The Thai Navy boarded the floating cabin of a Bitcoin trader. The fugitive trader and his Thai girlfriend were both part of the “seasteading” movement.
Fugitive bitcoin trader caught
Chad Elwartowski, the fugitive trader, said in a Facebook post, “I was free for a moment. Probably the freest person in the world.” After raiding his floating home, which he shared with his girlfriend, the Thai authorities revoked his visa. Chad is an American citizen, and his partner is Supranee Thepdet, both of whom are charged with violating Thai sovereignty. They raised a small cabin on a weighted spar, located 14 nautical miles away from the west coast of Phuket in Thailand.
The cabin was called “the world’s first seastead” by Ocean Builders. The movement is quickly gaining prominent and tech and libertarian circles. It includes building floating communities that do not enter national sea/oceanic boundaries and aims to create alternative governments and societies.
The seastead was raided by the Thai Navy on April 13, but the two had apparently fled the space after they saw a surveillance plane flying over their cabin a day before. While Chad is a Bitcoin trader, Supranee’s Facebook page describes her as “Bitcoin expert, Trader, Chef, seastead Pioneer.”
The seastead movement’s pillar goes down
The Royal Thai Navy task force worked to seize the seastead and tow it back to their coastline for gathering evidence on Saturday. However, they are still working on a plan to move it without destroying it.
Chad was trying to build a community in the ocean, and he even posted a video last month detailing how he made his home. He said that 20 more such houses would be up for sale soon. Both Chad and Ocean Builders reiterate their stance that the seastead was built in international waters and Thai authorities had no jurisdiction there. However, the Thai officials state that the structure was built within a 200-mile exclusive economic zone and hence it violates the country’s sovereignty.
The Navy suggests that they have evidence that the floating home was built in Phuket’s private boatyard and insisted that the couple wanted to create a “permanent settlement at sea beyond the sovereignty of nations by using a legal loophole.”
It further noted that the couple intended to disobey the national laws which could lead to the creation of a new state within Thai waters. This could undermine the country’s social and economic interests and pose a threat to national security as well. The American trader has access to a lawyer, according to the US embassy. The Thai government had recently recognized Bitcoin. Here’s how you can do bitcoin trading?