Tron-based cryptocurrency could become legal tender in the Caribbean nation of St Maarten, after pro-crypto member of parliament Rolando Brison initiated legislation to begin the process in January, according to local news outlet SMN-N.
The move to adopt Tron as legal tender in the Dutch-governed part of the territory, Sint Maarten, “marks another achievement for our push [toward] worldwide blockchain adoption,” tweeted Tron founder Justin Sun.
Last Fall, St Maarten’s Caribbean neighbor Dominica adopted seven Tron-based cryptocurrencies as legal tender and chose community-governed Tron as its national blockchain.
Now Brison, who is leader of the main opposition, the United People’s Party, is campaigning to make St Maarten the “Crypto Capital of the Caribbean,” according to his Instagram page—and he wants to make Tron a key part of the local commerce and economic infrastructure.
Crypto regulation in the Caribbean
In the case of Dominica, Virtual Asset Business Legislation published in May 2022 was key to the process of introducing crypto. It was drafted with the assistance of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), the monetary authority for eight of the island economies in the region.
These economies—Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines—form a monetary union. According to the ECCB, the combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of these countries was estimated to be around $15 billion in 2021.
St Maarten—one of the three Caribbean islands that is a constituent country of the Kingdom of Netherlands—is governed by the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten. It currently has no regulations around crypto.
Brison, who announced last year that he’d become “the first elected official to request his entire salary paid in Bitcoin Cash,” commented that the current lack of crypto regulation is unacceptable.
“Allowing cryptocurrency to continue totally unregulated in St. Maarten is extremely risky, and we have to be proactive,” he told SMN-N. “The ECCB legislation is a great framework for regulation that focuses on protecting the consumer, the economy, and ensuring that virtual asset oversight does not spiral out of control, without stagnating potential growth opportunities for the sector,” he added.
A Tron blockchain for St Maarten
Brison says the first step is to use his right of initiative as a Member of Parliament to introduce crypto-focused legislation and interpret “the law in a manner that fits our Dutch legal system and local economy… with [the] Tron protocol at the forefront.” The legislation will align with that being developed by other nations such as St. Kitts, he added.
Brison’s view is that collaboration with Tron will connect St Maarten’s economy with one of the fastest-growing blockchain ecosystems in the world, and make the island nation a magnet for entrepreneurs, thus boosting the local economy.
The legislation could be expanded to incorporate other blockchains. Tron’s partnership with Dominica, announced in October 2022, allowed the country to not only introduce a national digital currency, but is enabling other cryptocurrencies to be tradable.
At the same time, Tron’s blockchain infrastructure provides a smart contract platform, an NFT exchange, and Web3 services such as file transfer through BitTorrent.
Introducing national digital currencies and digital ID to the Caribbean means the region has potential to become a future hub for Web3, Justin Sun told Decrypt back in November 2022. At the time, he noted that bringing Web3 to small island economies “can really empower their economy and benefit local people.”
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