Mauritius to become the blockchain paradise of “Ethereum Island”

A new collaboration has formed between the nation of Mauritius and ConsenSys – a New York-based production studio decentralized application builder and developer for blockchain uses, with a strong focus on Ethereum.

The small African island, 700 miles off the coast of Madagascar, had a visit from the ConsenSys team of executives early in July. They met with the Bank of Mauritius, the national Board of Investment, and other private as well as public sector authorities, with the shared goal of transforming Mauritius into a blockchain technology hub – in other words, create an “Ethereum Island”.

“Unlike building applications on bitcoin, Ethereum smart contracts are more agile and nimble. The future of Ethereum looks very bright, while that of bitcoin is maturing” says James Duchenne, Managing Partner at Sutton Stone, a venture-building firm who saw the opportunity for Mauritius to progress. In an interview with Business Magazine, he speaks about a “Silicon Corridor” – a way to migrate knowledge and skills from Silicon Valley to a new innovation center on the island, to be done as soon as possible.

“Being at the start of an innovative venture, you can benefit from its growth. Enter at a later stage and this benefit is greatly reduced. Enter too late and you’ll work for those innovators that have grown. I believe that the time window to seize the current opportunity as far as blockchain technology is concerned is very short.”

ConsenSys can enable new services and businesses to be built on the blockchain technology. On Mauritius, they propose to establish the basics of a blockchain ecosystem with digital identities and registration, a process of verification, and decentralization of information. From there they plan to form a group of developers, regulators, and entrepreneurs to keep the system going by creating applications and organizations using blockchain technology.  The island has well established communications, business, finance and information technology with also some of the best infrastructure and education in the region, thus attracting investors from the blockchain space. The project to provide free Wi-Fi accessible all over the island makes a suiting environment for blockchain technology and business to thrive.

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These new developments would help the country achieve its economic goals on both a state and citizen level. On one hand it will create a great deal of employment for its population. Furthermore, it can boost the national economy. “We are working to take our economy to another level, and these kinds of technologies are very important in our strategy,” Atma Narasiah, head of technology, innovation and services at the Board of Investment Mauritius, said in an interview to CoinDesk.

Given the size of the country, it has a certain efficiency and nimbleness to embrace new tools and technology. Together with the enthusiasm with which the project was met from all sides, great success can be expected. Joseph Lubin, founder of ConsenSys, said:

“We expected to encounter significant enthusiasm… but we were overwhelmed with the excitement that we felt in every single meeting. If Mauritius puts together a concerted effort to be a world leader, it will be.”

The little tropical paradise may very well soon become a big blockchain paradise.

Picture from Wikimedia Commons.

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