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Fiji elects Sitiveni Rabuka as pro-Bitcoin Prime Minister

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A newly elected pro-bitcoin prime minister has taken office in the Pacific Islands of Fiji. The new leader, Sitiveni Rabuka, took office in Fiji on 24 December.

Lord Fusituwa, a Tongan noble and former member of the Tongan parliament, has taken to Twitter to share news from his neighboring country. Phocetus stated that he had He explained to Rabuka step by step “How can Fiji legally tender bitcoin like Tonga,” and there could be two waysLegal tender invoices Pacific Ocean in 2023.”

“The new PM is definitely pro-Bitcoin,” Lord Fusituwa explained to Cointelegraph in a Twitter message.

“He asked to meet me which we have been doing over Zoom since last year to guide him step by step, how he can adopt a legal tender for bitcoin.”

Tonga calendar to submit Bitcoin as a public legal currency It could pass as early as February 2023. Fiji faces similar economic and development challenges to Tonga due to its location and history. However, with nearly 900,000 people, the population of Fiji is more than nine times the size of Tonga.

The potential for Bitcoin to improve financial inclusion in Fiji is of particular interest given the country’s geographic and economic location. Located in the Pacific Ocean, Fiji is made up of more than 330 islands. It is classified as a middle-income country but still faces significant development challenges, including high poverty rates, limited access to financial services and energy reliance on fossil fuels.

Location of Fiji and Tonga in the Pacific Ocean. Source: map

In fact, the World Bank reports that remittances to Fiji are over 11% of its GDP. In addition, while the Fiji National Financial Inclusion Strategy reports Strong growth in financial inclusion In recent years, only half of women have access to a bank account. Bitcoin can act as a tool to improve conversions And the non-banking bank, and followers El Salvador example.

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Additionally, Fiji may experiment with bitcoin mining via volcanic islands. Follow Fucito:

“Like Tonga, how are we mining nationalized bitcoin, and specifically how were we going to mine geothermal volcanoes so they can do the same but also tap into the massive hydro and other stranded renewable energy they have, which we don’t.”

Fiji’s 20-year National Development Plan requires that all power in the islands be generated from renewable sources by 2030. The country requires an additional 120 megawatts of renewable energy to achieve this goal. Bitcoin mining can be the lever for that Unlocks renewable energy gains.

Fiji’s approach to Bitcoin contrasts with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, such as Vanuatu, which have taken a more cautious stance towards cryptocurrencies. Until 2021 it banned the use of cryptocurrencies, and Satoshi Island Crypto Project It appears to be paving the way for digital asset adoption.

Related: Volcanoes, Bitcoin and Remittances: A Tongan Leader Plans for Financial Security

Overall, the election of a pro-bitcoin prime minister in Fiji is an ongoing development. It remains to be seen how the support will translate into concrete policy, but the potential for Bitcoin to improve financial inclusion in Fiji is significant.

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Longtime Cointelegraph shareholder Lord Fusituwa explained that Bitcoin could help GDP remittances by undermining reliance on costly money transfer services such as Western Union; “Replace commercial banking to individuals by keeping citizen’s money BTC in pocket on phone/hardware wallet instead of commercial banks.”