All 70,000 inhabitants on the Caribbean island of Dominica will reportedly receive bitcoins as part of a “Bit Drop”. They are to receive their bitcoin via SMS. The initiative is being organized by a consortium of bitcoin businesses/organizations including Coinapult, Aspen Assurance, Bitcoin Beauties, and College Cryptocurrency Network.
Like several other bitcoin-friendly islands, such as Isle of Man and Jersey, the island is connected to the British Commonwealth. It however gained complete independence in 1978. There are high hopes for Dominica, with organizers stating:
“Our goal is to create the world’s largest and highest density Bitcoin community on the planet.”
The party and Bit Drop will take place on March 14, 2015 at 9:26 am, coinciding with Piday, the island’s celebration of the mathematical constant pi. It also happens to be 11 days before the one-year anniversary of the Airdrop of Auroracoin in Iceland.
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That Airdrop was highly anticipated, and led to Auroracoin’s total valuation ballooning to over $1 billion- ahead of Litecoin. Ultimately, it failed to impress and proceeded to lose over 99.99% of its value. Today, it is worth $62,000.
Several differences have been pointed out between this initiative and Auroracoin, the most important being that here, we are dealing with an established cryptocurrency. Other technicalities include: Auroracoin had no government support (it was in fact anti-government, purportedly in response to a declining krona). Iceland has 5x the population, making distribution more difficult (?). And Auroracoin didn’t have the backing of sponsors.
Some details of the Bit Drop initiative remain unclear: How much bitcoin will be distributed? Are there plans to transform Bitcoin into the common currency? Currently, the country uses the Dominican Peso.
The initiative is currently seeking sponsors to finance the production of education material and the bitcoins for distribution.