location as “a real private island dedicated to the crypto community.”
“The island is already owned by our company and located in Vanuatu, tucked between Australia and Fiji,” the Twitter page said.
The company’s website features mockups of homes made of modules that were designed by James Law Cyberstructure, a Hong Kong-based architecture firm.
The homes are scheduled to go on sale in the second quarter of 2022. In addition, a total of 5,620 Citizenship NFTs will be granted for free to early supporters.
Last week, the island’s developers touted Satoshi Island Land NFTs as “your chance own a piece of a real island becoming a crypto paradise! The land mint is coming soon and they have MASSIVE utility… Stay tuned to learn more!”
“I’m in! I’m waiting! Thank you for this opportunity!” one person said, tweeting a GIF of martial arts star Jackie Chan giving a thumbs-up.
Earlier this year, Satoshi posted a tweet saying “watch our video & see how we’re turning a dream into reality!”
‘Yes, We Already Own the Island’
“Yes, we already own the island,” the tweet said. “Yes, we can develop as advertised Yes, the government supports our plan Yes, our team has relevant expertise #satoshiisland a home for crypto enthusiasts & professionals worldwide!”
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The video said Satoshi Island is being developed to become “a sustainable smart city created to be the first world crypto economy running exclusively on cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies.”
The island, the video said “will become the official home for cryptocurrency professionals and enthusiasts worldwide, a place to visit work and live in the first true society built around an entirely decentralized financial system and blockchain based democracy.”
David Lesperance, managing partner of immigration and tax adviser at Lesperance & Associates, expressed his doubts about the island’s future.
“In the last two weeks, the salespeople behind Satoshi Island have been on a media blitz promoting the offering of citizenship and a physical location in an extremely remote location where one can hobnob with fellow crypto-enthusiasts,” he said.
Leaving aside the question of whether this project will ever get off the ground in the future, Lesperance there are “inherent flaws in the offering…namely, the country of Vanuatu does not offer ‘Citizenship’, rather it offers ‘Honorary Citizenship’.”
In international law, Lesperance said “Honorary Citizenship” is like being honorarily pregnant in that “it does not produce the desired result.”
In addition, Lesperance said, there are several existing locations where crypto-enthusiasts are already gathering such as Portugal, Puerto Rico and El Salvador.
“Travel from the U.S. to Satoshi Island would take at least two days with multiple flights and even a boat ferry,” he said .”Why spend money on a property on Satoshi Island when you can get a real residence status and live in an existing home and have lunch at an existing restaurant with real people?”
Representatives from Satoshi Island did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The video noted that the island is accessible by direct flight from Australia, Asia and the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada.
“Already applied for the first wave of Citizenship – I am sure it will be AB-FAB (absolutely fabulous)..!!!” one person tweeted. “As a sailor, it would be totally even more AB_FAB to have a private sheltered dockside/marina/pier for the island; I’d love to share a yacht with the crypto community.”
“Hahahaha oh dear,” another person said. “I mean: it’s beautiful, but – if cryptocurrency is regulated everywhere else in the world (it’s not but let’s just say it is) then how will you trade with… anywhere else and pay for the things you need to import?”