In January, the West Pacific island nation of Palau launched the world’s first digital residency program using blockchain, underscoring its desire to create a new borderless financial hub relying on crypto and blockchain technology.

The Republic of Palau is a cluster of 340 islands located in the Pacific Ocean. This nation has partners with blockchain development firm Cryptic Labs to digitally educate the residents of the nation. The government of Palau has rolled out a digital residency programme called Root Name System (RNS).

The RNS will provide people a blockchain-based legal ID and a digital residency to open access to global business opportunities. The RNS will also allow people to control how much information about themselves they wish to share with others via their IDs that will be issued physically, as well as in the forms of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Costing $100 per person, the ID would feature important verification features, including know-your-customer (KYC), anti-money laundering (AML), and anti-terrorism financing verification processes. It would be re-issued each year.

Initially skeptical of crypto, the island nation of Palau previously rejected crypto due to its association with illicit finance linked to drugs and terrorism. However, it has recently trumpeted the economic advantages of blockchain and crypto, claiming it is part of the country’s new economic vision that will help the Republic of Palau move out of the pandemic and diversify its economy.

According to thestreet