“Your vision, curiosity, and courage have brought you to the cusp of a transformative change for our world. As a founding digital resident, we hope that you enjoy this connection to a unique Pacific Island and its trailblazing history,” President Surangel Whipps Jr., said welcoming Mr. Tim Draper, the first digital resident under Palau’s new Digital Residency law.
Tim Draper, a US venture capitalist, and billionaire became the first digital resident of Palau, receiving his new ID and commemorative gifts as the founding digital resident.
“I think it is an incredibly great honor,” said Tim Draper of being the first digital resident of Palau. “And I think it’s the beginning of something extraordinary, that is going to spread around the world and is, as innovative as this government.”
Palau’s Digital Residency law allows Palau to grant digital residency, a legal resident identification that does not require physical residence in Palau but has the functionality of a legal resident.
“Today, more than 40% of the world’s population is still unable to access fundamental economic and business activities available for the rest of the world. The digital residency will change that allowing equal access to economic opportunities for individuals and communities across the world,” expressed Whipps.
An earlier report from Crypto Labs said that over 300,000 have expressed interest in Palau’s digital residency program and the inauguration of the first digital residency, applications will be sent out to the first 10,000 applicants who will be given 72 hours to respond. This will be repeated until they reach all the applicants.
Under the program, Palau receives a $150 fee for each application and Identification issued. The private partner, Crypto Labs, a company Palau has an agreement with to manage the Digital Residency program will charge their fees in addition to the amount stated by law as fees to be charged.
In an interview with a reporter for the inaugural launch, Whipps said that Palau is working on other related legislations that will complement digital residency and bring other opportunities such as an exempt corporation, digital financial services, crypto trading, and others.
Whipps administration banks on new technologies such as blockchain to provide economic diversification and new revenue source to the Republic.