Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) visited Palau for the launch of the first blockchain based IDs issued by the county.
The President of Palau Surangel Whipps, Jr. held a special conference together with Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) on June 10, 2022. The reason for CZ’s trip to Palau was the launch of the first blockchain based IDs that the Republic has recently issued.
💡 Palau is an island country in the western Pacific with a population of below 20,000. It has approximately 340 islands. Palau’s economy consists primarily of tourism, subsistence agriculture and fishing.
In January 2022, Palau announced the new Root Name System digital residency program based on Blockchain, which provides global citizens with identity cards issued by the government of Palau. These IDs are equipped with Know Your Customer (KYC) capabilities and will give access to services that require government issued identification cards.
The program gives approved users digital resident ID cards as non-fungible tokens, allowing them to receive benefits in Palau’s new digital first economy. The system was developed in close cooperation with Cryptic Labs on Binance’s BNB Chain blockchain.
The Palau government took steps into this area for a few reasons. First, Palau relies heavily on tourism and foreign grants. Tourism related sectors represented more than a half of GDP (as of 2019), which were hard hit by the Covid-19 crisis. The new program should diversify the economy of the country and help Palau develop other industries, thus creating a climate for new investment and business opportunities with a low impact on the environment so that innovations would not hurt tourism infrastructure.
Second, CZ highlighted that they would invest not in just crypto related realms, but would also support digital banks and payment systems development. Cooperative education expansion is also an important milestone in their roadmap.
And last but not least, the President pointed out that many young people need to go to the US due to the lack of career opportunities in their own country. The new technology is meant to reduce this outflow.
CZ noted that small countries were more flexible towards innovation and easier to control in case anything went wrong. And as for regulators, CZ is paying attention not to what’s on their papers right now, but to their attitude, and the innovation oriented government of Palau as a good partner in developing blockchain projects.