Radovan Brajović, a Relationship Manager at Henley & Partners Montenegro, is a blockchain and cryptocurrency afficionado who is an active member of Montenegro’s blockchain community and engages with high- and ultra-high-net-worth crypto investors and esteemed industry leaders.
Montenegro, one of the smallest countries in Europe and among the most beautiful, aims to position itself as a global hub for crypto, blockchain, and other innovative technologies. Considering that not many countries are supportive of blockchain technology and its creators, Montenegro is taking the initiative to capitalize on this. By hosting two significant events in 2023, granting citizenship to a highly regarded figure in the crypto industry, and expressing its intention to draft laws concerning blockchain and cryptocurrencies, the country has positioned itself on the global stage for all digital innovation enthusiasts.
In April 2022, Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, hosted a panel titled 'Future Now! A New Era of Montenegrin Finances'. The panel was moderated by the then Minister of Finance and Social Welfare, Milojko Spajić, and featured esteemed guest speakers including Vitalik Buterin (creator and co-founder of Ethereum), Vlad Zamfir (Ethereum researcher and blockchain architect), and Boris Mamlyk (Professor of Law at the University of Memphis in the United States of America).
This event presented a significant opportunity for Montenegro to position itself as a global leader in attracting investors from the blockchain and crypto field. All parties involved agreed that creating a legal framework for cryptocurrencies and blockchain would enable the achievement of this goal.
During his visit to Montenegro, Vitalik Buterin obtained Montenegrin citizenship through admission and received his Montenegrin passport. The granting of citizenship to Buterin and the visits of eminent individuals in the crypto field have established the groundwork for positioning Montenegro as a potential hub for crypto and blockchain innovation.
From the end of March to the end of May 2023, Montenegro hosted Zuzalu, a first-of-its-kind pop-up city community co-founded by Vitalik Buterin. This initiative aimed to bring together 150 core residents who shared a common goal: to learn, create, live healthier and longer lives, and develop self-sustaining communities. Supported by the local government, this temporary ‘city’ was located in Lustica Bay, a luxury coastal destination.
Zuzalu offered a diverse range of events, covering topics such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrency, longevity research, biotechnology, and public goods. The hub attracted prominent individuals from these fields, both as guests and residents, including some of the world's most renowned experts. Access to the hub's events and workshops was exclusive to electronic passport holders specifically created for this occasion.
The Zuzalu community was visited by the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Dr. Dritan Abazović, who was accompanied by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Filip Adžić, the former Minister of Finance and Social Welfare, Milojko Spajić, and other government officials. The purpose of the visit was to gain insight into the community and to facilitate discussions on how Montenegro could evolve into a global hub for talent, education, healthcare, and blockchain initiatives.
Following the Zuzalu initiative, the EDCON conference, one of the largest gatherings of the Ethereum and blockchain communities, was held in Podgorica in May 2023. The conference featured keynote speeches, technical workshops, and panel discussions on topics such as Blockchain Regulation, Layer 3, Decentralized Society, Decentralized Governance, the Network State, and more, and brought together the brightest minds of the Ethereum community worldwide, from countries such as China, Colombia, Japan, Spain, the United States of America, and others.
The affordable cost of living, convenient flight connections, stunning natural landscapes, and fast and reliable internet connection make Montenegro an ideal work and leisure destination for digital nomads. The warmth of the local people, delicious local cuisine, and secure environment are also reasons why Montenegro is gaining popularity among remote workers.
The parliament of Montenegro passed a legal framework defining entry and residence permits for digital nomads, described as foreigners who are employed by or perform remote work for a company — foreign or their own — that is not registered in Montenegro. The temporary residence permit is issued for a period of up to two years and can be extended for an additional two years. Close family members can also obtain a residence permit based on the legal grounds of family reunion.
Through the Digital Nomad Visa program, Montenegro has the opportunity to become the next sought-after destination for digital nomads, which will significantly contribute to the further development of tourism, the IT sector, and the overall increase in economic activity in the country. While the program is still in its preparatory phase, with the government diligently working on the necessary regulations and infrastructure, it is expected to become fully operational at the beginning of 2024.
Alternatively, for those seeking long-term residence in Montenegro, the government welcomes wealthy and talented foreign individuals who make a significant, qualified investment. Under this offering, which requires either purchasing real estate (no minimum value), or registering a legal entity, individuals can become residents of Montenegro within approximately one month and are eligible to apply for permanent residence in this innovative, crypto-friendly European country after five years.