On August 23, 1989, two million Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians joined hands to form a human chain almost 400 miles long.
The chain stretched from the Estonian capital of Tallinn, through Latvia, and to the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.
This show of both unity among the Baltic states and resistance to the Soviet Empire cemented their fate.
Gorbachev's government privately concluded that the Baltics' secession from the USSR was inevitable.
In 1990, the Baltics each officially declared their independence.
One year later, the Soviet Union officially recognized their independence and the last Russian troops withdrew in 1994.
This was the catalyst for the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Other former Soviet states followed suit and declared their independence.
Ironically, the classic Cold War villain, the USSR, gives one of the best contemporary examples of peaceful secession.
When the empire finally disbanded, it did so relatively peacefully.
And some of the best evidence of the benefits of secession come from countries that were once a part of the United Soviet Socialist Republic.
They're already attracting enthusiasm despite the program being in "beta" stages.
And ironically, they would have even more freedom to innovate if they weren't under the European Union. EU central bankers have condemned any attempts by Estonia to create a digital token.
Lithuania and Latvia have also seen massive economic gains in the decades since declaring independence from the Soviet Union.
Even the former Soviet country of Belarus is making strides with their special economic zone to promote technology companies.
These four neighboring countries represent peaceful competition to attract wealth, citizens, technology, businesses, and jobs to their countries.
And Estonia seems to be winning…