What is the easiest way to make money? The answer obviously is by not working at all.
While the concept of making money without doing a thing or running from posts to pillars seem like a certain fantasy, Tuvalu is living that very fantasy.
Tuvalu is a nation that consists of nine Polynesian Islands scattered over one million square kilometers of Pacific Ocean to the North East of Australia that makes money simply because of its name and can aptly be called the luckiest country in the world.
Tuvalu has in total about 25 square kilometers of land and a population of 9,876 as per the 2013 records of World Bank. It has a yearly budget of $14 million.
A tiny country that you possibly might never had heard of was so poor after its independence on October 1, 1978 that it could not even become a member of the United Nations because it could not afford the membership fee of $20,000.
So when internet happened, all countries received a top-level domain name, like in the case of India we received .in (dot in). And this is where Tuvalu hit the jackpot. It received the domain .tv (dot tv).
Now .tv is an interesting domain for obvious reasons and many entrepreneurs queued in line to do business with the isolated country. Jason Chapnik, a Canadian businessman, realised the potential too and managed to clinch a deal.
In 1999, Chapnik walked into the Tuvalu parliament and announced his intention to buy the top-level domain of the country. But following negations, the parliament decided to form a new company with Chapnik called DotTV based in Pasadena, California and get a stake of 20% in the company along with a payment of $50 million.
That deal helped double Tuvalu’s GDP, and on September 5, 2000 the Polynesian nation became the 189th member of the UN.
It also facilitated the country to build infrastructure such as roadways and power on the islands. Schools too are being built. Further, it also enabled the government to provide the students with scholarships.
The airport runway of the country has been enlarged so that bigger planes can land and it is aiming for the first time in its history to export food. Tuvalu is changing!
Tuvalu presently earns roughly about $1.2 million in royalties per year which constitutes around 10% of its GDP.
Meanwhile, Tuvalu is not the only country that is cashing from the luck of having a domain; there are others in the race like Turkmenistan (.tm), Tonga (.to), and Micronesia (.fm).
But of course, no one can beat Tuvalu’s .tv.