Bitcoin Aid Reaches Tsunami-hit Tonga When Communication Lines Are Down

Bitcoin Aid Reaches Tsunami-hit Tonga When Communication Lines Are Down


As per ex-parliament member Lord Fusitu’a, the island nation is on course to adopt bitcoin as legal tender by November 2022. For now, though, the cryptocurrency is being used to transfer funds to Tonga, which was hit by a Tsunami recently.

Bitcoin Donations for Tonga

A tsunami measuring 1.5 meters triggered by the shockwave hit Tonga during the weekend, inundating homes and roads and damaging communication lines. However, no death has been reported so far.

The shockwave was registered as far away as Alaska and Chennai in a sharp rise and fall of air pressure. The booming sound was reportedly heard as far as New Zealand that lies about 2,500 km from Tonga.

More recent reports claimed that most communications lines could be down for up to two weeks. Nevertheless, Tonga also made the news on the crypto front.

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The tiny island nation in the Tasman Sea of the South Pacific Ocean is accepting bitcoin donations in the aftermath of Saturday’s volcanic shockwave that caused the tsunami.

Responding to the spectacular visuals of the volcanic activity, some Twitter users suggested setting up a bitcoin wallet address to collect relief funds and help Tonga deal with the crisis.

Tonga’s ex-parliament member Lord Fusitu’a, who said a few days ago that the island nation was on course to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender, set up a bitcoin wallet address to receive donations from crypto holders. As of writing these lines, the wallet has received approximately $5,000 in BTC donations in less than 24 hours.

Lord Fusitu’a later added, “It’s shown how important it is: we are effectively the only stream of revenue of any sort that can get into Tonga now (via @Blockstream bitcoin satellite kit gifted by @Excellion last year) as no internet=no fiat banking or remittances can get in. Only us. Let that sink in.”

Bitcoin as a Legal Tender?

Tonga has a 126,000-strong diaspora, 18,000 of whom live in Australia. Remittances account for about 37% of the country’s GDP. By accepting bitcoin as a legal tender, Tonga can benefit from faster and cheaper international payments.

Lord Fusitu’a has given a timeline for the possible adoption of bitcoin as a legal tender by November 2022. He has also revealed Tonga will tap geothermal power from its volcanoes to power bitcoin mining.

“The tech is ready to deploy. We’re just waiting for the legal tender Bill’s passage and the ancillary legislation to direct the mining infrastructure roll out,” he said in a recent tweet.

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