Ambassador Dario Item on Antigua and Barbuda’s Digital Assets Bill 2020

The citizens of Antigua and Barbuda are well-known for being hospitable. H.E. Dario Item, the country’s ambassador to Spain, Monaco, and Liechtenstein, is proud of the ingenuity and resilience as two of the most driving traits of its people.

His Excellency Dr. Dario Item, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda
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His Excellency Dr. Dario Item, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda

These traits are also reflected in how the majestic Caribbean island’s government was able to deal with the onslaught of COVID-19 effectively. In fact, Ambassador Dario Item is currently proactive with the ongoing fundraising efforts to help schools and frontliners in the country to get back on their feet.

Antigua and Barbuda establishes guidelines for digital assets

The Digital Assets Bill 2020, which was passed by the Antigua and Barbuda House of Representatives on May 27, 2020, looks to be one of the policies that could stimulate the entry of digital asset investments into the historic island state. The law sets the guidelines for a licensing system for all digital asset businesses.

The digital asset businesses’ activities that would be included in the system are “issuing, selling, or redeeming virtual coins”, operating as a payment service, operating as an electronic exchange, and for providing custodian wallet services.

Collaborating with digital businesses

The Antigua and Barbuda Government was infused with insights from the digital business sector’s most established names. Discussions were made with Ayre Group, nChain, Bayesian Fund, and the Bitcoin Association.

With the implementation of the bill comes the authority of the Financial Services Regulation Commission (FSRC) oversight to impose the legal regulations among significant companies.

Antigua and Barbuda: clear and decisive governance

Setting regulations for any business endeavor or sector is essential to establish a sense of security. Without this, a state or country would be hard-pressed to find any new investors.

Security and stability are some of the most basic factors most investors look for when embarking on expansion opportunities.

These conditions are present and prioritized by the Antigua and Barbuda Government.

“Security has always been paramount for the government. This was proven during the onslaught of COVID-19 wherein our basic services sectors were able to hold their own and keep the infections at a minimum number, practically almost zero active cases”, said Ambassador Item.

H.E Dr. Dario Item, a qualified attorney-at-law in Switzerland and Italy, explains that the Antigua and Barbuda government made the right decision in involving the stakeholders in the digital assets industry when drafting the bill.

Ambassador Item said that this step is necessary to produce a balanced and productive law. Through the bill’s proper implementation, Dr. Dario Item is optimistic that there will be massive growth in terms of influx of digital asset businesses in Antigua and Barbuda.

He further adds about how crucial the timing is for all stakeholders: “There could not have been a better timing. Companies looking to establish themselves in territories with clear regulations in terms of how digital assets can now turn to Antigua and Barbuda as one of the Blockchain-friendly countries.”

Antigua and Barbuda is one of the most investor-friendly countries in the Carribean, and in the world with its Nomad Digital Residence program and Digital Assets Bill 2020
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Antigua and Barbuda is one of the most investor-friendly countries in the Carribean, and in the world with its Nomad Digital Residence program and Digital Assets Bill 2020

Blockchain-friendly territory

The global pandemic has tipped the demand for digital and electronic assets even more. To meet with the growing demand, digital asset businesses have been extremely aggressive in expanding their operations. However, many have been reluctant in entering territories and countries with vague or no existing policies that govern their operations.

The Digital Assets Bill of 2020 passed by the Antigua and Barbuda Government looks to be a promising step towards progressive and collaborative opportunities between the country and investors involved in the digital assets space.

Together with its Nomad Digital Residence Visa Programme and Citizenship by Investment Programmes, Antigua and Barbuda shows a great example on how decisive and collaborative legislations can benefit its residents and investors.

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