Catawba, Native-American Tribe Approves First Digital Economic Zone In The United States
Set to Change the Digital Asset Management and Fintech Industries. Catawba, Native-American Tribe Approves First Digital Economic Zone In The United States
Rock Hill, South Carolina – In a historic vote on Saturday, the Catawba Indian Nation, a Native American Tribe located in South Carolina, established a ground-breaking program to regulate and expand business activities in its territory.
The General Council of Catawba citizens created the first Digital Special Economic Zone in the United States, and approved a regulatory framework and civil codes including a Commercial Code, that enables companies from around the world to domicile within the Tribe’s lands and operate under world-class business regulations.
15:36 Catawba Nation Becomes Top Crypto Jurisdiction
The Zone named Green Earth Zone (GEZ) is poised to become one of the most important jurisdictions for digital asset management, fintech and cryptocurrencies globally. It will allow people from all over the planet to set up a company through an online platform. GEZ registered companies will operate under the Zone’s directives that have been optimized to provide stability for digital companies in the fintech and Blockchain space.
Fintech has become a booming industry, with over US$91.5 billion in global funding by the end of 2021. Driven by new technologies such as smart contracts, encryption, and digital signatures, regulators around the world have been challenged by the trends in cryptocurrency and decentralization.
The uncertainty with regulations and complexity of the technologies involved in blockchain exposes investors and individuals that have sought to capitalize on the rising value of Bitcoin or the surge of interest in non-fungible tokens.
The GEZ project began three years ago under Catawba Corporations, the economic development arm of the Nation. With the completion of the Zone’s own commercial and financial regulatory code, it represents the most advanced jurisdiction for digital services in the world.
“Special Economic Zones have been powerful instruments for economic development, enabling rapid economic growth. SEZs often rely on tax incentives. But with our status as a sovereign jurisdiction, we are also able to create a best-in-class regulatory climate for the digital, fintech, and blockchain sectors.
Our plan is to allow these businesses to operate with certainty, and under regulations that protect consumers that help mature the industry. The GEZ will create tremendous economic opportunities for our people of the Catawba Nation”, explained Ronnie Beck, CEO of Catawba Corporations.
Using a model similar to Estonia’s eResidency, after completing the ‘know your customer’ (KYC) requirements, anyone in the world will be able to set up an eCorporation online in the GEZ and enjoy policies and regulations that allow them to safely manage their digital assets, raise investment capital and offer digital-banking services.
eCorporations are legal corporations, permitted to conduct business virtually from the GEZ, and can open bank accounts within the United States.
GEZ eCorporations are ideal for online companies, software developers, remote workers, banking and finance, insurance, and firms involved in the creation, sale, or management of digital assets.
The Zone is an important economic development project for the Catawba that is anticipated to bring millions of dollars to the tribal citizens, and create numerous employment and education opportunities, transforming the lives of thousands of people.
“This is a progressive first step into the digital business world. We believe it will generate millions of dollars for the Nation and will enhance the quality of life for tribal citizens for decades to come,” said Catawba Corporations board member and Catawba citizen, Thom Trimnal, “It will create economic opportunities that don’t currently exist, including jobs and workforce development.”
With the legislation approved the GEZ is anticipated to commence to register eCorporations in March 2022.
About Catawba Corporations
Catawba Corporations is the business branch of The Catawba Indian Nation. The mission of Catawba Corporations is to be the corporation of choice that creates economic growth and diversity for the Catawba Indian Nation’s workforce and its brand, fueled by its core values and the nation’s rich culture and heritage, facilitated by the corporation’s philosophy to be the “employer, employee, and client for life corporation”.
US Tribal Nation-Backed Economic Zone Passes Rules Defining Digital Assets (#GotBitcoin)
The Catawba Digital Economic Zone in South Carolina hopes to attract crypto companies to remotely incorporate under its laws.
A digital economic zone backed by the Catawba Indian Nation in Rock Hill, S.C., has passed a set of regulations aimed at creating “legal clarity” for digital assets.
The framework defines digital assets – from cryptocurrencies to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – as intangible property or personal property without a physical existence, according to a Wednesday announcement.
The Catawba Digital Economic Zone (CDEZ), which was set up in February, is a sovereign regulatory zone established and backed by the Catawba Nation, the announcement said. The new regulations were adopted on July 6 by the the tribal nation’s Zone Authority Commission. The economic zone plans to allow digital asset companies to remotely incorporate under its laws.
“[The rules] are in effect now, but we have only just begun to market the zone to prospective companies. This policy will be the foundation for a comprehensive and clear regulatory framework for crypto and Web3 companies,” Joseph McKinney, CEO and founder of CDEZ said in an email to CoinDesk.
The Catawba Indian Nation is a 700-acre reservation with just over 3,000 citizens and is the only federally recognized native tribe in South Carolina. The Catawba government didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the CDEZ legislation.
The zone authority has separate assets, liabilities and independent decision-making capacity from the Catawba government, but it is ultimately accountable to the nation’s elected leadership and legislative arms, McKinney said.
“The zone is run by a for-profit management company that is majority owned by the Catawba Indian Nation,” the statement said, adding, “Many of the blockchain-related regulations, such as the digital assets regulation, were based on the years of work of the Wyoming policymakers, though we improved it when there was a clear need.”
The new regulatory framework, reviewed by CoinDesk, says a digital asset could be a “digital consumer asset” bought primarily for consumptive purposes. A “virtual currency” can be used as a unit of account, means of exchange or a store of value that isn’t legal tender in the U.S. A “digital security” cannot be either a virtual currency or digital consumer asset.
It also defines NFTs as indivisible assets that may be classified as securities depending on the nature of their use. Fractionalized NFTs that split up the ownership of one NFT between multiple people could fall outside of the scope of the framework.
“NFTs, by their very nature as non-fungible assets, are indivisible and unique. That does not prohibit firms from denoting economic interest in the NFT with fungible tokens. However, the definition of those fungible tokens will be defined differently from the Code itself,” McKinney said.
According to the announcement, establishing legal definitions of digital assets is the first step toward setting up more sophisticated regulatory frameworks governing the likes of the asset-backed stablecoins and member-owned decentralized autonomous organizations that underpin decentralized finance.
“Now that we have clear digital asset definitions established, a milestone that many governments have still failed to achieve, we can move forward. The zone can quickly pass thorough and comprehensive frameworks for the regulation of DAOs, stablecoins and other facets of the Web3 space that are currently poorly defined in legal codes around the world,” Sam Trimnal, chairman of the Zone Authority Commission, said in a press statement.
In early June, the CDEZ launched a public comment period for the development of regulations for DAOs.