An Indian fugitive ‘holy man’ accused of rape and other crimes has announced he has set up his own country – and will run its economy with cryptocurrency.
Nithyananda, from Tamil Nadu, attracted followers in a spiritual centre – known as an ‘ashram’ – he opened in Bengaluru during 2005, but cops claimed he raped and assaulted a woman at the ashram under the guise of giving her religious teachings.
Officers also allege the 41-year-old beat children and forced them to earn money for the ashram.
He fled India and has now declared a ‘Hindu sovereign nation’ called Kailaasa after buying his own island off the coast of Ecuador, reports the Times of India.
A website has been registered in Panama with its IP located in the US state of Dallas. However, mystery surrounds Kailaasa’s exact location.
As well as a flag, constitution, and emblem, the website says the nation will have its own economy that is “not contaminated by fiat currency”.
It adds: “Imagine that this currency is the only one accepted in the Paramashiva economy – to participate in the Dharmic economy, one that is aligned with the cosmic laws, one that will give them enormous spiritual rewards and multiple returns on investment, people have to use this currency.
“An ideal way to create such a currency is through cryptocurrency.”
In February, a ‘private city’ in Norway ditched cash for its own cryptocurrency.
Liberstad, which was established in June 2017 in the south of the Scandinavian country, is a self-proclaimed libertarian city.
A spokesman said: “City Coin is a secure and innovative cryptocurrency based on City Chain, a smart city platform that enables the design, implementation, and use of next-generation services for smart cities and their inhabitants.”