The incredible project of an island entirely run on cryptocurrencies would potentially be on the verge of becoming a reality in the middle of the Pacific. After several years in the making, the Vanuatu Ministry of Finance has reportedly recently given the go-ahead and announced that it is ready to launch the machine. Will Satoshi Island really become the first “iconic territory” for crypto-enthusiasts? Or is this just one of the many mirages the crypto ecosystem is accustomed to?
A crypto land to conquer in the middle of the Pacific Ocean
Satoshi Island is located in the small archipelago of Vanuatu, situated in the southern Pacific Ocean. The private island is presented as belonging to the equally private fund management group Satoshi Island Limited, whose legal existence and the jurisdiction where the entity would have been registered are somewhat difficult to find.
The goal is simple: to be the first company to support decentralized finance and thus become the world capital of cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology, no less. The project being supposedly supported by a crypto friendly Vanuatu government, it is expected that the first citizens, investors or simply curious people could be welcomed during 2022.
The 3 million square meters of surface that the island has will be divided into 2100 blocks of Lands. All the blocks will be divided into 10 plots, sold as NFT.
21,000 plots, a strong symbol that refers to the maximum number of bitcoins that can ever be mined.
It will be possible for investors to buy one or more plots of the same block in order to enlarge their property. According to a recent release, these Lands will be convertible into a non-fungible property token (NFPT) and the holder will need to pursue the process of turning this NFPT into a traditional property deed, registered on the Vanuatu Land Registry.
Once the NFPT – and therefore the land – is in hand, the next step is the design and installation of the villa. The architectural firm James Law Cybertecture, in charge of the project, has developed and designed the “Satoshi Island Module”, intended as “sustainable and intelligent” buildings.
“Modular development is the future of urban construction, instead of decades, they will be completed in a few years”James Law
With a classic studio format, these modules have been designed to be “combinable” and stackable. Houses, offices or shops can thus be arranged according to the tastes and needs of each.
Satoshi Island also offers its future residents the possibility of acquiring “citizen status” – still in the form of NFTs – which offers numerous advantages and exclusive rights. Limited to 21,000, these “Citizenship NFTs” will be sold and distributed in the coming weeks and months. It is specified that the Satoshi Island citizenship “would have nothing to do with the Vanuatu citizenship”.
A taste of “too big, too good”
If the promises made by Satoshi Island are attractive, some shadows remain. Indeed, apart from the information, rather well presented, shared on the official website, we have very few elements to build an objective vision of the real feasibility of the project.
More worrying, while the group announced that it had received the green light from the Vanuatu authorities, new requests for certification have remained unanswered. Moreover, after contacting the Vanuatu consulate in New Caledonia, it was clear that no one had heard of this large and rather discreet project, which contrasts surprisingly with the announced ambitions and the current communication campaign initiated by the project.
Satoshi Island is not the first libertarian ambition of a land organized by a crypto community. One can think for example of the very controversial “CryptoLand”, a private island in Fiji bought to build a universe entirely dedicated to the crypto world. CryptoLand is – and will be, perhaps – a kind of huge theme park where cryptofans will be able to find their favorite memes like a taxi-lambo, toilets called “Shitcoin” or a memorial to the glory of the famous Bitconnect scam…
The problem is that today a large part of the community agrees that CryptoLand will not be worth more than a “Fyre Festival”: a project that is particularly oversold, not very transparent and denounced by some as simply unfeasible.
Finally, and since symbols are important, it’s also hard not to notice that if the Bitcoin iconography is widely put forward in the communication of the project – even in its baptismal name – the assets in the form of NFTs will be issued on… Ethereum.
A discrepancy far from the “purity” of the Salvadoran initiative for example, and which could well make the most maximalists choke, or more simply those who are mainly looking for coherence in this type of initiatives, beyond the glitter of the announcement effects.
If the crazy project of Satoshi Island will not fail to make the most enthusiastic dream, some points need to be clarified in order to have a more reassuring vision of the feasibility and the durability of the island. This fashion of localities independent of traditional institutions and entirely governed by a crypto ecosystem seems indeed still early today. The beaches and the paradise villas acquired thanks to NFTs still seem to be only promises that it would be reasonable to take with a pinch of salt.