In the late 1500s, an Englishman named William Lee invented a revolutionary knitting machine that could efficiently do the work of dozens of men.
Given how important the garment industry was at the time in English, Lee's invention was truly disruptive.
But Queen Elizabeth wasn't so excited.
When Lee came to visit her to demonstrate the power of his new technology, the Queen grimaced, lamenting that the machine would put too many people out of work… and she refused his request for a patent.
So Lee went to France, where King Henry IV was highly supportive of the technology and issued a royal patent.
I was thinking about this story recently when I read about the government of Vanuatu announcing that they will begin accepting Bitcoin in exchange for citizenship.
If that sounds strange, let me explain–
Vanuatu is one of several nations that offers citizenship to foreigners in exchange for making an 'investment' in the country.
As Vanuatu is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, its citizens are allowed to travel in 113 countries, including European Union (EU) states, Russia, and Great Britain, without a visa.