Residents of Caribbean island can conduct local transactions using Bitcoin
More than 5,000 residents of an island that forms a part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines now able to use crypto as a form of payment.
According to a report published by Euronews, both residents and visitors to the island of Bequia can use Bitcoin (BTC) to pay for goods and services ranging from property to food at one of the local eateries.
The One Bequia project, backed by entrepreneur Storm Gonsalves, is building luxury villas on the island for sale in BTC. Gonsalves described the move to accept crypto was aimed at solving the issue of traditional financial systems abandoning Caribbean islands.
"The adoption of cryptocurrencies is far from being a gimmick,” said the entrepreneur Gonsalves. "It’s a response to the very real challenges faced by island communities increasingly cut-off from mainstream banking facilities.”
"Residents of small island nations are finding it increasingly difficult to send and receive money internationally because of 'derisking' by large international banks. Derisking is when these large institutions remove their intermediary banking services from smaller island-based community banks. This prevents the island-based banks from transacting internationally.”
The island is currently home to one branch of the Bank of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and also accepts the Eastern Caribbean dollar as fiat. Gonsalves cited Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Lucia recently adopting DCash as examples of island nations in the Caribbean pushing back to seemingly being slowly cut off from international commerce. The Bahamas has also issued its own central bank digital currency, the Sand Dollar.
Although the entrepreneur claimed that there are so many people who are “still skeptical” of crypto, the technology could provide an attractive investment for island dwellers. People have already started calling Bequia "Bitcoin Island," given the opportunity for residents to pay the crypto asset and use it as a medium of payment.