The Republic of San Marino, a tiny microstate entirely surrounded by Italy, unveiled ambitious plans to become one of the world’s leading blockchain hubs.
San Marino Innovation, the Republic’s innovation arm, has confirmed the creation of a joint venture with Estonian-based blockchain technology developer Polybius. With the partnership, San Marino wants to develop the infrastructure, the regulations and the technical expertise to become a blockchain powerhouse.
The partnership, which has been set up in collaboration with Olympus Advisors, a consulting firm based in San Marino, provides for the incorporation of a new company under San Marino law aimed at developing a blockchain ecosystem.
“We are the world’s oldest Republic and we are proud to begin a transformation led by technology,” said San Marino’s Secretary of State for Economic Development Andrea Zafferani. “We believe this partnership will have an significant impact on the economy, growing the innovation sector which is at the core of our development strategy. The Republic will also acquire a state of art set of regulations to become a world-leading blockchain hub.”
The announcement emphasizes that San Marino intends to become a reliable and proactive legislative partner for the blockchain industry and, to this effect, it will start drafting a comprehensive legislative framework. Though not much information on the Republic’s plans has been released to date, it’s easy to guess that San Marino wants to position itself as a blockchain-friendly jurisdiction, similar to places like Switzerland’s “Crypto Valley,” to attract blockchain companies, capital and talent. Malta, another small European nation, is now pursuing a similar plan.
San Marino plans to harness Polybius’ Digital ID technology to create new identity mechanisms for authentication and verification, in compliance with ongoing European personal and private data management initiatives. Polybius recently relocated to Brussels to be close to the headquarters of the key EU institutions responsible for EU directives and regulations.
“San Marino is ideally placed to become an innovator with this type of technology,” said Sergio Mottola, executive chairman of San Marino Innovation. “We are not interested in short term or opportunistic policies to take advantage of the speculation surrounding today’s cryptocurrency world. Rather, we are intrigued by the revolution implicit in the underlying technology: the ‘blockchain,’ which we expect to bring an impact on the global economy greater than what the internet has.”
Mottola added that the government of the Republic is prepared to take on this sort of transformation and digital innovation. San Marino’s constitution supports forward-looking legislation and jurisdiction to favor the growing blockchain infrastructure. “We are also activating a direct dialogue with innovators worldwide, offering them an environment in which digital economy based businesses can thrive,” said Mottola.
“We were a pioneer of distributed ledger technologies through our HashCoins company,” said Ivan Turygin, co-founder of Polybius. “Now we are able to bring that expertise and experience to bear on a project that will position San Marino as a hub for innovation and deliver a strong incentive for the Government to continue growing the industry in the long run.”
“Our broad experience includes development of practical solutions on multiple blockchains, most notably Emercoin,” added Sergei Potapenko, co-founder of Polybius. “In the past, we have developed and implemented solutions ranging across password-free authorization, data storage and notary services.”