Bitcoin is changing the world and making headlines every day. The idea of buying citizenship through investment is an old one, and almost every country offers citizenship in return for a specific amount of investment.
Recently, a tiny island in the Southern Pacific has made headlines with its plan to offer citizenship in return for investments in the form of digital currencies. Vanuatu is one such island and is a part of the Commonwealth nations. The country currently offers its citizenship in exchange for $200,000, which is about 44 bitcoins if we consider the current exchange rate of bitcoin of $4,581.
Vanuatu is not only a member of the Commonwealth but is also a part of intergovernmental organization consisting of 52-member states, most of which are former British colonies. Business Insider reported that the citizens of Vanuatu can travel to 113 other countries without the need for a visa, and those who buy the citizenship will face low taxes and will not be required to pay income taxes or capital gain.
Chairman of the Vanuatu information center, Geoffrey Bond stated:
“The Government of Vanuatu has explicitly expressed a desire to be at the forefront of adopting new technologies, officially encouraging the VIC to receive payments in Bitcoin.”
However, he also explained that the country will accept the payments with due diligence and the bitcoin transactions will be passed through the Australian Exchange to ensure that they meet the Australian Financial Regulator’s compliance requirements.
The managing director of Vanuatu Information Center Network, James Harris, while discussing the notoriety around Bitcoin, stated:
“There remains some suspicion surrounding the use of crypto-currency in financial transactions, and some fears that it can be related to undesirable activities. In fact, the opposite is true, as crypto-currency exists in a fully traceable ledger where the entire history of its creation and trading is visible.”
The immigration sector is one of the many sectors recognizing the importance of blockchain technology. Vanuatu is one of the first country to utilize cryptocurrencies for transactions in immigration. It is expected that more countries will follow suit pretty soon.