Industry News
Antigua CIP to start accepting Bitcoin


Antigua and Barbuda has become just the second country globally to accept Bitcoin, along with several other crypto and regular currencies (including Euros) as tender for its Citizenship by Investment Programme.


Vanuatu also recently was the first country to announce that it would accept Bitcoin as a payment method to its Development Support Programme (DSP).


However there is a key difference between these two programmes as, in Vanuatu, only agents can be paid in Bitcoin which must then be transferred to US Dollars before being transferred to the Government. In Antigua however, Bitcoin payments can be paid directly to the government.


The announcement was made earlier this week following a parliamentary meeting. While acknowledging the need to be “careful”, Prime Minister Gaston Browne also noted that this decision was made because 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.”


It is hoped that this move could potentially open the country up to the relatively untapped market of crypto-millionaires seeking alternative citizenship with Browne noting that “If you do not accept the cryptocurrency then you would be literally locked out of that market.”


To reduce the risk of accepting Bitcoin payments as tender, the cryptocurrencies will be transferred to US Dollars on a daily basis in order to “ensure that we don’t have any exposure in cryptocurrencies.”


A final important point to note is that the country recently announced an update permitting the CIU to open offshore bank accounts to receive payments for the country’s CIP. This decision was made in an attempt to safeguard local banks interests over fears that they may lose their relationships with US banks. As Browne notes “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.”


Click here to learn more about the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Programme: