A couple from Michigan recently moved to a floating house in international waters off the coast of Thailand.
It's called "seasteading," and the idea is to live where government laws can't control you.
But the Thai government wants to arrest them, and they could face the death penalty.
Now they're in hiding, and their family is worried.
A Michigan man and Bitcoin fan who wanted a life free of international laws is on the run from the Thai government for living in the first seastead off the country’s coast.
Chad Elwartowski and Supranee Thepdet (AKA Nadia Summergirl) are facing criminal charges – punishable by death – related to living in the waterborne structure, according to the Bangkok Post.
Chad and his wife Nadia were meant to be pioneers of “seasteading” an idea popular in the Libertarian culture, which advocates for societies to be set up on floating structures in international waters.
Instead, the couple, who say they’ve made enough with Bitcoins to retire, is on the run.
They're accused of trying to lay claim to Thai maritime territory with their seastead, according to the Bangkok Post, that also reported that their source said officers "found evidence which led them to believe the couple was engaging in the setting up of an independent state. Such an act would have a negative impact on the country's shoreline."
The couple volunteered to be the first tenants of Ocean Builders’ first structure, and documented the process on video .
They moved into the floating six-meter wide structure, located 12 nautical miles off the coast of Phuket, Thailand, in March.
Trouble started when the couple saw media reports about the government cracking down, and then on Saturday, the Royal Thai Navy attempted to make radio contact with occupants of the seastead, but nobody replied, the Bangkog Post reported.
Yesterday, Chad updated his friends saying he and his wife are safe and in hiding.