Seasteading Bitcoin investor runs afoul of Thai law
The mantra that is building in the Bitcoin community is that the industry must work with governments, not against them. One early adopter has now learned the hard way what happens if you take the opposite approach, as Thai authorities are now targeting a seasteading couple for breaking local laws.
The Bangkok Post reports the Third Naval Area Command of Thailand have filed an official complaint against Chad Andrew Elwartowski and Supranee Tehpdet, also known as Nadia Summergirl, who were accused of breaking Section 119 of the Criminal Code. That rule covers any act to somehow deteriorate the independence of Thailand, in this case by causing it to lose territory.
According to a source, officers found evidence that the couple were looking to set up an independent state, and specifically in an area that would hinder ship navigation en route to Phuket. That evidence is available online for the public to see, as Reason has previously reported on their ambition, and the YouTube channel seasteading published a four-part documentary on the construction of their off-shore home earlier this year.
Elwartowski was an early investor in Bitcoin, making a healthy some of money from it. In the documentary, he explains why he’s chosen to pursue seasteading, or the construction of a private state in international waters, saying that he’s afraid America doesn’t want liberty anymore, and this has become his best chance of having true freedom. He’s spent $150,000 to build his off-shore home.
The problem, as per Thai officials, is that the home is still within Thai borders, and does not free him and Summergirl from their laws. If arrested, the couple may face life in prison or death, and, “The regional office of the Marine Department will be contacted to remove the structure from the sea soon,” a source said.
The libertarian philosophy that Elwartowski subscribes to is antithetical to the original Satoshi Vision, and what Bitcoin was meant to do. As experts have recently expressed, Bitcoin, the community behind it, need to work with governments and not shun them. We live in a society, and we can’t improve that society if everyone is trying to run away from it.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.
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