The parliament of Antigua and Barbuda has amended the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme Act to accept payments in the form of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. With Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship by way of investment into its National Development Fund having been reduced to a cost of $100,000 USD last year, the price of citizenship in the independent Commonwealth country is less than 13 BTC at current prices.
Antigua-Barbuda Amends Citizenship by Investment Programme to Accept Crypto
Antigua and Barbuda’s parliament has amended the country’s citizenship by investment programme (CIP) to allow payments in the form of cryptocurrencies. The resolution was passed in the country’s lower house and also facilitates CIP payments in the form of fiat currencies other than USD.
Gaston Browne, Antigua and Barbuda’s prime minister and minister of finance, stated: “So not only are we providing the capacity for payment in Euros, but we are also proving for payments using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”
Mr. Browne acknowledged that “we know we have to be careful” with regards to cryptocurrencies. The prime minister added that “moving money is important and if you cannot move money you cannot receive it,” concluding that “it is quintessential that we have a payment mechanism that could facilitate payments in cryptocurrencies.”
Antigua-Barbuda Seeks to Expand Citizenship by Investment Programme
Mr. Browne emphasized that facilitating CIP payments in the form of cryptocurrency “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,” adding “If you do not accept the cryptocurrency then you would be literally locked out of that market.”
In October of last year, the country’s parliament reduced the price for citizenship through its National Development Fund (NDF) by half – bringing the price down to $100,000. At the time, the Antigua and Barbuda government argued that its citizenship by investment program was failing to compete with those offered by neighbouring countries – with Mr. Browne asserting that in the two months leading up to the amendment, only $600,000 had been generated from three new citizens, whereas neighbouring Dominica was earning $50 million per month through its $100,000 NDF program.
Despite the enthusiasm surrounding the acceptance of cryptocurrencies on the part of Antigua and Barbuda’s ministers, Mr. Browne indicated that the government will convert all virtual currencies earned through the CIP into fiat currencies on a daily basis in order to “ensure that we have any exposure in cryptocurrencies.”