These days, you can buy almost anything with crypto: weed, porn, lambos…..even a new nationality. Coingeek says it will now help anyone buy citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda for cryptocurrency, which means that the next time someone says virtual money is just for drugs and perverts, you’ll finally have a rebuttal.
There’s only one catch, though: you have to pay with Bitcoin Cash.
“It is very rare that you get an opportunity to really change how you live but the Government of Antigua & Barbuda is offering just that,” Coingeek announced in a press release today. “In this globally unique opportunity you can enjoy citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda through the Citizen by Investment Program, using a Bitcoin BCH payment initiative organized by Antigua’s official Bitcoin Envoy Calvin Ayre.”
The statement then describes in detail the bewitching attractions of the island paradise–and we’re not just talking about the beaches. “Accepted applicants are offered a vast number of business opportunities in Antigua’s emerging economy,” we learn. “Best of all there is no personal income tax in Antigua!”
The statement links to a landing page on Coingeek’s “Citizen by Investment” program, where future Antiguans can learn how to make patriotic contributions to their prospective homeland. “These CIP units from us can only be paid for in Bitcoin(BCH); which the government of Antigua recognizes as the only real Bitcoin and the worlds most scalable and flexible cryptocurrency.”
The news was met with incredulity by local media. “Oh boy, do we have a lot of questions on this one,” wrote the bewildered editors of the Antigua Observer. “By accepting Bitcoin Cash, isn’t the government opening itself to significant exchange risks because of the cryptocurrency’s volatility? What will the government do with the Bitcoin Cash it receives?” Not to mention, they add, the bad publicity associated with anonymous currency, in a country already known as a refuge for tax cheats and criminals.
Although the government of Antigua and Barbuda does not elaborate a clear position on the big-block dispute or the legitimacy of hard forks, the country has rarely said no to an investment. A schedule on Antigua’s CIP page lists the investment and fees required to acquire citizenship, which start around $100,000 USD. Bitcoin Cash and other cryptocurrencies are not mentioned, suggesting that CoinGeek’s assistance in the citizenship program may be, so to speak, under the table.
The islands–which rely heavily on tourism and gambling– have become something of a crypto-paradise in recent years, especially after being settled by CoinGeek’s billionaire founder Calvin Ayre. Ayre recently announced plans for a BCH-only “luxury tourist village,” which will open this summer. Authorities in the island have made plans for a cryptocurrency exchange, and the Cabinet has instructed authorities to “draft laws for the implementation of Bitcoin.”