More than 5,000 residents on an island that forms a part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines can now use Bitcoin as a payment option.
According to a Euronews report, residents and visitors of Bequia Island will be able to pay for goods and services using Bitcoin. The new initiative comes under the “One Bequia” project, which is building selling luxury villas on the island in Bitcoin.
The project is backed by entrepreneur Storm Gonsalves. The entrepreneur said that the move was necessary to solve the problem of traditional financial institutions abandoning Caribbean islands. Gonsalves explained:
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 adoption of cryptocurrencies is far from being a gimmick. It’s a response to the very real challenges faced by island communities increasingly cut-off from mainstream banking facilities.
Following the actions of financial institutions, several island nations have begun turning to digital assets. Gonsalves cited Grenada, Antigua, St. Kitts, and Barbuda as examples of nations that recently adopted DCash. Meanwhile, the Bahamas has issued its own central bank-backed digital currency.
Bequia is slowly earning itself the title of “Bitcoin Island.”