TL;DR: The Bangkok Post reported seasteders perched 12 nautical miles from Phuket, Thailand have been formally accused by the Thai Naval Command of “breaching Section 119 of [the] Criminal Code,” which “concerns any acts that cause the country or parts of it to fall under the sovereignty of a foreign state or deterioration of the state’s independence,” and “is punishable by death or life imprisonment.” In particular the complaint is aimed at Bitcoin Girl Thailand and her husband, Chad Elwartowski, who, as CoinSpice reported, launched their ambitious project at the beginning of last month. *UPDATED AT END OF ARTICLE*
More Spice: Bitcoin White Paper Visualized
Bitcoin Girl Thailand Seastead Targeted by Thai Naval Command
“Staff judge advocates from the command were sent to lodge the complaint at Wichit police station in Phuket on Saturday, according to a source at the command,” the article details. At issue is officers believing to have found the couple “engaging in the setting up of an independent state. Such an act would have a negative impact on the country’s shoreline,” and attributed that statement to an anonymous source. Apparently there is also concern about impeding oil tankers’ routes as well.
As CoinSpice reported, the couple were early bitcoin adopters and are attempting to extended the logic of living outside a given system through building a micro society in the tradition of seasteading — claiming international waters for a kind of sovereignty not previously known with conventional terra firm arrangements.
After a few bumps, the seastead, small and standing almost tent-like up and out of the ocean, seemed to be going relatively well. A four part documentary was released recently, capturing the venture, and the project was headed, according to a blog post, for what they referred to as an Initial Seasteading Offering on 15 April 2019. They’re hoping “to find the first 20 seasteaders who can put in their earnest money of 1% of the price of the seastead. This will show us the level of interest in actually creating seasteads instead of just talking about it.” No word if that is still in play.
The local report claimed suspicion of “possible financial misconduct,” again attributed to an unnamed source. “Vice-Admiral Sittiporn Maskasem,” the article explained, “commander of the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command, on Saturday sent officers to where the structure was set up, 15 nautical miles southeast of Racha Yai island.” There, “officers tried to make radio contact with people on the platform but no one responded, officers said.” As of this writing, no public statement has been made by Bitcoin Girl Thailand.
*****UPDATE Statement from Ocean Builders
*****UPDATE from Seasteading founder Patri Friedman
DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.
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