The Principality of the Pontinha (Portuguese: Principado da Pontinha or Principado do Ilhéu da Pontinha), a self-proclaimed country by Prince D. Renato Barros, is located about 70 meters off Madeira Island and has an area of about 178 square metres, or 1,916 square feet. Fort of São José is the headquarters of the Principality of the Pontinha.
In 1903 King D. Carlos I of Portugal, ancestor of D. Renato Barros, signed a Regal Letter (the original is kept in the Tower of London) that stated that the Principality of the Pontinha shall be sovereign. Currently, the case is being analyzed by the international community, including the United Nations. Prince D. Renato Barros expects to obtain the rights of a country, including the 200 nautical miles.
Recently Prince D. Renato Barros wrote in an article published on The Guardian:
“I have both a Portuguese passport and a passport for Pontinha (where my passport number is 0001). There are four citizens: me, my wife, my son and my daughter. I am the police, the gardener, everything. I am whatever I want to be – that’s the dream, isn’t it? If I decide I want to have a national song, I can choose it, and I can change it any time. The same with my flag – it could be blue today, red tomorrow. Of course, my power is only absolute here, where I am the true sovereign.”
The Principality of the Pontinha is discussed in a Bitcointalk thread titled “Pontinha: A sovereign nation seeking a national currency? ” – the idea is that the micronation if its sovereignty is confirmed by the international community or at least recognized by some nations, could adopt Bitcoin as an official currency. Not necessarily the only official currency, just one of the official currencies.
If such a thing ever happens, the impact would be huge. Suddenly, Bitcoin would stop being a semi-legal underground cryptocurrency developed by anarchist hackers for drug dealers, and become the official currency of a sovereign nation.
The tiny island could host a central bank (provided there is room to build one) where customers from all over the world could open Bitcoin accounts. Following the recent e-residency option announced by the Estonian government, the Principality of the Pontinha could offer e-residency, incorporation services, and official legal status and protection to the Bitcoin business worldwide.
To the readers with very deep pockets (I mean, really deep pockets) who want to launch a world-changing project with really huge payoffs, I suggest to contact the Principality of the Pontinha and make that happen?
Images from the Principality of the Pontinha.