It’s a scene that would’ve been unimaginable only a few years ago: an unassuming man walks into a liquor store and buys a bottle of rum using digital currency he gleaned off the internet.
In 2021, however, that’s an actual reality happening at Quay Spirits, Wines and Tobacco, a tiny duty-free shop on the Caribbean island of Antigua. According to a worldwide database kept at Bitcoin.com, the tiny nation is chock full of merchants large and small accepting Bitcoin (BTC) as bona fide currency, and snagging some 5-year aged rum at Quay Spirits is just one example of why some island paradises of the Caribbean Sea are becoming the world’s up-and-coming cryptocurrency hotspots.
Though cryptocurrency and its followers pride themselves on avoiding the centralized banking system, governments around the world, including the United States, consider crypto a property that’s taxable.
Fortunately, several Caribbean governments see things differently and offer, at various prices and options, the ability to become a citizen and travel with their passport.
For cryptocurrency enthusiasts, it could be a match made in a heaven of cool ocean breezes and deep blue water.
Why have a second passport?
- A second passport is a backup plan, a valuable form of personal diversification. They say don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Having a second passport is like not putting your future in the hands of one government.
- Some passports are more powerful than others. Traveling without needing the paperwork of getting a visa is a primary benefit of the world’s strongest passports. This is known as visa-free travel.
- Many countries have more friendly taxation rules and do not tax income earned abroad.
Why are Caribbean islands a good choice for a second passport?
- The Caribbean has long been known as an offshore tax haven, but it’s also been a valuable source of getting second passports in an industry commonly referred to as citizenship-by-investment.
- Getting a Caribbean passport is possible relatively quickly, sometimes only after a few months. They do not even require a visit to the island or that you ever live there.
- Investment options to get a passport include making donations into government funds, buying real estate or starting up a local business.
- Caribbean islands have remarkably strong visa-free travel. For example, Grenada’s passport offers visa-free access to China and Russia — something even U.S. passports do not.
- Caribbean passport holders can avoid things like personal income tax and capital gains tax.
Can I directly buy a Caribbean passport with cryptocurrency?
- In 2020, Antigua & Barbuda was exploring the option, but buying a passport with something like Bitcoin is still quite rare in the world and , a South Pacific island nation whose agents accept Bitcoin and then pay the government in cash. Still, many agents and others in the Caribbean accept the currency for goods and services. St. Lucia, Grenada, Antigua & Barbuda and St. Kitts & Nevis recently even started their own digital currency, “Dcash,” meant to serve people without bank accounts.
Which Caribbean islands offer citizenship-by-investment and/or residency?
- Antigua & Barbuda – citizenship
- St. Kitts & Nevis – citizenship
- St. Lucia – citizenship
- Grenada – citizenship
- Dominica – citizenship
- Cayman Islands – residency
- Anguilla – residency
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