12 BTC Will Give You Citizenship in the Carribean
The Carribean nation of Antigua and Barbuda has announced that it is accepting cryptocurrency as payment for citizenship form.
The parliament of Antigua and Barbuda announced On July 23 that it has launched an economic citizenship program, which allows people to obtain a form of citizenship to the country for $100,000 and can be paid with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The citizenship program allows most of the same rights of full citizenship.
Attracting Investment to the Small Island Economy
Antigua has seen a flurry of activity in the crypto space lately. The government has declared its interest in allowing initial coin offerings, the incorporation of blockchain companies, and has generally been bullish on the future of cryptocurrency use. Earlier this year, the government of the Carribean nation revealed its plan to set up a cryptocurrency exchange as it seeks to take advantage of the burgeoning global cryptocurrency market to generate revenue for the national treasury. The economy of the Caribbean state depends to a large extent on the income from tourism, as well as gambling. The government also seeks to invest in mining facilities throughout the country.
Explaining the rationale behind using cryptocurrency as a payment method, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said:
“[T]he truth is too, it expands your market because we have a number of cryptocurrency investors who may be quite willing to take up our citizenship but would only pay in cryptocurrencies. If you do not accept the cryptocurrency then you would be literally locked out of that market.”
At the same time, Browne noted that all earnings would be converted to fiat each day “to ensure that we don’t have any exposure in cryptocurrencies.”
The Prime Minister further noted that the country decided to accept cryptocurrencies in order to avoid potential citizens having banking difficulties when applying for citizenship.
“A number of agents have been de-banked by various banks within the domestic banking space because they are saying that their correspondent banks within the US are saying that if they were to process CIP transactions, that they would withdraw their correspondent banking,” Browne said. “What we are trying to do is to give them the option of establishing accounts with offshore banks including Global Bank and Commerce and others, so they have the option of having a bank that is willing to accommodate their transactions.”
This is a welcome development for the cryptocurrency ecosystem as it will boost adoption and economic usage of crypto assets. One of the obstacles for widespread crypto adoption, as mentioned by economists, is the fact that taxes and government levies are usually only payable in the fiat currency of the government. However, along with Antigua and other places like Arizona and Zug, more governments are discussing integrating crypto into their economies.