A new movement: Seasteading
In 2008, a new movement called “Seasteading” gained public attention, when it was given a $500,000 USD donation from famed PayPal Mafia alumnus and VC investor Peter Thiel.
Elwartowski boldly claimed that their new “home” was a Libertarian dream and beyond the jurisdiction of any country. This was because it was in “international waters”.
Their experiment did not last long… The Thai navy soon moved in to take down the structure. The couple are now in hiding afraid that the Thai authorities will arrest them.
The pitfalls of Seasteading
Could Chad Elwartowski have achieved his goal of defining the laws, regulation and society to his liking? The answer is yes…but not by Seasteading off the Thai coast. He and other similar minded people need to recognize a fundamental truth. That there are necessary governmental services which they need in order to live and thrive. The first key concept to accept is that it is extraordinarily difficult to either
a) change the current regime in your home country and
b) create a new country where you can create your “dream regime”.
Once this reality is firmly in place, then it is time to adopt the mindset that it is entirely possible to “arbitrage” the various government regimes around the world and “pick and chose” the elements that you like from the buffet of choices available.
In Mr. Elwartowski’s case, he is a US citizen, who currently carries a US passport. Along with having a single travel document that can be revoked by the issuing country at any time for a variety of reasons Mr. Elwartowski is still considered a US taxpayer whether he sleeps in his hometown of Detroit or 30 miles off the Thai coast. In fact, if he decided not to fulfil his filing and tax payment duties as a US taxpayer, that would be yet another ground for the US to revoke his US passport. Therefore, in order to achieve his aims, Mr. Elwartowski will need to acquire alternative citizenships/passports and even consider renouncing his US citizenship.
The freedom to live the life you want
Secondly, Mr Elwartowski will need to consider how he wants to live. Whether he wishes to reside in one or two places in a year or if he would be happy living a Digital Nomad ifestyle. This decision is one that is often driven by the realities of family life. If he seeks residency, then he needs to consider the potential immigration and tax issues that may be involved. The difference between success and failure in this area depends Mr. Elwartowski engaging the proper Golden Visa/ Citizenship by Investment/ Residence by Investment/ Second Passport advisor.
An alternative to SeaSteading
Along with protecting his “Ass”, Mr Elwartowski will want to protect his “Assets”. At least if he wishes to fund this lifestyle that he has designed for himself, his partner and her son. We call this type of holistic planning a “Back-Up Plan. He is a Bitcoin enthusiast. However, few of the goods or services which he needs on a daily basis can be paid for by Bitcoin. Even if he is comfortable with the volatility of cryptocurrencies, he will need some form of normal banking facilities. These can range from standard local bank accounts to on-line solutions such as TransferWise . Furthermore, his holdings should be organized into legal structures which properly withstand attempts at taxation or matrimonial property claims.
Services that Mr Elwartowski needs to maintain his business and personal lifestyle should be obtained from his resident or visiting countries. The on-line sale of various government services to Digital Nomads has already begun.
Mr Elwartowski and those of a similar mindset, need a viable and liveable Back-Up Plan. With this they have the ability to achieve all their goals. To those who are interested, I point you to my three part blog series on “Seven Ways Golden Geese self-sabotage their own Back-Up Plans and also suggest that they request my White Paper on Back-Up Plans. It is possible to turn this fantasy into reality, but it requires a grounded clearheaded individual acting on proper advice.