An American bitcoin trader built a floating house off Thailand’s coast in an attempt to gain independence. Authorities destroyed his home and he now faces the death penalty.

An American bitcoin trader could face a death sentence in Thailand after authorities confiscated his floating home, which he built in an attempt to declare an autonomous seaborne community.Chad Elwartowski and his girlfriend, Supranee Thepdet, had been living in the so-called seastead but fled before authorities arrived.Thai authorities said the pair claimed they were beyond the jurisdiction of Thailand but that their actions were “deteriorating Thailand’s independence.”Elwartowski and Thepdet built the home to test the viability of creating a floating community in international waters that would not be subject to the laws of any nation. Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. An American bitcoin trader who built a floating home off the coast of Thailand in an attempt to develop an autonomous seaborne community could face a death sentence, authorities said. The floating home of Chad Elwartowski and his girlfriend, Supranee Thepdet, was towed ashore by Thai authorities on Monday to be taken apart, and the couple have been accused of violating Thailand’s sovereignty, an offense that can carry the death penalty or life in prison, Sky News reported. Elwartowski’s visa has also been revoked, Sky News said. Read more: Silicon Valley’s dream of a floating, isolated city might actually happen “The couple announced on social media declaring their autonomy beyond the jurisdiction of any courts or law of any countries, including Thailand,” Rear Adm. Vithanarat Kochaseni told reporters, according to Reuters. He added that authorities “see such action as deteriorating Thailand’s independence.” The couple built the floating home — which was about 14 miles off the coast of the island of Phuket — to test the viability of creating a floating community in international waters that would not be subject to the laws of any nation. Elwartowski and Thepdet’s “seastead.” The couple’s whereabouts are unknown. Reuters/Stringer Thailand’s navy
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