The government of Antigua and Barbuda has decided to set up a cryptocurrency exchange. Authorities in St. John’s want to generate revenue for the nation’s treasury and place the country “on the cutting edge of the new system of creating wealth”. The local parliament is set to review and adopt the relevant legal framework.
In the Front Seat
Trying to cash in on the global fintech wave, Antigua and Barbuda plans to set up its first cryptocurrency exchange. The legislation needed to create the necessary legal framework is to be introduced in parliament shortly, the local Daily Observer reports.
According to the Minister of Information Technology, Melford Nicholas, the exchange will bring together buyers and sellers facilitating crypto trade for a fee. The government expects that the trading platform will generate non-tax revenue for the budget of the island nation. An official statement reads:
Antigua and Barbuda is determined to be on the cutting edge of the new system of creating wealth.
“By establishing an exchange here we will bring Antigua into the game, as it were. Should there be any potential economic spinoffs, we should be in the front seat,” Mr. Nicholas said.
The IT Minister also revealed that Canadian-born businessman Calvin Ayre is one of those involved at the forefront of the new cutting edge technology. The online gambling entrepreneur, who is known for his enthusiasm for cryptos, especially bitcoin cash (BCH), is advising the Antiguan government on cryptocurrency matters.
“Mr. Ayre was appointed as an economic envoy and he is now a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda. We think we can leverage both of those relationships,” said Melford Nicholas.
Last month Calvin Ayre announced intentions to build a $100 million resort at Valley Church beach, Antigua, with profits from his cryptocurrency undertakings. In January he said he was planning to invest in a mining facility dedicated to bitcoin cash. The new resort will accept BCH payments.
Leader in Bitcoin Adoption
In 2017, the government of Antigua and Barbuda said it was drafting laws “to implement bitcoin”, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. Antiguan authorities believe bitcoin is benefiting the Caribbean nation, whose economy relies heavily on the tourism and gambling industries. The online gaming sector has developed rapidly in recent years.
Antigua and Barbuda is a sovereign state consisting of two major islands, and a number of smaller islands, situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Authorities in the capital Saint John’s hope their country will become an early leader in bitcoin adoption and blockchain technology implementation.
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