But before the average Joe began to invest in the currency, there was one man who was willing to shoulder the risk when rarely anyone else was. The self-proclaimed ‘Bitcoin Jesus’, Roger Ver, was an early investor of Bitcoin – today’s most well-known cryptocurrency. Ver got into the market when Bitcoin was still only valued at around $1, investing about $25,000, which today is worth several million dollars.
“Bitcoin is one of the most important inventions in all of human history. For the first time ever, anyone can send or receive any amount of money with anyone else, anywhere on the planet, conveniently and without restriction. It’s the dawn of a better, more free world,” Roger Ver said back in 2011.
A decade later, this could not be truer. Earlier this month, the crypto market was valued at a whopping 2 trillion dollars for the first time in its very young history, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. With hundreds of different digital currencies now available, many are trying to finally break into the unpredictable market before it becomes completely inaccessible.
Bitcoin Jesus Renounced his American Citizenship
In 2014, the Bitcoin Jesus took another risk. The cryptocurrency investor did the unthinkable and renounced his American citizenship, a coveted nationality that many pour millions to attain. Ver knew that in order to achieve the financial freedom he desired, he’d have to renounce his native citizenship in favour of something less restrictive with far more benefits. Thus, he became a citizen of the dual island nation of St Kitts and Nevis through its Citizenship by Investment Programme.
Caribbean Citizenship Programme – A Platinum Standard Brand
The small Caribbean islands are pioneers within the investment migration industry, establishing the world’s first Citizenship by Investment Programme in 1984. Operating for nearly four decades, the Programme has become internationally recognised as a Platinum Standard brand, inspiring various adaptions across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Through citizenship by investment, St Kitts and Nevis invites foreign investors to become citizens after contributing to a government fund and passing a series of stringent vetting procedures. As citizens, investors can apply for their second passport, enabling them to travel freely to nearly 160 destinations, including key global markets vital for doing business. The islands also do not impose income, inheritance, or capital gains tax, allowing citizens to breathe a little freer as they focus on the investments that matter to them.
Second citizenship also operates as Plan B in the case of political or economic instability in one’s home country, enabling investors to move fast and protect their wealth and their families rather than be at the mercy of corrupt or inefficient governments. Over the last few years, the additional document has become the ultimate insurance policy, with a growing number of investors from highly developed nations recognising the benefits of second citizenship.
Cryptocurrency and Second Citizenship
With cryptocurrency becoming more common in many industries, the Citizenship by Investment market is no different. As more investors generate their wealth through the crypto sphere, experts say that there are many advantages to adapting services to include crypto payments.
“Beyond the advantages related to tax savings and far more efficient payments, one large advantage of taking crypto-payments is that rather than receiving US dollars, which becomes less valuable every day… [CBI Programmes] could be receiving payment in the form of an asset that continues to appreciate,” said Christian Nesheim, Editor of IMI Daily, a publication focused on the investment migration industry.
The Bitcoin Jesus agrees. Combining cryptocurrency and second citizenship is the perfect mix for achieving financial freedom: “More economic freedom leads to more economic growth and more economic growth leads to a higher standard of living for everybody,” he said in an interview with IMI Daily.