Is Satoshi Island Bitcoin’s Fyre Festival?

My father taught me very early in my life that every deal was a bad deal until proven otherwise. Often, when I question “deals of a lifetime” I garner a response from the promoter of “Show me how this is a fraud or bad deal”.  My automatic response is that the onus is on THEM to prove to me that it is neither.

The point of this blog is to ask the questions which will allow you to decide whether Satoshi Island is the next Coachella or the next Fyre Festival ?

What is Satoshi Island?

Recently there has been a major media push by the promoters of a concept called Satoshi Island. The website promises a beautiful private island tucked away in the South Pacific. It’s home to a new wave crypto-economy with no use for traditional financial methods. This may well sound like paradise to some. Satoshi Island offers itself as an escape for like-minded individuals passionate about cryptocurrency to live, work, and build a society together. Claims include “ultra-modern smart homes and offices“. Moreover, it promises an economy that runs solely on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Satoshi Island is marketing the property on this island to those who strive to be tech-savvy and ready to take the next step into their future. This might be sounding like a dream come true, so… why not buy an NFT?

Image Courtesy of Satoshi Island Holdings Limited – a module home on the island

Why Satoshi Island over other options?

The obvious threshold question in considering the possible purchase of a Satoshi Island NFT (“SI-NFT”) is:

Why would a Crypto enthusiast spend money on an SI-NFT in a place which is currently an unoccupied island which is a 2-day journey from the US?

Instead, potential purchasers can be with kindred souls if they can fly to El Salvador, Puerto Rico, or Portugal. Within hours they can rent or buy existing accommodation, sleep in a real bed and have drinks at an existing restaurant with real people to discuss their mutual love of Bitcoin. If the promoters can give a plausible answer to this question, only then would this concept make sense.

If still considering buying what are the questions the promoters need to answer?

Let’s assume, for the moment, that some Crypto Enthusiast is motivated by the promoter’s pitch of “getting in on the ground floor“. What questions should they be asking before parting with their crypto to purchase a SI-NFT?

1) What residency and citizenship rights come with the SI-NFT?

According to the website the SI-NFT only grants the owner “citizenship” on Satoshi Island itself. It clearly states that it does NOT grant citizenship in the country of Vanuatu. The website claims that the holder has “residency rights” including the right to live and work. However, it is Vanuatu law itself which governs residence and work rights. This means that unless the government of Vanuatu grants the individual the right to enter or work, then it does not matter what the SI-NFT claims. Unless Vanuatu grants the required permission, they are either not allowed to enter or remain for more than the standard tourist visit.

2) What if the SI-NFT owner takes advantage of the claimed “fast track”for Vanuatu citizenship?

Satoshi Island is situated in Vanuata, a country that widely markets itself as offering “Citizenship by Investment”. However, it’s always a good idea to read the fine print. Upon closer examination of Vanuatu law, one discovers that you don’t receive full “Ni-Vanutau” citizenship. Instead the country offers “Honourary” citizenship. In international law, Honourary Citizenship is like being Honourarily Pregnant… In other words –  it does NOT produce the desired result. At best the SI-NFT gives the owner the ability to throw away money on Honourary Citizenship.

3) Other Questions for the Promoter:

  1. What evidence is there that Satoshi Island is owned by Satoshi Island Holdings Limited?
  2. Is there any evidence to support the statement that a “Green Light”  has been granted by the Vanuatu Prime Minister and Minister Of Finance and all approvals are in place?
  3. What evidence is there that there is initial funding already in place for the necessary infrastructure (e.g. roads, electricity, internet access, water treatment, waste disposal, fire and police, marina or air access) to make the uninhabited island… habitable?
  4. What are the excise and customs duties payable on the “pre-fabricated” housing modules?
  5. What are the costs of these modules? Where and by whom will they be constructed? What quality standards? Delivery timetable?

4) What questions the potential purchaser should ask themselves?

  1. Does the acquisition of a SI-NFT in any way improve my current or future tax situation?
  2. Even if all the promises materialize, will living on Satoshi Island meet your personal and family needs? (In other words – will this sell “at the breakfast table”?)
Will the journey to Satoshi Island be as disappointing as those headed to Fyre Festival

Are there alternatives to an SI-NFT strategy that will meet your personal and business needs while reducing or eliminating your global tax burden?

Freeing yourself of current society and the restraints and burdens that come with it sounds tempting. However, a desire without a VIABLE plan is simply a daydream.

In a prior blog, I outlined how one Crypto Enthusiast actually tried to live this dream. Unfortunately, the experiment was doomed from the outset by a lack of a viable plan. However, in the blog, I outline the steps to designing a viable plan for him (and you!)  to actually achieve these goals.

Instead of running away to a sketchy island in the middle of the ocean, there are real-world solutions for crypto-enthusiasts. If you want to find out more about legal, practical, and effective solutions please reach out and we can schedule a convenient time and date for a formal consultation.

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