Montenegro Grants Citizenship To Buterin, Advertising Itself As A Blockchain Hub

The Montenegrin government has begun fulfilling its promise to become a blockchain innovation hub, reportedly making Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin its new citizen.

Montenegro news agency RTCB reported that Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic recommended Buterin as being privileged to help the Southeast European country advance its efforts to become a hub of blockchain innovation.

There does not seem to have been an official announcement, however, the photo was reportedly shared by Finance and Social Security Minister Milojko Spajić , when Buterin received his passport.

On April 7, Montenegro hosted the co-founder of Ethereum (ETH) at Future Now! panel discussion hosted by Minister Spajic. There, panellists ( Vitalik Buterin , Ethereum researcher Vlad Zamfir , University of Memphis law professor Boris Mamlik , and minister Milojko Spajic ) talked about the legitimacy of identity on the blockchain, smart contracts in government, and other topics.

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At the meeting on April 4, Prime Minister Krivokapic, Buterin and several other government officials also discussed options for the development of Montenegro’s blockchain industry, according to local news outlet Mina. One of the important aspects touched upon was how to regulate cryptocurrencies for their citizens.

Minister Spajic said he would like his country to be strict about criminals in the industry, but believes that justice will spur growth and “reduce the shadow economy in all areas.”

“Montenegro aims to become a center of innovation in blockchain technology, focusing on all the legitimization benefits of the industry that favorable regulation will bring,” he added.

The Montenegrin government is now beginning to grapple with the complex regulatory issues that arise from integrating blockchain technology into its various systems.

During the Future Now! panellists focused on how people can legally create a community using blockchain, verify their identity, and protect themselves from identity theft. Mamlik suggested that Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) could issue DAO tokens to people who would be able to verify their identity as members while protecting their privacy. However, according to Buterin, “there is no magic principle of one line” that would help to cope with unscrupulous players.

Asked whether Montenegro should allow companies to register as DAOs, Buterin cited Wyoming, which recognizes DAOs as legal entities. He said that this application of decentralized governance is a “good first step” and could be a “good start” for Montenegro.

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