According to Bloomberg, The man the media call “Bitcoin Jesus” is selling a Marriott development on the island of St Kitts and Nevis with the facility for buyers to purchase with online Bitcoins, the online cryto-currency.
Buyers spending over $400,000 receive citizenship and a passport allowing visa-free travel in 120 countries.
It will be the first time physical real estate and citizenship will be available for purchase by a currency not-backed by a central government and not subject to the same money-laundering rules of traditional purchases.
Bitcoin trader and convicted weapons dealer Roger Ver claims to have the “exclusive right to sell” properties being developed by Marriot on St. Kitts and along a golf course it owns there. His website is translated in Chinese and Russian and he begins a tour of China later this month to promote his services.
However, Brian Johnson, MD or Platinum Financial Services, a-Moscow-based IFA who promotes property in St Kitts says something does not add up.
"First of all the company mentioned is not listed as an approved person to submit applications. We have to use our sister company in St Kitts which is called Civis and run by Legrand Elebash.
Secondly all funds paid to the government have to come from a proven source. Bit coins can’t be proved so how could they be used? You can’t just turn up in St Kitts with a bag of cash?"
However, if the Bloomberg story is true and the St Kitts government is relaxing the rules the appeal to citizens of countries like China and Russia will be huge. You can purchase and sell Bitcoins anonymously and easily online without government scrutiny or tax liabilities. Transactions costs are also low.
Bitcoins were developed as a de-centralised virtual currency in 2009. The total supply is capped at an arbitrary limit of 21 million and every four years the creation rate is halved. The price of Bitcoins can be votatile and the price was most-famously hit when online drugs supermarket The Silk Road was closed by US Federal government in October 2013.