A US man and a Thai woman are accused of violating Thai sovereignty by building a floating house 13 nautical miles off the west coast island of Phuket, Thailand. The man, originally from Michigan, is a Bitcoin retiree. A former crypto trader, Chad Elwartowski, and his partner, Nadia Supranee Thepdet, now face death penalty threats from the Thai government which claims the couple’s seaside home is 12 nautical miles off the cost of Phuket and is illegal.
Thai authorities have raided the floating home.
The couple had just posted a new YouTube video to promote a libertarian lifestyle called “seasteading” where pioneers of the movement build homes on platforms in open waters, outside of any legal jurisdiction. Elwartowski funded his seastead home with the profits he’d made as an early Bitcoin trader.
The Bitcoin and seasteading communities have long been intertwined. Bitcoin forums are filled with discussions about libertarian ideals and how to live comfortably on international waters outside of any nation’s control by using Bitcoin as a medium of exchange. Billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel, who invested $1.7 million in the Seasteading Institute, once supported the idea of building a politically autonomous settlement with its own cryptocurrency off the coast of the South Pacific islands. Although Thiel lost his enthusiasm for the project, Bitcoiners kept the dream alive.
Seasteading and bitcoins!
September 13, 2014, 03:59:14 PM
In the Oceans, a new paradise is being built, by Peter Thiel the living John galt of our times…
Bitcoin will be the currency in the libertarian land on oceans.
and lets discuss how will bitcoin and seasteading will get along..
According to the YouTube video, Elwartowski’s home does not fall under the sovereignty of any country.
“Making history is not always smooth sailing for The First Seasteaders, Chad and Nadia. In Episode 2: Raising the Spar, they face the challenges of towing out a 20-meter-long spar to international waters and making it stand upright. The spar supports the single-family apartment platform above the waves.
Learn more about the first seastead at https://ocean.builders/.
Are you ready to join Chad and Nadia on the first seastead? Then sign up for the Seasteading Certification Adventure: https://ocean.builders/event/seastead…“
The adventure has turned into a nightmare. In a Facebook post, Elwartowski says he and Thepdet are now on the run from Thai officials who want them killed.
The authorities revoked Elwartowski’s visa, forcing him and his girlfriend to flee their seaside home. They are currently in hiding.
Although their whereabouts are unknown, Elwartowski,, who worked as a software engineer for the US military in Afghanistan, Germany and South Korea, managed to send a post to loved ones. According to a Facebook message posted on April 16, now deleted, he is safe but is not sure what happened to the home.
“Nadia and I are still safe.…Whether it is still there or not does not matter much to me. I’m more concerned about Nadia being driven from her home country and her family. Her son is worried. I hope they can be reunited some day soon.”
“As long as Nadia and I are able to live through this that is all that matters to us right now. We just want to live.”
If caught, they could face life imprisonment or the death penalty under the Immigration Act of Thailand. Thailand’s Navy has described the case as urgent.
On the “threat” to national sovereignty, Colonel Kataporn Kumthieng, Chief of Phuket’s Immigration Office says,
“They claimed that their house is not under any country’s sovereignty, which is not true. And this could cause other people to misunderstand, and it is threatening our national security.”
Local news outlets also report that the government regards the floating home as a safety hazard since the area where it floats is considered a shipping lane.
Ocean Builders, the company behind the seastead home, insists the house is in international waters and outside of Thailand’s jurisdiction.
“The seastead in question is outside the territorial waters of Thailand and was never intended to ever intrude into territorial waters of Thailand. Insofar it is impossible by logic that we endanger the sovereignty of Thailand or are guilty of respective crimes applicable within Thailand.
The claim of the Thai authorities, that the seastead would be WITHIN territorial waters of Thailand, is obviously false. It is clearly outside the 12 miles-zone. Here are the coordinates: 7.487162, 98.581792.”
At a press briefing, Vice Admiral Sitthiporn Maskasem made it clear that the Navy intends to demolish the site.
“There is evidence showing that they have publicly invited people on social media to stay at the site, which is adjacent to our territorial waters…We have laws to deal with this. It affects our sovereignty.”
Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer who is now the chairman of The Seasteading Institute, wrote on his Facebook page,
“The first thing to do is whatever I can to help Chad & Nadia, because living on a weird self-built structure and dreaming of future sovereignty should be considered harmless eccentricities, not major crimes.”
In a follow-up post on Facebook, Elwartowski added,
“Hunting us down to our death is just plain stupid and highlights exactly the reason someone would be willing to go out in middle of the ocean to get away from governments.”