The World’s First Digital Residency Program Launches• January 17, 2022 1:22 pm • Comments
The West Pacific island Palau just launched the world’s first digital residency program using blockchain technology.
The program is open to everyone in the world and gives access to digital resident ID cards which provides access to Palau’s economy and other resident benefits.
The ID card will cost $100 per person and would provide essential verification features including know-your-customer (KYC) and financial verification processes.
This new program will essentially provide everyone a way to enter a borderless financial hub which is especially beneficial for people who’s home nation are not so welcoming towards crypto and blockchain.
We are proud and excited to announce our partnership with The Republic of Palau to provide the first ever sovereign-backed digital identity built on the blockchain! https://t.co/nJ5FhfjN4x
— RNS (@RNS_global) January 12, 2022
“Our Digital Residency Program will have capacity for internationally recognized standards of identity verification to ensure that Palau upholds the rule of law and our reputational integrity,” said President Whipps, who is hoping the program will help the small island nation adopt a digital-first mindset like Singapore or El Salvador.
“We welcome all global citizens to apply to participate in Palau’s digital residency program.”
Currently, the program is extremely popular globally and already has a waitlist of over 60,000 people.
President Whipps also mentioned that the key advantage offered by the digital ID is that normal processes associated with an ID like know-your-consumer (KYC) are built directly into the ID itself.
The system also reissues the ID every year which ensures the integrity of the system and that it has the most up to date information.
Cryptobriefing.com explains in further detail:
The hope is that, having incorporated the mechanics of KYC and background checks into the residency application itself, Palauan digital “residents” will enjoy enhanced agility in their ability to “transact business and access business opportunities in Palau.”
“One of the challenges that we have is, we have a registry process now. It’s time consuming, and we didn’t have the technology to verify backgrounds or check on things.
Now, with this process—first, you vet them through the digital ID processor. Now when they go to [set up] a corporation, it will be much quicker because now they’ve got an ID that we’ve verified.”
“This is all about economic freedom. So you know, it’s all about digital nomads roaming around the world.
This is just allowing for that opportunity. Why not come be a resident of paradise? Hopefully these digital residents will want to come and visit us. We can welcome the whole world to be in digital residence.”
With this process in hand, it may even be possible to setup e-corporations provided that the laws and regulation support it.
The President has mentioned that he hopes to see such legislation pass within the coming months.
The small island of Palau was not always so accepting of crypto and blockchain due to the fact that it had an ill reputation linked to illegal finance and therefore saw it as a risk to the small island nation’s economy.
In recent years, however, that perspective has changed dramatically as it sees it as a viable strategy to diversify the economy and to bring strength back to the nation in the post-pandemic period.
In the past, Palau also had other projects that had gained attention in the news such as a past collaboration with Ripple to create a USD-backed digital currency.
The purpose of that project was to facilitate cross-border financial transactions in a manner that was environmentally friendly in which Ripple was able to provide as its blockchain provides high speed transactions that are energy efficient at a low cost.
Palau President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr. talks about his plans for the crypto-forward nation, including how Ripple will help Palau deliver digital wallets to every resident. https://t.co/mkxkXVTgMk
— Ripple (@Ripple) January 14, 2022
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