A lot of countries take their borders and national sovereignty very seriously. In the United States, politics is dominated on whether to build a wall on the southern border. The ongoing migrant crisis in Europe has led to some states taking radically different perspectives on how best to handle the problem. One Bitcoin investor and his girlfriend are finding themselves in hot water in Thailand as the country is accusing them of violating its national sovereignty, and the maximum penalty is death.
Bitcoin Investor in Trouble
Chad Elwartowski is an American who once worked as a software engineer for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. His girlfriend, Supranee Thepdet, is known as “Bitcoin Girl Thailand” and hails from that country. They both invest in Bitcoin and are BTC-rich.
Their crime that has the Thai authorities in a lather? They have an ocean-based home that is supposedly floating 12 nautical miles from Thailand. Police colonel Nikorn Somsuk said that a complaint was filed after the navy and its team found a concrete tank floating on the ocean, although nobody was on it. At that point, a charge was filed citing criminal code 119.
However, Elwartowski says the home in question is actually 13 nautical miles from Thailand, thus making it outside of its territorial jurisdiction. The maximum penalty for “threatening the kingdom’s independence” is death.
Why an Ocean-Based Home?
As to why Chad Elwartowski and Supranee Thepdet choose to live on the ocean, just outside of any country’s jurisdiction, he says it’s in the pursuit of freedom.
I like the idea of being able to vote with your home. If you don’t like how your community is being run, you just float to a new one.
He and his girlfriend are not alone. They are part of a community called the Ocean Builders. This group seeks to disentangle themselves from government interference and oversight by building homes that lie on the open sea, away from any country’s lawful jurisdiction.
There are a number of associations created around building a Bitcoin utopia on the ocean surface. One such group is the Seasteading Institute, who plans on building their own island, dubbed the Floating Island Project, in French Polynesia. The company created for this project, Blue Frontiers, states:
Seasteading brings decentralization beyond the digital world of bits and into the world of atoms by providing modular, floating structures – seasteads – on which the evolution of new societies and forms of governance can occur. Promising solutions can branch off at any time by physically separating to create new seasteads – enabling a high level of evolvability and quick rate of adaptation. Mimicking nature’s time-tested method of variation and selection, the process of decentralizing governance through seasteading will spark the creation and evolution of new advancements in civilization.
As for Chad Elwartowski and Supranee Thepdet, no action has been taken yet. Police colonel Nikorn Somsuk says provincial officials are meeting with the navy “to consider what to do next”.
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