New Delhi, July 28: Days after it was revealed that Mehul Choksi, the accused in over Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, obtained citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda, reports shared by cryptocurrency-linked websites claim that one can avail citizenship in the Caribbean Islands by "investing only 10,000 US Dollars or 12 bitcoins".
According to the Pro-Blockchain, the Antigua and Barbuda government has amended the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme Act to accept payments in the form of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The website claims that the lowest amount required by an individual to obtain an Antiguan Barbudan passport is 100,000 US dollars via an investment to the Antigua National Development Fund.
If the report is accurate, it could be concluded that one needs to pay only 12 Bitcoins to obtain an Antiguan Barbudian passport.
The purported move to accept cryptocurrencies is aimed at attracting more people across the globe to take up the Antiguan Barbudian citizenship.
Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said the cryptocurrencies received will be converted into USD on daily basis to avoid losses from its volatility, reports said.
“And the truth is too, it expands your market because we have a number of cryptocurrency investors who may be quite willing to take up our citizenship but would only pay in cryptocurrencies, If you do not accept the cryptocurrency then you would be literally locked out of that market," Browne was quoted as saying in the Parliament.
One of the significant benefits of the Antiguan Barbudan citizenship is that a holder of Antigua and Barbuda passport can enjoy visa-free travel in 132 countries, including the US and the UK. The holder is required to spend just 5 days in 5 years to retain the citizenship.