Antigua Embraces Bitcoin

The open-minded government of Antigua & Barbuda in the Caribbean is positioning itself to be a leader in the realm of digital currency. It is fashioning legislation to legitimize Bitcoin by giving it legal recognition. The Minister of Trade and Consumer Affairs said embracing bitcoin will also position the country to profit from the iGaming sector.

With some countries focusing on bitcoin as a target to attack because they believe it represents an illicit means of laundering money, it’s refreshing to see a country embrace the technology, legitimize it and take advantage of the potential benefits it has to offer.

Minister of Trade and Consumer Affairs EP Chet Greene told The Daily Observer: “This new currency is immutable; you can always go and trace transactions, so in the context of allegations of our country being involved in tax havens, it allows for better traceability.”

Antigua is now joining a growing list of countries who have embraced bitcoin. At the forefront of this group is Japan, who has now officially recognized bitcoin as a legal payment method. South Korea has recently invested the equivalent of over 2.65 billion US dollars for support of digital currencies. Other countries like Switzerland and Malta are already on-board or committing toward innovation with digital currency.

This comes as Bitcoin surges to over $1400 last Tuesday, according to an article on Reuters.

Bitcoin surged to an all-time high above $1,400 on Tuesday, after more than tripling in value over the past year, with its most recent rise attributed to strong demand in Japan, where the digital currency has been deemed a legal means of payment.

Cryptocompare, a data website that analyses bitcoin trading across dozens of exchanges globally, said around 50 percent of trading volume over the past 24 hours had been on the bitcoin/Japanese yen exchange rate.

“The Japanese have recently warmed their approach towards bitcoin by treating it legally as a form of payment – a ratification and bringing into the regulatory fold,” said Charles Hayter, the website’s founder.

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