Antigua and Barbuda Government Paves the Way for Cryptocurrency Exchange
The government of twin-island country Antigua and Barbuda is planning to establish an exchange that would facilitate cryptocurrency trades in the country. Similar to many other small nations, the island country wants to cash in on the crypto craze. The exchange looks likely to be set up with the counsel of Canadian-Antiguan gambling tycoon Calvin Ayre.
Antigua and Barbuda Open to Crypto Businesses
According to local news site Antigua Observer, a bill relating to form a cryptocurrency regulatory framework will soon be introduced into the parliament.
Antigua and Barbuda information technology Minister Melford Nichola said:
“By establishing an exchange here it will bring Antigua into the game as it were should there be any potential economic spinoffs we should be in the front seat.”
Ayre, the founder of online gambling company Bodog, has become an Antigua and Barbuda citizen. He has also been appointed as an “Economic Envoy for Technology Development”, and cryptocurrency advisor to the government to hopefully take the country ahead of the curve in advancing its use.
An official government statement read: “Antigua and Barbuda is determined to be on the cutting edge of the new system of creating wealth with the expectation that the Exchange will generate non-tax revenue for the Treasury.”
A Crypto Friendly Nation
Just a couple of weeks back, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) — the monetary authority of eight island economies — penned a Memorandum of Understanding with fintech company Bitt Inc. that employs blockchain technology to facilitate peer-to-peer transactions, and will launch a pilot program to digitally issue the Eastern Caribbean dollar.
Last year, the country’s cabinet ordered its attorney general to draft new legislation to regulate bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. That move was also influenced by Ayre. While the country’s economy is primarily tourism-driven, simultaneously it has grown as an offshore financial services center.
Now, the country would like to the adopt cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to further develop its global services industry.
The twin-island country also has an established gambling industry, and especially a growing online gambling industry. With the launch of a government cryptocurrency exchange, Antigua and Barbuda wants to attract crypto related businesses and fintech companies to invest in a welcoming environment.
Last year, to attract more tourists to the island, Ayre announced to build $100 million USD five-star resort from his gains in bitcoin investment. Ayre was an early Bitcoin investor and now is a Bitcoin Cash supporter. In January 2018, he revealed he had invested funds in a Bitcoin Cash mining facility.
Will the cryptocurrency boom help Antigua and Barbuda economy? Let us know your views in the comments section.
Images via Pixabay, Calvin Ayre Foundation
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