A new White Paper that positions The Bahamas as a global leader in cryptocurrency could generate an unprecedented economic boom that benefits all Bahamians.
HG Christie Ltd CEO John Christie says along with the Digital Assets and Registered Exchange Bill (DARE), the new policy cements the country’s position as the leading digital asset hub of the Caribbean, paving the way for the creation of many thousands of new jobs and further boosting the country’s already buoyant real estate industry.
FTX, the world’s second-biggest crypto exchange – which moved from Hong Kong to Nassau last year – is aiming to hire Bahamians in finance, marketing and software development and is building a 1,000-strong workforce as part of its $60m investment.
“And as exchanges continue to move their headquarters to The Bahamas to take advantage of the favorable tax and regulatory frameworks, we are seeing a direct impact as these companies buy homes for their personnel,” says Christie.
The steady rise in crypto-based real estate purchases will continue to fuel the real estate boom while sales in the rest of the world slow down in response to rising interest rates, Christie predicts. “We are seeing more and more transactions in bitcoin and other digital currency, and since these purchasers do not rely on mortgages, fluctuating interest rates have no impact.”
Some sellers are now listing with a $B dollar price but accepting the bitcoin equivalent, which they then immediately convert to regular currency once the sale goes through. So it ends up being a dollar transaction but initiated by cryptocurrency, with VAT, transfer tax, commissions and legal fees paid in regular currency – at least for the time being.
During the course of the year, the government plans to allow for the payment of taxes using digital assets such as the Bahamian Sand Dollar.
During FTX’s exclusive CryptoBahamas conference this week featuring high-profile speakers like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said The Bahamas had come top out of all jurisdictions they looked at after an intensive country-by-country search. He said the key to their decision was the country’s proactive stance and friendly digital asset regulatory framework.
Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis said at the rollout of The Future of Digital Assets in The Bahamas White Paper that it would change the landscape of the Bahamian financial markets as we know it.
“Digital assets are a remarkable opportunity for our country – an opportunity to leverage and build on our world-class financial services expertise, diversify our economy, engage a whole new generation of Bahamians, and lead the way in innovation,” said Davis. “We believe that The Bahamas – and Bahamians – can be at the vanguard of this new frontier.”
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