Which Citizenship by Investment Programs are Crypto-Friendly?

Citizenship by investment has become extremely popular amongst crypto investors. A second passport is the best strategy we know of… for protecting not just your assets but your personal freedom, more important than ever in times of covid.

Freedom, and the other benefits of having a second passport, are simply returns on the financial investment you make in a new “offshore” citizenship. If you look at it this way, a new citizenship by investment can provide returns on investment for the whole of your life… and beyond, since your children and grandchildren can inherit these benefits.

So, you have done well recently in crypto? Would you like to get a new citizenship by investment? Let’s look at how it works in practice.

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Countries offering citizenship by investment in the Caribbean, Vanuatu and Turkey in particular have seen huge increases during 2021 in the number of new CBI applications where crypto trading is the main source of funds. The good news is that is making the whole process easier, because it has become an everyday thing.

Can one use crypto trading as proof of source of wealth and for Citizenship by Investment in the Caribbean, Vanuatu and Turkey? Absolutely yes!

Which Citizenship by Investment Jurisdictions are Crypto-Friendly?

St Kitts and Nevis, together with Antigua and Barbuda, stand out clearly the Eastern Caribbean countries that are the most crypto-friendly citizenship by investment jurisdictions. 

This statement is based on the fact that they have specifically passed legislation supporting virtual or digital assets and digital currency exchanges in recent years. St Kitts has become famous for its crypto community and you can expect to buy a beer in bar in St Kitts paying in crypto. There are also a number of crypto ATMs on the island.

St Kitts and Nevis (or more precisely the smaller island, Nevis) meanwhile, has long been recognized by asset protection lawyers as one of the two top two asset protection jurisdictions in the world. Its international banks are crypto literate and allow account holders to send and receive transfers from crypto exchanges, as well as providing escrow services. This, combined with the crypto-friendly citizenship program, is a very powerful asset protection combo.

However, it may be that you prefer one of the other CBI jurisdictions. Turkey is undoubtedly attractive to many for lifestyle reasons and geographic location – it has more international flight destinations than any other country in the world. St Lucia is great for its government bond options, suiting those who don’t want to invest in real restate to acquire citizenship. Not forgetting Grenada for its attractive real estate options – just to name a few benefits.

If you are attracted to these other jurisdictions, don’t be put off by the fact that they haven’t gone out of their way to announce their crypto friendliness. Being crypto literate is enough – they don’t have to be crypto friendly. And we can assure you, based on the experience of many clients and our work with local agents and developers, that they do support crypto.

What we mean by this: they will accept crypto trading as legitimate proof of funds. It may well be that the government or developer ultimately wants to receive fiat funds, but as long as the transaction can be done in the background by trustworthy escrow agents or exchangers, that really doesn’t matter to the investor. Flexibility and liquidity on exchanges such as Binance is the beauty of crypto.

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Is it difficult to prove the source of wealth? 

Since all crypto transactions appear on the public blockchain, it is actually quite easy for most crypto investors to prove source of funds/wealth. But it is important to have a local citizenship by investment agent in the target country who understands how crypto works. In the case of real estate or government bond transactions, a fiat on-off ramp will inevitably be needed. Fortunately, our trusted network of local agents and crypto-friendly banks can invariably assist our clients with this process. In St Kitts and Nevis, especially, we are well prepared for this – but as we said, we can help you with crypto transactions in all citizenship by investment jurisdictions.

What do the Regulatory Authorities think?

Let’s point out that Citizenship by investment is not your typical high velocity crypto transaction. Citizenship by investment involves a significant manual element – due to the strict, in-depth due diligence procedures. This process typically takes at least a few weeks, and sometimes up to a few months. From our point of view (and our regulators agree), this reduces risks and allows us to review every case on its merits. If necessary, a specialist forensic investigator of crypto transactions will check the data provided. All you need to be is transparent.

If I have crypto assets, how do I prove my source of funds is legitimate?

For most crypto investors interested in obtaining a new citizenship, brokerage account statements from companies like Binance will be the key documentation. Where assets are held on physical devices like Trezors or Ledgers, or in software wallets like Metamask or myetherwallet, the transactions and current valuations can easily be verified using screenshots and blockchains. A personal financial statement prepared by a crypto-friendly CPA may also be useful. Another option is a legal opinion from a law firm that understands blockchain. We can make the necessary introductions to crypto-friendly accountants and lawyers.

If your source of funds is slightly more complex (for example, your own ICO) we at Offshore Pro Group also have solutions and – perhaps more importantly – experience of processing dozens of cases together with our partner law firms. 

What if I do not have sufficient bank balance?

Understandably, most crypto investors do not wish to retain significant sums of fiat. Yet certified copies of bank statements are on the checklists for source of funds for citizenship by investment. The solution is to provide bank statements with ‘weak’ balances, but prove with other documents sufficient solvency. We can help you with this. It may be necessary for you to open a crypto-friendly offshore bank account. You might well find this is useful to you for other purposes too.

Can I pay government donations or buy bonds with crypto?

Yes, of course. Even if the government will issue the bonds in dollars, or wants to receive the donation in dollars, that’s not a problem if you have a good agent working on your side. They can work with suitably regulated bodies to make sure that the transaction is carried out in the background, with no friction for the investor and no additional KYC beyond what you need to provide for the citizenship anyways.

Can I buy qualifying real estate with crypto? 

Yes. Some real estate developers are happy accept crypto funds directly. In other cases, they may prefer to receive fiat but our exchange and escrow partners can facilitate the deal in the background, fixing the contract price in the coins you have.

Here at Offshore Pro / International Wealth, we understand crypto investments as a source of funds.  In a short time, we can advise you how to present your file to the chosen country’s Citizenship by Investment unit so that everything is clear. That way, they process your application for a new citizenship in the fastest possible time. 

Contact us today and ask to talk to our Citizenship by Crypto Investment Experts!

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