With the lowest amount required to become an Antiguan Barbudian via an investment being US$100,000, you now only need a little over 12 bitcoins to pay for that at current prices.
This is after Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Program Act was amended by the country’s parliament allowing payments to be made using bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrencies. The resolution was announced by the country’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance & Corporate Governance & Public-Private Partnerships, Hon. Gaston Browne, according to Antigua News Room.
According to Browne, the decision was made with a view of making it convenient for citizenship seekers who own cryptocurrencies. And by adding this method of payment, the program will be able to attract more people from across the globe.
“And the 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,” Browne told the country’s parliament. “If you do not accept the cryptocurrency then you would be literally locked out of that market.”
Per Browne, payments made in cryptocurrencies will be converted daily to US dollars to avoid losses that may arise from volatility.
To be eligible for citizenship via Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Program Act, individuals can choose to either invest in the country amounts ranging between US$400,000 and US$1.5 million or make a contribution totaling US$100,000 to the country’s National Development Fund. Additional amounts are also required to be paid based on the number of dependents one has.
As CCN has previously reported, the West Indies island state has initiated various efforts aimed at enabling a crypto-friendly environment. Last year in April, for instance, the country’s attorney general was instructed by the cabinet to draft legislation that would allow government services to be paid for using bitcoin.
At the time the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade & Immigration, Everly Paul Chet Greene, argued that the immutable nature of blockchain allowed for transactions to be traced and would thus serve to soften the reputation of the island state as a tax haven.
Due to its thriving financial sector as well as a large internet gaming industry, the island state has been viewed as being particularly susceptible to money laundering and other financial crimes. Greene also argued that allowing government services to be paid for using bitcoin would solidify Antigua & Barbuda’s reputation as a trailblazer in the region.
“Here in Antigua & Barbuda we know we are always very much front and center of new developments; we are leaders, trendsetters in the Caribbean,” Greene was reported as having said at the time.
St. John’s, Antigua image from Shutterstock.
Last modified: July 26, 2018 12:00 UTC