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The Catawba Digital Economic Zone, the first jurisdiction for blockchain in the US, has appointed the governing Zone Authority Commission. A major milestone.

Creating economic growth is unlocking the potential of the Catawba Nation. We are using these laws for their benefit & people around the world seeking to create and innovate exciting new technologies.”
— Leon Schaffer, Zone Commissioner.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES , May 12, 2022 / -- The Catawba Digital Economic Zone (CDEZ) - formerly called Green Earth Zone-, the US’ first digital special economic zone was ratified by a vote of the Catawba Nation in February 2022. While this American-Indian Nation is located in the Carolinas, the CDEZ allows companies and entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world to establish a legal entity in the US. Upon completion of their compliance application, eResident Corporations can begin benefiting from laws and regulations that have been optimized for Blockchain, digital banking, and digital assets management.

The Zone Authority, which operates as an arm of the Catawba Nation’s Government, is responsible for implementing the regulations that extend the Zone’s commercial code on items such as digital, banking, financial regulation, and securities. The Authority requires five Commissioners under the legislation. The selected Commissioners were appointed by the Nation’s business leaders, elected officials, and the Zone’s management company, Green Earth Zone Inc.

“The Catawba Digital Economic Zone is a public-private partnership. This has been essential for the management and investment of the project. However, we carefully structured the CDEZ in a manner that always remains representative of the will of the Catawba Nation. The Zone Authority is the entity responsible for the governance of the CDEZ and four of the five seats are occupied by Catawba Officials and Business Leaders, with one seat granted to the Zone’s management company.” Said Jackson Canty, Zone Commissioner.

The CDEZ, unlike other special economic zones around the world, is not based on tax concessions. Its value proposition is its legal structure, which is tailored to the needs of digital businesses, particularly those in the technology and decentralized finance space.

“New technologies in the Blockchain space offer enormous potential benefits to people around the world, from helping the unbanked enter into the financial system safely, to being better able to manage information in supply chains, and even natural resources. Governments can be slow to respond to advances, and other countries or jurisdictions will capture this wealth unless the US adopts consistent regulations. That’s what we’ve done with CDEZ. We’ve struck the balance between flexibility and regulation that allows companies to innovate while also protecting the interests of consumers and investors.” Explained Sam Trimnal, Zone Authority Chairman.

Under the United States Constitution, Native American Nations can make their laws and regulations that govern the business behavior of non-native Americans who operate on their lands. The Catawba Nation has used its legislative autonomy under the Tribal Act to create the CDEZ.

“Creating economic growth is about economic activation, the process of unlocking the potential of a community or land area. The advantage that we, the Catawba Nation, have is the right to create our laws. These are rights that our people fought for and fought to have returned to us in 1993 under the Settlement Act. We are using these laws to innovate, and for the benefit of the Catawba Nation, but also for people around the world seeking to create and innovate exciting new technologies.” Said, Leon Schaffer, Zone Commissioner.

The CDEZ is anticipated to create thousands of local employment opportunities for the Catawba Nation, from direct employment at the Zone to indirect employment from the companies operating in the jurisdiction.

“By bringing technology companies, innovators, and successful companies, we can offer members of the Catawba Nation mentorship opportunities. This is part of our approach to unlocking potential in our community and helping them realize their full capabilities.” Said, Pam Wright, Zone Commissioner.

-- ENDS --

The Catawba Digital Economic Zone is the first jurisdiction within the United States created for Fintech and Digital Asset growth. Located in the Carolinas, the Zone has world-class laws optimized for digital service industries, finance, and blockchain. It is in the territory and under the jurisdiction of the Catawba Indian Nation of South and North Carolina.


Sam Trimnal. Sam is the Chairman of the Zone Authority Commission. Besides serving as Zone Commissioner, Sam Trimnal is a Catawba citizen with significant experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Sam’s first approach to Special Zones was in the ‘90s, working as Hardware Manager for the International Space Station.

Scott Charles. Scott Charles is an appointed commissioner of the Zone Authority and a Tribal citizen of the Catawba Indian Nation. Besides his role as Commissioner, Scott works in the emergency department of Atrium Health. Over the past 10 years, he has owned and operated various businesses, which have led him into the investment sector, where he found a passion for digital assets.

Leo Schaffer. Leo Schaffer was appointed a member of the Zone Authority Commission by the Nation’s Executive Committee. He is a proud member of the Catawba Nation and relishes any opportunity to help the tribe. His previous roles have mostly been in the tech industry, in particular in tech start-ups, IT, and larger companies such as Apple and ACE Hardware.

Pam Brown. Pam Brown Wright is a Zone Commissioner. Pam has occupied various political roles in Catawba Indian Nation over the years, serving on the Economic Development Board, Election Committee, and Housing Board. She has overseen and managed healthcare offices for the past 24 years. Pam is a Citizen of the Catawba Nation.

Jackson Canty. Jackson Canty is a Tribal Elder, born and raised on Catawba Tribal lands. Jackson has always had a desire to assist the Catawba Nation in becoming economically self-sufficient by creating jobs and education opportunities through tribal business development. He is a veteran who served in the navy for 4 years in communications and has had multiple positions in the Catawba Nation, such as Real Estate Director and Economic Development Director. Jackson, who retired from Continental Tire, where he served multiple positions in quality assurance for 35 years, has also been part of the Nation’s Housing, Cultural, and Education boards, and has also supported Economic Development and Oversight to boards and committees.

For more information visit

Sam Trimnal. Zone Authority Chairman.
Catawba Digital Economic Zone.
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