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CAR sidesteps doubters, proceeds with Sango crypto island ambition

By , Freelance Investigative Journalist

Despite words of caution from regional and global financial institutions, including the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) and International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Central African Republic (CAR) has expressed determination to pursue its cryptocurrency ambitions.

Last month, the Central African nation adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender and implemented a legal framework to regulate cryptocurrencies, becoming the second country in the world to officially embrace BTC after El Salvador.

In the latest development, CAR has announced its intention to build the first legal crypto hub ‘in the heart of Africa’ to accommodate businesses and attract global crypto-enthusiasts.

In statement released by the CAR government, the Minister of State, Director of Cabinet at the Presidency of CAR Obed Namsio said the crypto hub will be part of a national project called ‘Sango - The first crypto initiative’.

According to the plan contained in a 24-page document, a ‘Crypto Island’ backed by reality on a 1:1 basis - the first in the metaverse - will be established as a crypto economic zone.

The Sango Island will allow users to manage their non-fungible tokens in the metaverse in order to unlock additional functionalities: marketplace, ownership, funding, amongst others.

Namsio said: “For Central African Republic, it will be a revolution which will reposition the economy, ameliorate perspectives and change the destiny of citizens of our country.”

In addition, CAR will also develop a user-friendly multi-platform wallet application to send, receive and store Bitcoin, which will be compatible with the Lightning Network.

Besides “taking Bitcoin to the next level,” under the plan, the state will facilitate the use of cryptocurrencies for the acquisition of the country’s land by world investors and the purchase of CAR’s natural resources.

Other components of the initiative include: crypto crowdfunding for infrastructure projects, e-residency programme, citizenship by investment, digital identity and ownership solutions, and online business registration.

While not all cryptocurrency transactions in the country will be subject to income and corporate taxes, the crypto law adopted by CAR effectively establishes the National Agency for Regulation of Electronic Transactions, and this will impact tax application,

In a tweet posted on Tuesday CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadéra said the country was pleased to showcase the first concrete initiative. “It goes beyond politics & administration & has the potential to reshape CAR’s financial system.”

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