Looking to buy citizenship in another country, but you’re only bitcoin rich? The island nation of Antigua may have just the ticket for you. According to news reports, the parliament of Antigua and Barbuda have changed their “Citizenship by Investment Programme Act” so that those seeking citizenship in the nation can do so in bitcoin.
A number of nations offer so-called investment programs as a way to gain citizenship, including a number of first world and Western countries. Typically, the goal of these types of programs is to encourage wealthy or high net worth individuals to invest in the country either by buying property or operating a business venture, or just paying a one time fee. This is a very common practice in a number of small island nations in particular.
One classic example of this as it relates to cryptocurrency specifically is the infamous Bitcoin Cash proponent, Roger Ver. Ver gave up his US citizenship (and happily so, according to a number of interviews he’s given) and has since taken up residence at the island nation of St. Kitts. All he had to do in order to secure citizenship was to buy a house there, most likely as part of a real estate investment for citizenship program.
Antigua Passport for Bitcoin
For those that don’t know, Antigua is an island nation located in the Caribbean. With an estimated population of 80,000, the country is unique in that it is one of the earliest nations to legalize online gambling. The nation is home to a vast number of picturesque crystal beaches and warm, satiny sands. 365, to be exact.
So what will a passport to this exotic location cost you?
Depending on the type of investment program used to gain citizenship, it will cost you (at today’s prices) right around 12.2 bitcoin. In other words, that’s a minimum application of $100,000 by using the national development fund scheme. According to the official site for the program, the NDF is a “non-profit fund that is subject to parliamentary oversight by way of a six monthly report to be presented to Parliament in sufficient detail to allow for transparency and accountability.”
Why buy citizenship?
There could be a number of answers for that. One could be in a case like Roger Ver where issues relating to taxation and a general anti-government stance could drive you to seek safer harbors. It could be an attempt to restart one’s life, or to establish a business that is not subject to strict laws, such as an online gambling business.
And of course, getting a passport at a nation like Antigua does not mean that you need to give up the citizenship of your home country, assuming that your own country will allow for dual citizenship. The United States and Canada, for example, allow for dual citizenship. However, a number of other nations like China and Singapore do not. So before you get your bitcoin ready, you may want to consider whether or not you will have to, or if you want to give up your passport.
Beaches for the Bitcoin Rich
If you are wealthy enough that your annual or multi-year tax burden exceeds $100,000, it sure could make sense to try to move your dealings to a nation where the tax demands won’t be quite so steep. Plus, having 365 tropical beaches within a short distance, or even right outside your bedroom window if you’re lucky enough, doesn’t hurt either.