A&B looking to embrace Bitcoin

Attorney General Steadroy "Cutie" Benjamin (File photo)

The Cabinet of Antigua & Barbuda has instructed the Attorney General, Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin to draft laws for the implementation of Bitcoin.

This, after a group connected with the Antigua Leisure & Gaming Association met with Cabinet, on Wednesday, to discuss and share knowledge and experience on a new method of transacting the sale of goods and services, which is known as the Bitcoin technology.

The Cabinet has agreed to place the country on the cutting edge of this new technology.

“Here in Antigua & Barbuda we know we are always very much front and centre of new developments; we are leaders, trendsetters in the Caribbean,” Minister of Trade and Consumer Affairs, EP Chet Greene said at the post-Cabinet briefing, yesterday.

He added that what is of interest to the country is the fact that “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”.

“The currency benefits us in Antigua & Barbuda in respect to our Internet gaming sector. It will allow us,the satisfaction needed as a jurisdiction in respect to questions that would be asked of us in the Global Environment,” Greene said.

Several countries, including Korea and Japan, have already begun the process of recognising and regulating the use of the virtual currency, BitCoin, for business transactions, while other countries, such as Switzerland and Malta, are either already engaged in this technology or have given commitments to get onboard with this development.

The minister is encouraging the public to conduct online searches on BitCoin which came onstream in 2009, and has increased in value several times since it was patented.