The Pirate Party in Iceland is not a team of seafarers with parrots on their shoulders scouring for treasure, but rather a radical political unit poised to take power in Iceland.
The group was founded about four years ago by a team of alleged hackers and activists; it rose to fame the following year to capture nearly five percent (three seats) of the Icelandic parliament. Among the party’s bullets include a favor of democracy, government transparency, the legalization of drug activity, and offering Edward Snowden a place to stay (just in case he ever gets tired of Moscow).
The Pirates, as they’ve been dubbed, now face the prospect of an expanded future this coming Saturday in a new election that if won, could earn the party an additional 18 to 20 seats in the 63-seat national parliament. Group leader Birgitta Jonsdottir explains:
“People in Iceland are sick of corruption and nepotism… We do not define ourselves as left or right, but rather as a party that focuses on the systems. In other words, we consider ourselves hackers – so to speak – of our current outdated systems of government.”
In their push for a democratic society, the Pirates could actually pave the way for bitcoin and digital currency in Icelandic society. The country already has a history with virtual money considering its attempts to implement Auroracoin, but the country has also shown a large disdain for financial corruption in Iceland dating as far back as the Great Recession (the prime minister’s involvement in the Panama Papers scandal last April didn’t help much either).
The nation is often touted as one that could potentially leave central banking behind permanently given the dirt that’s been dug up since 2008. Should this occur, bitcoin and related digital currencies could finally have their day in the spotlight. The country recently opened its first cryptocurrency exchange, and Iceland may be on its way to becoming the first major country to accept bitcoin as a national currency.