Pirate Party Gains Favor as Trust in Iceland Government Crumbles


Pirate Party Gains Favor as Trust in Iceland Government Crumbles

Amid political turmoil in Iceland, Pirate party leader Rick Falkvinge has come out in support of “favourable” environments for Bitcoin and digital currencies.

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The Pirate Party: Bitcoin’s ‘Most favourable platform’

Pirate PartyIceland’s Pirate Party has gained a strong following in recent years, with many optimistic following the resignation of the country’s incumbent Prime Minister due to the Panama Papers scandal. Its three seats in parliament, The Intercept reports, are looking safer than ever.

“I’d be surprised if another party had a more favorable platform, even if — and that’s a very big if — the PPIS hasn’t taken informal steps already toward being supportive,” Falkvinge wrote on Reddit when asked about his party’s official stance.

Meanwhile, the head of Iceland’s Pirates, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, has already spoken of making Iceland — one of a handful of countries in the world to ban Bitcoin outright — into a “Switzerland of bits.”

Following revelations that three of Iceland’s senior cabinet members were involved in the Panama scandal, but only Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson was stepping down, anger was felt in parliament.

Ásta Helgadóttir, one of the Pirates’ three elected representatives, spoke out against embattled finance minister Bjarni Benediktsson’s comment that parliamentary opposition was currently “rubbish.”

“This is all interconnected — internet freedom is about how to practice fundamental human rights in the 21st century, and democracy is one of those rights,” she added speaking to The Intercept.

‘We are the system’

The incumbent government has nonetheless opted to delay snap elections until the autumn, something which Helgadóttir called a “farce.” Power meanwhile resides in the hands of Gunnlaugsson’s deputy, while Gunnlaugsson himself intends to keep his seat in another capacity.

Helgadóttir promised to set up “some sort of mechanism” to “make politicians listen to people” should the Pirates gain a more tangible following in an election. Falkvinge meanwhile was more conrete in discussing the need for “good policy.”

“A good policy begins and ends with understanding the matter at hand,” he said. “When making policy, in general, you try to avoid talking about specific technologies. For good reason. You wouldn’t want to see a law regulating HTML 5, for example.”

His comments echo those of Jónsdóttir that “we, the people, are the system”.

“…The pirate party as a movement is focused on net generation values, liberty, and technology,” Falkvinge added.

Previous polls placed the Pirates on a considerably stronger footing even before the latest swing to left-wing sentiment. Results from a survey last year indicated the party would have secured up to 14 seats in a 2015 election.

What do you think about Iceland’s chances to change its stance on digital currency? Let us know in the comments below!

Tags in this story
Government, Iceland, Panama Papers, Pirate Party, Rick Falkvinge

Images courtesy of Skarphedinn Thrainsson, Pirate Times

William Suberg

William Suberg is a freelance digital tech journalist who has written extensively about Bitcoin, the blockchain and the evolving cryptocurrency ecosystem for a variety of publications. He has been writing for Bitcoin.com since January 2016.

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