A newly elected pro-Bitcoin Prime Minister has taken office in the Pacific Islands of Fiji. The new leader, Sitiveni Rabuka, took the Fijian office on Dec. 24.
Lord Fusitu’a, a Tongan noble and a former member of the Tongan parliament, took to Twitter to share the news from his neighboring nation. Fusitu’a stated that he had explained to Rabuka, step by step, “how Fiji can do Bitcoin legal tender like Tonga,” and there could be two “Legal Tender Bills for the Pacific in 2023.”
A new pro-#Bitcoin friendly Prime Minister in the South Pacific.☀️️
Fiji ‘s newly elected Prime Minister @slrabuka.
Let’s go 2 for 2 – BTC Legal Tender Bills for the Pacific in 2023
— Lord Fusitu’a (@LordFusitua) December 29, 2022
Lord Fusitu’a explained to Cointelegraph in Twitter messages that “The new PM is definitely pro-Bitcoin.”
“He asked to meet with me which we did via zooms since last year to walk him through step by step, how he could adopt bitcoin legal tender.”
Tonga’s timeline for introducing Bitcoin as legal tender is public and could pass as early as February 2023. Fiji faces similar economic and developmental challenges to Tonga due to its location and history. However, with almost 900,000 people, Fiji’s population is more than nine times the size of Tonga.
The potential for Bitcoin to improve financial inclusion in Fiji is particularly significant given the country’s geography and economic situation. Located in the Pacific Ocean, Fiji is made up of over 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 dependence on fossil fuels.
Location of Fiji and Tonga in the Pacific Ocean. Source: Map
Indeed, the World Bank reports that remittance into Fiji is over 11% of its GDP. Plus, while Fiji’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy reports strong growth in financial inclusion in recent years, just half of the female population has access to a bank account. Bitcoin could act as a tool to improve remittances and…