Tonga may adopt Bitcoin, following El Salvador’s lead in some ways


As El Salvador forges ahead with its plan to integrate Bitcoin into its national economy as legal tender, the same idea has another early adopter that’s also one of the smallest countries on the planet.


Joseph Hall at Cointelegraph reports today on comments by a parliament member in the tiny island nation of Tonga suggesting that such a plan might be in the cards for next year.


Hall explains the initiative will have to go through what the Tongan people call a “gazette” process of publication.

“Lord Fusitu’a, a former member of the Tongan parliament, has shared a timeline for the country’s plan to adopt Bitcoin,” Hall writes. “A Tongan nobleman, Fusitu’a had previously disclosed the four-step plan, a copy of the Salvadoran Bitcoin playbook. Step one is remittance, two is legal tender, three is Bitcoin mining, and four is moving national treasuries into Bitcoin, effectively upgrading the nation onto a Bitcoin standard.”

Hall also points to an energy glut from an unconventional source as being a driver for the idea that the Tongans can actually mine the cryptocurrency on their own territory.


21 volcanoes across the island chain, he reports, produce 2000 MW of electricity per year, and only a fraction of that is used. Specifically, Hall’s sources estimate 40,000 MW, and that leaves a lot of energy left over.


The archipelago nation of Tonga is composed of 196 small islands, with only 36 of them inhabited by people.


But more of this kind of activity could create a thaw in how nations see Bitcoin mining and Bitcoin development.


In El Salvador’s case, the World Bank tried to push back against the plan, but leaders remained dedicated to incentivizing digital wallets for citizens and making other efforts to promote wider Bitcoin adoption.


If Tonga puts this in place, will other nations follow?


Look for more big news on Bitcoin changes as the year progresses. In per-coin prices, Bitcoin is trending down right now – it’s around $35,000 at press time, or almost less than half of all-time highs – but many people see a wider reversal by the end of 2022 and beyond.