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Ethereum Island May Appear in Mauritius

10 July 2017 21:00, UTC
Ethereum startup ConsenSys actively negotiates a partnership with the government of the African nation of Mauritius in order to create a so-called "Ethereum Island," a hub for blockchain technology innovators that would seek to branch out into Africa, Asia and beyond.

Joseph Lubin, ConsenSys founder, and a team of other ConsenSys top executives – the New York-based decentralized application builder – visited the island on July 5–7 and met with representatives of the Board of Investment, the Bank of Mauritius and other private and public sector authorities.

Mauritius is located 700 miles east of Madagascar and it is an established offshore financial center that actively strives to do the same with regard to blockchain and related technologies. At the end of last year, the country began the process of introducing a regulatory sandbox license in order to attract blockchain innovators.

Speaking to the local press after the meetings, Lubin mentioned that he and his team were impressed by the knowledge and enthusiasm with regard to the technology demonstrated by local officials. He 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. ”

So, why does ConsenSys, a famous brand and fast-growing blockchain developer look to open a company on a small island on the other side of the world?

According to Lubin, the main reason is that he and his team have discovered that smaller nations have the tools and nimbleness needed to adapt and embrace new technologies at a more rapid pace than larger jurisdictions.

«We have noted around the world that blockchain technology, especially ethereum, is catching on and driving incredible business growth," Lubin said.

Should Consensys decide to cooperate with Mauritius, the investment it would bring to the island population would be more in the area of human than physical capital.

According to the Company, the value of its proposition to the island is to establish foundational elements of a blockchain ecosystem – knowledge of customer rules, digital identity and title registries, help to build a pool of talented developers, entrepreneurs, executives and regulators to create applications and companies within this ecosystem.

A Mauritius-based ConsenSys Academy, similar to that one launched in Dubai in May, was placed there as a possible option for helping to build up the local talent base.

“If discussions continue at the pace they have the past few days, I could easily see us running another ConsenSys Academy program in Mauritius," said Jeremy Millar, chief of staff at ConsenSys.

No deadline for a final deal was discussed but the both sides expressed strong interest in continuing and advancing the negotiations.