written by
Renjit Philip

The country that gave us the .tv domain name is sinking

applications of blockchain 2 min read , April 16, 2021
Map of Tuvalu
Tuvalu on the map

Tuvalu is sinking:

If you are like me, you may not have heard of the country of Tuvalu (see image above to spot it on a map). They are the country that makes some money off of .tv domains. Tuvalu has around nine atolls and 13000 inhabitants in the pacific ocean. The country has one bank and one airstrip. They do not even have a payment network. Tuvalu has a GDP of approximately $60 M, and $5M comes from the ownership of the .tv domain. This domain is in high demand because of the live streaming websites and gaming sites that all want the .tv domain name.

Climate crisis:

And one more thing, they are at the forefront of the climate crisis. It is an island that has a high chance of sinking as global sea levels rise.

This is where blockchain technology comes into play. Tuvalu has commissioned a project to create the country's national digital ledger on the blockchain. All the records of the country, birth/death/ land/ ownership, everything will go on to the blockchain.

In the interim, the idea is to create enough revenue using the .tv domain name and equip the population to take advantage of the global gig economy by earning their livelihood without traveling to and working in other countries.

The underlying blockchain implementation used for this project is called BSV (Blockchain Satoshi Vision). It is estimated that it will have the capability to handle 50k+ transactions per second - that drew my attention because that is higher than the payment networks like Visa and Mastercard.

Future plans:

If the seas rise and the islands go under, the Tuvalu government will hopefully have made enough revenue to buy parcels of land in a host country and settle their population. The National Digital ledger will help them establish land ownership and run their new "government" on the blockchain. Blockchain technology is ideal for this since it is immutable and tamper-resistant. Having a digital ledger on the cloud means that a country and its people can be relocated if needed.

It is easy to believe that cryptocurrencies are all that can be created on a blockchain. Tuvalu govt's national digital ledger project shows us that one can conceive of running a country on a blockchain.




Applications of blockchain