Vanuatu, a South Pacific Ocean nation made up of roughly 80 islands, is accepting the virtual currency for its citizenship program.
The Vanuatu Information Centre announced that foreigners can now pay Bitcoins for Vanuatuan $200,000 citizenship program.
Bitcoin is trading at around $4,580. That means the citizenship would cost around 44 Bitcoin.
“This is a significant step forward in our efforts, working with the Government of Vanuatu to propel the Vanuatu DSP to the forefront of CIPs globally,” said James Harris, managing director of the Vanuatu Information Centre Network.
Harris said that “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,” he said.
“While attempts have been made in the past to effect payments for citizenship by investment programs via Bitcoin, these efforts never had the political stamp of approval, and were shut down as a consequence,” said Geoffrey Bond, chairman of the Vanuatu Information Centre Network.
Bond continued, “However in this case, 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.”
“In addition to the normal due diligence probity checks that are required to obtain Vanuatu Citizenship, all Bitcoin transactions will be run through our partner’s Australian Exchange and meet with the normal compliance requirements imposed by the Australian Financial Regulator,” he added.