A development on the Caribbean island of Bequia will use Bitcoin as payment for villas and services to bypass international banks.
Bequia, an 18 square kilometer island in the Caribbean Grenadines archipelago, is on the way to becoming one of the most bitcoin-integrated communities in the world.
“The One Bequia project, in which 39 luxury villas are to be built, will be the first of its kind in the Caribbean to accept Bitcoin as payment for the property,” said a recently published report by Euronews. “Bitcoin is also accepted as a means of payment for everyday necessities in the grocery store of the development as well as in your restaurant, café and cinema.”
It may seem that Bitcoin-enabled transactions have been just tourist attractions throughout development – more of a Bubba Gump-style activation than a community looking to their financial well-being, like in El Salvador’s Bitcoin Beach. But the real estate developers behind One Bequia emphasize that Bitcoin is a very necessary alternative to, or lack of, old financial services.
“Residents of small island states are finding it increasingly difficult to send and receive money internationally as large international banks are reducing the risk,” Storm Gonsalves, the Caribbean-born development manager, told Euronews. “This prevents the banks based on the island from operating internationally. If this trend continues, it means that small island states will essentially be cut off from international trade. This will be devastating for tourism-based economies. “
Residents and governments in the Caribbean have historically introduced cryptocurrencies as a solution to these problems, but most of that introduction has focused on altcoins, or centrally managed digital currencies. But the vision for One Bequia seems to focus more on the decentralized belief of Bitcoiners.
“Not everyone understands the benefits of cryptocurrencies. People are still skeptical, ”said Gonsalves. “Early crypto investors are not typical speculators and they strongly believe in the philosophy of decentralization behind Bitcoin / Blockchain. You are not a typical speculator. “
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