A small Caribbean island called Bequia started taking Bitcoin as payment for villas and services. Bequia, an 18-Square-kilometers paradise island, in the Grenadines Archipelago became home to the world’s first fully Bitcoin Enabled community.
“The One Bequia development, where 39 luxury villas are set to be built, will be the first of its kind in the Caribbean to accept Bitcoin as payment for the properties,” according to a report by Euronews. “Bitcoin will also be accepted as payment for everyday essentials at the development’s grocery store as well as at its restaurants, cafe, and cinema.”
According to property developers, acceptance of cryptocurrency as payment increasingly more of a necessity than a ploy to attract people’s attention.
“The adoption of cryptocurrency is far from a gimmick,” explains storm Gonsalves, the property mogul behind the One Bequia project. “It’s a response to the very real challenges faced by island communities increasingly cut-off from mainstream banking facilities.”
“Resident of Small Island nations are finding it increasingly difficult to send and receive money internationally because of ‘derisking’ by large international banks,” St. Vincent Born Gonsalves added. “This prevents the island-based banks from transacting internationally. If this trend continues, it means Small Island will be essentially cut off from international trade and commerce. For tourism-based economies, this will be devastating”.
For this reason, the Caribbean has been one of the biggest proponents of finding digital currencies to solve the growing problem. Many Caribbean island nations started adopting blockchain and other cryptocurrencies a lot faster than other developed nations. Bermuda, Bahamas, Barbados, and St. Vincent are already ahead in this regard. Gonsalves cited Grenada, St. Kitts, and Nevis, Antigua, and Barbuda, and Saint Lucia recently adopted Dcash. The Bahamas has also issued its own central bank digital currency, the Sand Dollar.
Unlike decentralized cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dcash gets backing from the Central bank. It will allow people, particularly on a remote island and even those without a bank account can make secure payments.
Developers of the villas believe that they are an attractive investment for people who already invest and speculate on cryptocurrencies.
“Not everyone understands the advantage of cryptocurrencies people are still sceptical,” Said Gonsalves.“Early crypto investors are not your typical speculators and they believe strongly in the philosophy of decentralization behind Bitcoin/blockchain. They are not your typical speculator.”