Above: St Kitts (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
According to Aksjer for Nybegynnere reports, St Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment programme does not recognize the software-based currency Bitcoins as a legal investment currency, the government said in a statement issued Thursday.
“The Citizenship by Investment Unit would like to assure the general public that we do not recognize Bitcoins as legal investment currency for financial transactions within our Citizenship by Investment Programme,” the government said. “We further emphasize that we do not accept Bitcoins, have never accepted Bitcoins, and will not accept Bitcoins.”
The country said its programme would only accept applications from “Licensed Authorised Persons (Service Providers),” and “transactions are conducted through internationally recognized banking institutions.”
“These institutions adhere to international financial regulations and only handle traditionally acceptable currencies such as the United Kingdom Pound Sterling, the European Union Euro, the United States US Dollar and the Eastern Caribbean EC Dollar,” the government’s Citizenship By Investment Unit said.
The country’s programme is the oldest in the world, and has been a major reason for its recent boom in mostly tourism-related investment.
The country said it was conducting an investigation into online advertisements allegedly engaging in Bitcoin transactions in association with the programme.
“Any company found to be engaged in this practice in association with our programme will have its license revoked and struck from the register of Authorised Persons,” the government said.