With Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Program Act being amended by the country’s parliament, you can now become an Antiguan Barbudian by investing US$100,000 which is approximately 12 bitcoins at current prices.
The resolution was announced by the country’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance & Corporate Governance & Public-Private Partnerships, Hon. Gaston Browne, that they will be allowing payments to be made using bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies as well. The country is taking a step toward becoming a more attractive option for people across the world.
They want to make sure that they are attracting cryptocurrency investors to the country. The country is also hoping that by this move they will not be locked out of the crypto market.
Here’s what Browne said:
“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. If you do not accept the cryptocurrency then you would be literally locked out of that market.”
The country has an invest or contribute policy in their Investment Program Act. There are basically two choices for individuals who would like to become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda: they can either invest in the country with amounts ranging between US$400,000 and US$1.5 million, or they can make a contribution totaling US$100,000 to the country’s National Development Fund.
And there will be some additional amounts that would be required to be paid based on the number of dependents one has. And with more and more bitcoin investors moving abroad, these type of policies can really influence their decision.
The option to pay in cryptocurrency is not just for getting citizenships. Back in April 2017, the country’s attorney general was instructed by the cabinet to draft a legislation that would allow government services to be paid using bitcoin.
Antigua has a reputation for being a tax haven and according to Everly Paud Chet Greene, the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade & Immigration, this move will soften that reputation given the fact that through cryptocurrencies, they can trace the transactions.
The West Indies island state already has a thriving financial sector which might be because of the money laundering operations taking place which we might need to look further into to prove that. But the state also has a large gaming industry.
And by allowing people to pay for government services in bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, the island will definitely build its reputation as a trailblazer in the region.